I want to give buyers something to talk about by investing their resources into getting their home into its best condition. This is time and money well spent but you'll need to concentrate on the areas that will bring you the most return.
Focus on the areas that buyers notice and value - bathrooms, kitchens, and curb appeal. Make sure your rooms are spotlessly clean and free of clutter. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color is one of the least costly investments that can go a long way towards making a good impression. De-personalize your rooms by packing away your nick-knacks and dust catchers. If possible. put extra furniture or belongings into storage so that your home appears open and spacious. Clean your windows so they sparkle - and don't forget the window sills.
Trim your trees and hedges and keep the lawn mowed. Plant some colorful flowers in the garden. Drive by your home and try to look at it from an objective viewpoint. What's the first thing you notice? Does your front door say, "Welcome"? If not, maybe a fresh coat of paint - or perhaps even a new front door - and some potted plants could help.
The way your house looks should not be your only concern. Is there a pet odor or other potentially offensive smell in the air? Be sure any odor producing agents are removed or controlled to keep your home fresh smelling at all times. When you live in a home you can become used to certain odors and they are easy to overlook. Be sure to ask others if your home passes the "sniff" test.
Be aware that certain investments you made for the personal enjoyment of your home will not necessarily raise the value of your home to prospective buyers. Don't expect to add on to the price of your home all the money you paid to improve it.
In fact, some things, like swimming pools, can frequently be viewed as a liability. Generally, painting and improving your kitchen and bathrooms will be a good investment. The kitchen is viewed as the heart of a home - most family activities take place here so improving your kitchen can facilitate the sale of your home. Adding a bathroom usually generates a good return as well as adding decking outside.
The best return for your home improvement dollar comes from bathroom remodeling (80%), bathroom addition (81%), minor kitchen remodeling (87%), major kitchen remodeling (80%), and a second storyaddition (83%). The least profitable investments are a home office (54%), reroofing (60%), a sun room (60%), replacing windows (68%), and refinishing your basement (69%). In a slower market, it's essential to pay attention to the presentation of your home. With so many homes on the market to choose from, you want to be sure you outshine the competition. You may even want to consider hiring a professional home stager to help you.