When you’re getting ready to sell your home, the preparations can seem endless. You need a good realtor, and your house must be in the best condition. Many homeowners also make basic upgrades in order to raise their property values and increase the asking price.
However, not all upgrades will raise your property values. Pulling out all the stops on a kitchen renovation, for example, likely won’t yield the high returns you want. You’re more likely to lose money because you won’t recoup the full value on the return.
It’s often better to make small, more affordable repairs for better showings and added value rather than huge renovations that are time consuming and expensive. Try this list of home renovations that are just $1500 or less:
1. Smart Features
Studies on the impact of smart features on home sales indicate that homes with smart features sell faster and for more than those without. Installing a few features like a smart thermostat, Bluetooth speaker system, smart lights, and even a very basic security system can increase your property values slightly.
According to the CEO and founder of Golden Key Realty in Georgia, Evi Kokalari-Angelakis, a small investment in smart home features is best. She told FoxBusiness.com that it will raise the value of your home between 5 and 10 percent.
“In general, smart homes will hold value longer, will sell more quickly, and will save money as the buyer won’t have to install themselves,” she added.
2. Power Wash Siding
A dingy looking home exterior can dissuade buyers and drop overall curb appeal significantly. Before you start collecting quotes to paint the exterior (which could easily cost upwards of $2500), consider pressure washing it.
A high-pressure wash will remove dirt and grime that’s built up for decades, and it can make the siding look brand new and very appealing. You can easily rent a pressure washer from a hardware store if you’re comfortable doing the job yourself or you can hire a service to do it for you.
3. Paint Strategically
Paint doesn’t always add value, but sometimes it can. If your home walls are painted in loud colors, the paint is peeling, or it’s covered in wallpaper, a clean coat of paint in a neutral, trending color can go a long way.
You can also use paint to make your kitchen or bathroom cabinets look more modern and trendier. It’s a significantly more affordable update than replacing the countertops, but it can make the home look fresh, new, and exciting to prospective buyers.
You can also paint the exterior of your home to increase curb appeal. If a simple pressure wash won’t clean up the home, you might consider painting the exterior (note this will likely cost more than $1500). But usually, painting small things like the front door, window trim, house number, and even hand railings can make the home look beautiful and fresh without breaking the bank.
4. Countertop Upgrade
Most kitchens have a decent layout, but they lack appeal because the countertops are cheap Formica that’s been scratched or chipped. Fix this by switching out the countertops for something more modern and durable.
In a small kitchen, you could upgrade your countertops to granite for right around $1500, but there are even more affordable options. A high-quality laminate that has the appearance of a more expensive stone countertop will cost about $1200 or less. Butcher block countertops are another trendy, beautiful option that will cost between $1200 and $1500 for a basic upgrade.
5. Dishwasher and Garbage Disposal Install
If your home doesn’t currently have a dishwasher or garbage disposal, install both. You don’t have to purchase a luxury model—you won’t be living here after all, and a decent dishwasher costs between $500 and $700. As long as it looks great, it will boost your asking price.
A garbage disposal is another luxury that can make buyers more interested in your property. For a couple hundred dollars, you can install a garbage disposal and make the lives of future homeowners so much easier.
6. New Flooring
Many homeowners skip flooring upgrades because they think it’s expensive. However, there are options that are considerably more affordable. For example, you could replace flooring in just one or two rooms where it’s been worn down, like the kitchen or bathroom. This can improve the look and value of these rooms dramatically.
You also don’t have to do expensive hardwoods throughout the house. New carpet can cover most of your home for less than $1500, as can an affordable laminate or tile.
7. New Front Door
In most homes, a new front door isn’t necessary—you can simply paint it for a refreshed look that raises your values. However, if there are noticeable gaps or drafts around your front door, it’s been damaged, it sticks, or it just looks terrible, you might consider replacing it.
You have several options for a quality front door, so you shouldn’t have a problem keeping the purchase and install at around $1500, although a more decorative option will cost more. Just remember that you won’t be living here soon, so stick with practicality over preference.
8. Refinish the Bathtub
A scratched, stained, or damaged bathtub can be a real turn-off to buyers, and you’ll likely have a more difficult time getting reasonable offers on your house if you don’t do something about it.
Thankfully, a basic bathtub replacement won’t cost you more than $1500. Even better, you can probably refinish your bathtub with a simple kit for just a few hundred dollars. It will look brand new, updating your bathroom significantly, without the lavish expense of a replacement.
Contact Green Residential When You’re Ready to Sell
With a couple of affordable updates under your belt, you’ll be ready to list your house and need a reputable broker to back you. If you live in the greater Houston area, let us handle the listing, marketing, and selling for you. We offer a flat rate fee to all our sellers, so you can potentially profit more from your rental. For more information about our services and to meet our realty team, contact us today!