Spring is almost here, and that means prime real estate season is right around the corner. Studies show that springtime, and particularly the first half of May, is the best time to sell your home.
While this means you’re in a better position to get a great offer, you’ll also have to do some extra work to make sure your home stands out from the crowd. Strategically planning a few home upgrades may be the perfect option, and now is the time to get them done.
Before you start, however, it’s important to understand that all upgrades are not created equal. Choose the wrong project, and you’ll do little more than waste your time and money. Pick the right ones, and you’re likely to fast track your home selling timeline.
Here are five projects that will give you a good return on your investment and help make your home more appealing to buyers.
1. A Fresh Coat of Paint
A coat of paint can go a long way towards giving your home a fresh, new look. Just make sure you take the time to do it right or call in a professional. A sloppy paint job could end up doing more harm than good.
When it comes time to paint, neutral colors are your best bet. For example, what has become known as “greige”, a combination of beige and light gray, is all the rage lately. Combinations of light blue and light grey work well in kitchens (avoid white, it picks up cooking and cleaning stains easily), and the same goes for bathrooms.
It also doesn’t have to stop there. Consider painting your front door, your porch, or even your flooring.
If your exterior paint has seen better days, you may also want to hire a professional team to repaint it. In almost all cases, this is too big of a project to DIY. When you hire a team, you can also have the confidence of knowing that they will complete the project in just a few days.
2. Updated Landscaping
You’ve certainly heard that curb appeal is important, which is one of the reasons why updating your landscaping is a great investment. Start by freshening up your mulch, adding some colorful flowers, and maybe planting some new shrubs or trees.
Just be careful not to make the landscaping too complicated. This could turn some homebuyers off as they start to think about the cost and effort involved in upkeep. Nice looking, low-maintenance plants are always your best bet.
If you have extra money to spend, landscape lighting is another excellent investment. This will give your home an elegant look and improve safety. This project can range from simply adding some solar lighting along pathways to installing wired lighting throughout your entire landscaping plan.
3. Simple Smart Home Upgrades
Smart home technology is extremely popular among home buyers. However, you don’t want to spend too much money upgrading a home that you’re getting ready to sell.
One of the best investments is a smart thermostat. It won’t cost you too much, is easy to install, and will save the home buyer money on their energy bills.
Smart lightbulbs and video doorbells are also inexpensive investments that will appeal to almost all buyers.
4. Bathroom Updates
Bathroom updates also give sellers a positive return on investment if they’re done right. You don’t have to remodel your entire bathroom to make it more appealing.
Consider replacing the countertops and fixtures if they’re outdated. Just be careful not to choose anything that’s too trendy, as this can be a turnoff for buyers.
Depending on the condition of your bathrooms, you may also want to paint the tub, add new layers of caulk, deep clean the grout and clean or install vent fans if you don’t already have them.
5. Kitchen Updates
Kitchen remodels are expensive but are often worth it. If you don’t want to invest the time and money in a full remodel, there are still some small updates that can make a big difference.
Some options include replacing countertops, installing new appliances, painting or replacing cabinets, or even just swapping out your cabinet hardware for something more modern. You can also give the kitchen a whole new look and feel by adding a backsplash, replacing the flooring, or updating the lighting.
Bonus: 10 Home Upgrades to Avoid
You might have had some other ideas in mind. Before you commit, make sure you’re not considering one of the home “upgrades” that can devalue your property. Also, beware of upgrades that are so expensive that you’re unlikely to ever recoup your investment.
Here are a few home upgrades that are almost always a bad idea:
Expensive surveillance systems
Zoned HVAC system
Wall-to-wall carpeting (unless you are replacing dated or worn carpet)
Shed or pergola
If you’re not sure whether the upgrade you’re considering is a good idea, talk to a local real estate agent before you get started. This will help ensure that you’re investing your time and money wisely.
Get Ready to Sell Your Home Today
Getting ready to sell your home can seem complex, but it doesn’t have to be! With an expert by your side, you can feel confident that everything will go smoothly.