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Getting top dollar for your seller: 5 best places to renovate

The places in every home where you should be paying attention if you're hoping to sell

With the prime spring selling season gearing up, your clients may be wondering which parts of their home can give them the best return on investment if they choose to renovate.

Here are the five key renovation strategies that are time-tested, require minimal effort and provide options for every budget. They are designed to get sellers the best bang for their buck and top dollar for your listing.

1. Flooring

Every single person in a household will touch the floor every day in varying degrees, whether it’s the bedroom, living room or kitchen. It comes as no surprise that upgrading the flooring is a key feature that will go a long way to capture a buyer’s attention.

Here are some key tips:

  • Remove outdated carpets (or at the very least, if that is not possible, ensure the carpets are professionally steam cleaned, looking fresh with no stains, rips or tears).
  • Replace old carpets with either laminate flooring, hardwood flooring or ceramic tiles.
  • It’s been proven buyers view non-carpeted flooring more positively, as it’s easier to clean and helps with family members who have allergies.

2. Fixtures and hardware

These may seem small on the surface, but can make quite a difference. Fixtures and hardware include items such as door knobs, handles on doors and closets, entrances and exits, cabinet hardware, bathroom and lighting fixtures, etc.

They are easy to replace, fairly inexpensive, come in many color and design options, and provide great options for anyone on a budget. The best part is that the seller gets a great return on investment for not a lot of money. These are simple and cheap, but definitely a worthwhile improvement to any home.

On the other hand, if fixtures and hardware have not been replaced, it can really date a property and make it appear as if it has not been maintained.

Just remember, everyone has to either touch a door or walk through it!

3. Bathrooms

Without a doubt, any money you spend on upgrading a bathroom will be worth the effort, as it’s considered the second-most-important room in the house.

Key upgrades include:

  • New tile and grout (floors and shower)
  • New faucet and hardware
  • New coat of paint on walls or cabinets
  • Upgrading or replacing cabinets (this can including swiping out new hardware and sanding down old cabinets and repainting them or replacing them completely)

4. Kitchen

This is the most valuable room in the house — if homeowners only have one place where they can opt to do renovations, the kitchen is a sure-fire bet to pay off.

You don’t need to spend a fortune in order to make it look spectacular.

Here are some simple add-ons or improvements:

  • Add in a new deluxe faucet
  • Change out cabinet door hardware with new handles or knobs
  • Upgrade or purchase new appliances (fridge, range and hood, dishwasher, etc.) with a clean look that complements each piece, giving the kitchen a cohesive design
  • Add new lighting
  • Create a backsplash to help jazz up appearance and functionality
  • Rebuild standard cabinetry at half the price (as opposed to custom cabinets or using expensive materials)

5. Add an income-suite

Depending on the city or municipality, if the neighborhood allows for income suites, sellers could potentially add 150 percent to 160 percent of equity into their home by putting in an extra suite.

This allows an owner to also potentially receive additional income through a tenant that can help pay off the mortgage or as an additional investment. Depending on the specific market or city, demand for double unit homes can rise by more than 25 percent.

Research the market area of the home — if the town or city is growing, it means more people will move into that city. Also, check if the government and other institutions are planning on investing into that market; for example, are they planning to build hospitals, schools, universities, new transit system, etc.? This may signal that as the community grows, there will be a greater demand for housing, tenant opportunities and increased equity for homes who can support the upsurge.

For more information, please contact the nationwide experts at Pillar To Post Home Inspectors — www.pillartopost.com/hereforyou.

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