Question: We need to sell our home and are wondering what the best projects are (in terms of return on investment) that a home owner can do without spending a lot of money?
Answer: I believe the best place to start is a thorough cleaning of every part of your home including interior, exterior and the yard. Next is the removal of all items that might make your home to appear cluttered which includes all pictures, knick knacks, and any extra furniture. Most people want to buy a home that is ready to move into and the neater it appears the less work they believe is required before moving in. Don’t overlook the garage, basement or the yard. Make sure these areas are cleared of all excess items. If necessary, place them in a storage area or give to Goodwill. It will sure make your move easier.
Once the house is clean then it’s time to start on the yard. Make sure all the landscaping is neat and mulched. Edge the landscaping and make sure overgrown plants are replaced. It’s amazing how much just cleaning up the property will increase the value of your property. If you’re not sure how far to go in this process, have a friend who will be brutally honest with you inspect the home and make suggestions about how you have done and if there are any things you might have missed.
If you’re not satisfied with the results so far, then I would consider changing the paint colors and/or the flooring. Make sure to select neutral colors and hire a professional if you are not a qualified painter. The new buyers will appreciate the fresh look and yet, may still decide to paint things their own color.
More costly areas to improve are the siding, roofing, bathrooms and the kitchen but still yield the most return on investment. You must be careful how much you invest because most home improvement projects do not recoup the full value of the improvement unless you don’t count the “sweat” equity if you do the work yourself. You might consult with a realtor before you attempt these more costly investments and let them give their thoughts on the feasibility of these options.
It is important to keep the costs low, since each buyer is different and may not be willing to pay for the changes you make. Ask as many experts as possible and may you make wise decisions.