20 Feb Home Repairs That Bring You The Biggest Return
Performing quick fixes before selling a home can definitely pay off, but which home repairs bring the biggest return? This can depend on a variety of factors such as:
- Time of year
- Location of the home
- Market temperature
- Competing inventory
There is no hard and fast rule, but there are some general guidelines that apply to most homes. For example, each year the National Association of Realtors publishes the Cost vs. Value Report with Remodeling Magazine, which features various home project costs and returns in four regions, including a national average.
- Hardwood Floors
If your home has hardwood floors, that’s what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.
If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.
Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don’t install ceramic (it’s too expensive) unless it’s for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.
Paint Ceilings & Walls
Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don’t want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it’s the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan.
It’s not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper – because it’s your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.
- Wood paneling
Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, has gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.
- Textured ceilings
Older popcorn ceilings with the “sparkles” often contain asbestos and if disturbed are health hazards. Say goodbye to it. But even recently sprayed ceilings turn off buyers. It’s not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Lay down drop cloths and scrape it off. You will need to repaint.
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don’t have to replace them, you’ll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren’t replaced.
Kitchen remodels return nearly 100%. According to Remodeling Magazine, the high-end kitchens don’t return as much as the mid-range or minor kitchen remodels. Most buyers won’t pay extra for a built-in Sub Zero refrigerator, professional 8-burner stove, undermount sink or travertine floors.
Resurfacing is your least expensive option. This involves attaching a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets and replacing the doors and hardware. If your cabinets are painted, add a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.
- Counter tops, sinks & faucets
Granite counters are not always necessary, but ask your agent. Simple laminates, newer faucets and sparkling sinks will also sell. Buyers don’t want to spot leaky faucets or stained sinks.
The national average of recouped cost is more than 100% for bathrooms. New floors, fixtures and lights payoff.
Roofs & Exterior
If your home needs a new roof, bite the bullet and do it. Even though most roofing tear-off jobs take one to two days, buyers shy away from buying a home if the roof needs to be replaced.
- Patch cement cracks in sidewalks
- Resurface asphalt driveways
- Plant flowers
- Caulk windows and doors
- Replace doorknobs and locks
- Fix or paint fences
Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance, newer appliances, updated plumbing, electrical and heating (including a/c), modern conveniences and is ready to occupy.