HomeGain surveyed about 600 real estate agents from all around the country to determine the top relatively low cost, do-it-yourself home improvements for homeowners getting their house ready to sell. (low-cost is defined as under $5,000).
In my opinion, a home is properly "staged" when all of these items have been addressed, but for the purpose of this survey, it is given its own category and ranks #3. The top five home improvements that Realtors nationwide are recommending (based on those that offer the best return on investment) include:
1. Cleaning and de-cluttering
2. Lightening and brightening
3. Home staging
5. Repair Electrical or Plumbing
Cleaning and de-cluttering is still the most frequently suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2003). This very low cost improvement was recommended by 99% of Realtors and usually costs less than $300. When cleaning and de-cluttering are done right, real estate experts estimate a return of nearly $2,000 to the home’s sale price. That's a 586% return on investment!
Check out the graph below to the return for all the other improvements:
(reprinted with permission)
“Sellers need to prepare their homes for sale before putting them on the market,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. “Homes that have initial appeal have a better shot at selling faster and closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements.”