If you plan to remodel or update before selling your home, you have to find the balance between what’s appropriate and what qualifies as over-improvement. If you’re in a mid-range neighborhood and install granite countertops, you’re unlikely to recoup your costs. But if you’re in a higher-end community, laminate may be too little, too late, resulting in a lower sales price.
So what will always work? Painting, inside or out, is one of the most affordable ways to increase your resale value. If you’ve got wood floors underneath carpeting, show them off. Old light fixtures in the kitchen, bath and hallways should be updated to popular styles with stainless steel or brushed nickel finishes. And be sure to make a good first impression outdoors with a maintained yard and perhaps a new mailbox, doorknobs and house numbers.
Before you plan your updates, visit some open houses or new home communities where you can see the latest styles, and update your home’s features accordingly. Just remember to keep your improvements clean, neutral and timeless.
Try not to be the last one on your block to remodel or update, because buyers will pass your listing over for one up the road that’s already been updated. Improve your chances for a quicker sale at a higher price by discussing with your agent which improvements provide the greatest return.