As home prices climb, home sellers hope for a hefty profit. But even in a tight housing market with limited inventory, buyers want a home that’s in good condition. Sellers who make home improvements are more likely to get a faster and higher offer than those who sell their home as is.
Improving a property for sale requires a balancing act between a budget and potential profits. As a real estate agent, you can advise your clients as to which improvements would be ideal. You can recommend helpful tools such as OneHome™ Marketplace so your clients get immediate estimates for project costs and access to vetted professional contractors.
Six projects to boost home value
Some upgrades are necessary to capture buyer attention, while others may bring more or better offers. Here are the common upgrades your clients might consider, and the data around the potential value
1. Update the kitchen.
A complete kitchen renovation or upgrade are the top two projects that are likely to increase the value of your home, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group 2019 Remodeling Impact Report. Give your clients access to OneHome so that they can determine whether the remodel is appropriate for the value of the home and the neighborhood.
2. Renovate or add a bathroom.
A bathroom renovation is fifth on the list of top projects according to the Remodeling Impact Report, and an additional bathroom is seventh on the list. According to the 2021 edition of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) What Home Buyers Really Want study, 58% of buyers want 2 or 2.5 bathrooms, so if the property has one bathroom, your client may want to add another.
3. Increase the square footage.
NAHB study found that 21% of buyers want a larger home since the pandemic started, which climbs to 35% among households with a family member telecommuting and one doing virtual school. Finishing a basement is sixth on the list of projects most likely to add value to a home and converting an attic is tenth, according to the Remodeling Impact Report.
4. Prioritize curb appeal with landscaping.
Curb appeal can add 7% to 14% to a home’s value, according to a 2020 study by the University of Alabama and the University of Texas at Arlington. In the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group 2021 Profile of Home Staging, 78% of agents recommend upgrading curb appeal, which is important for photos and videos. More than ever, home buyers start their search online using multimedia marketing from HomeVisit™.
5. Go green.
Research by Freddie Mac found that homes with high energy efficiency ratings sold for an average of 2.7% more than homes without them. Energy-efficient windows, appliances, and lighting are among the most desirable features for buyers, according to NAHB, with 80% to 83% rating them as essential or desirable. NAHB found that 57% of buyers will pay at least $5,000 more than a home’s list price if they can save $1,000 annually on utilities.
6. Declutter for better visuals.
In the Profile of Home Staging, 93% of agents recommended decluttering to their sellers. Not only does decluttering matter when buyers physically tour a property, it’s an essential step before having professional photos and videos taken. Even with HomeVisit’s ability to retouch images, it’s best to start with a clean slate so that buyers can visualize their own personal touches rather than react to your seller’s belongings.
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