One of the great things about being a homeowner is the ability to configure your home the way you want. If you plan on living in a home for a while, you can remodel to the very last one of your specific tastes. Change the wall colors, put in the floors and fixtures that will make you happy.
But if you’re looking to sell your home and realize it needs some work, the resulting remodeling project can be something else entirely. Now, you’re not renovating or remodeling to make yourself happier living there. Instead, you’re putting money into your home so that someone else is more willing to spend money to buy your home.
And that will drive your choices. With that in mind, here are three tips for home sellers who are looking to remodel or renovate with the distinct intention of selling their home.
The money is where the water is
If you’re remodeling or renovating specifically to sell a home, you’re likely going to want to do projects that result in the most bang for your buck. And there’s no question that the projects that provide the largest return on investment are kitchens and bathrooms.
Kitchens and baths, as estimated by the National Association of Home Builders, are the two areas in your home that will return the most return on your remodeling investment. If your home needs remodeling before you sell it, a good rule of thumb might be to focus on the spaces that include sinks: the kitchen and baths.
Those are the rooms that sell homes. So, if you’re considering sinking money into a home you’re going to sell, that’s where the money should probably go. Updating flooring, countertops, light fixtures and appliances in kitchens and bathrooms is statistically proven to benefit a seller more than updating other features in a home.
Focus on what buyers want
When you remodel a home you intend to live in for a while, you’re likely to focus on things YOU want. But if you’re remodeling in order to sell, it’s probably a good idea to focus on things that potential buyers will want.
Right now, that includes higher-end fixtures and living space. That means replacing laminate countertops with natural materials. It means durable, attractive hard-surface flooring rather than carpet. It means finishing a basement that adds usable square footage to a home.
You can easily go online and search for what today’s prospective homebuyers are looking for in a home. Take that information, and plan your remodeling accordingly. If you’re simply looking to sell, what buyers want is more important that what you might want in the home.
Save where you can
You might hate the backsplash in your kitchen. If you were remodeling that kitchen because you intend to stay in the home for years, you might pick a fancy marble or expensive subway tile that suits your tastes.
But if you’re remodeling to sell the home, go for the $3-per-square-foot backsplash rather than the $25-per-square-foot option. If you’re going to put in new flooring simply to turn on buyers, pick a $2-per-square-foot luxury vinyl tile rather than the $5-a-square-foot one you’d prefer. Choose Level 1 granite if you’re replacing countertops. Do any needed painting yourself.
To put it bluntly, when you remodel a home to sell, your tastes don’t matter. You’re not going to look at the stuff every day; someone else is. Every remodeling dollar you save by opting for the cheaper solution is an additional return on your investment.
So many people remodel their homes to their own tastes, even though they intend to sell the home to someone else. Often, thousands of dollars are unnecessarily spent with this approach. If you can focus on the spaces of your home that garner the best return on investment, focus on what modern-day buyers truly want and save money wherever you can, it’s possible to do a remodel on a home for sale that makes the most financial sense for the seller.