When making the decision to sell one’s home, it is often filled with emotion and involves investing more dollars in updates and repairs than the seller is expecting. I am often asked by sellers what needs to be done and how much will it cost? Will I receive more on the sale of my home if I do home improvement projects? Which projects do I do first for the highest return?

In my experience, the improvement projects that deliver the highest return on your investment begin in the kitchen. If your cabinets are worn and outdated and you cannot afford to replace or reface them, you might consider painting them for a fresh, updated look. Outdated countertops need to be replaced to give the kitchen a fresh, clean appearance. If the budget allows, now is also a good time to replace that old kitchen sink and faucet. Don’t forget the light fixture, too. Most sellers are capable of painting their kitchen walls. Be sure to use a light, neutral color.

Next, move on to the bathrooms. Hopefully, your fixtures are white or a neutral color. If not, this room may be overdue for a remodel. Updated countertops, sinks, and faucets are important to buyers. If the tub or shower is discolored, and you can’t clean it, it’s time to replace it. Once again, freshen up the walls with a neutral paint color.

New flooring throughout the home is always a good investment. This helps remove odors you may not have noticed, especially if you have pets. Most homebuyers prefer wood flooring or vinyl engineered flooring that has a wood appearance. If you have real hardwood floors, have them refinished.

Next in line is the master suite. This room needs to be relaxing and inviting. A fresh coat of paint in a soft, neutral color, an updated light fixture or ceiling fan, and new flooring will go a long way. Flooring in the master bedroom is a personal preference. Some buyers enjoy carpet, while others want the same flooring throughout the home.

Now is the time to declutter your closet to make it appear as large as possible. While you are at it, declutter the entire home. You may consider investing in a storage unit if you can’t let go of some of your treasures.

You want to make the rooms look larger and not distract buyers with an abundance of personal items. Since you have just repainted the walls, don’t overdo the picture hanging. Also, it is always a good idea to keep enough paint for touching up the walls once you move out.

Moving on to the outside, curb appeal is what will get your buyer’s attention. Remove all clutter from your property and trim the bushes and trees so your house can be seen. Keep the lawn manicured, and if the season allows, give it a pop of color with some pretty flowers or plants. Make sure you do not have any peeling paint and that the front door is in good condition—it may need a fresh coat of paint as well. Talk to your local paint store to get the best advice on prepping that door before painting. It may require a special paint that won’t peel and look worse in time. Make sure the windows, garage doors, soffits, facia, gutters, and downspouts are clean and free of mildew. A little extra effort goes a long way. Now is also a good time to have your roof and HVAC inspected by professionals. It is always a good idea to keep up with annual and semi-annual maintenance of your home. In the long run, it can save you money.

Many times, I am involved with a home long before it is even listed. Sellers rely on my experience to help choose home improvements that buyers want and will pay for, so the home sells quickly, and the seller recoups their investment. When you are ready for your free market analysis and need an experienced real estate agent to help you on your journey, call Preferred Properties. With our 140 years of combined experience, we are ready to go to work for you.