Best Home Improvements for ROI Prior to Selling Your Home - Part Two


So, you and your agent have discussed it and decided that some home improvements are in order prior to listing your property for sale. Now you're wondering what these improvements are going to cost and what the return will be for you. Let's look at a few of the most common home improvements, what they typically cost and what the average return at resale will be. 
  1. Minor Bathroom Remodel

    Average return at resale: 102%

    Minor bathroom remodels can be easily completed in a weekend. It typically costs around $10,500 to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures. You'll get back an average of $10,700 at resale, a recoup rate of 102%. If you just want to freshen up the look without taking on all of those items, you can re-glaze your tub for a fraction of the cost of replacing it, typically $300-$400. It's easy to recaulk yourself, just use a softener like CAULK-BE-GONE to get rid of the old caulk and let it dry while you take a relaxing soak to reward yourself. Remove dated wall coverings and apply a fresh coat of paint or for damaged walls, spray-on texture provides easy coverage. Replace old shower doors or remove them all together to add the illusion of additional space. 

  2. Landscaping

    Average return at resale: 100%

    According to the American Nursery Landscape Association, the average homeowner spends about $3,502 for landscaping and $1,465 on a designer. If you're unsure where to start, local garden centers often offer free advice or ask your neighbors with that great yard what works for them. Sod costs roughly 30 to 35 cents per square foot, so a 5,000 sq. ft. yard would cost about $1,500 to re-sod. Make sure to budget for a delivery fee if you're ordering less than 1,000 sq ft.

    A splash of color at the front of the house is an eye-catching addition. Using one color with varying heights of plants creates maximum impact. If your doorway is blocked by greenery, break out the shears. Replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants, mixing and matching for dramatic effect. A charming focal point like a walkway and fountain adds major value to your property and rolling a sealant on flagstones for a permanent wet look will easily enhance the color. 

  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel

    Average return at resale: 98.5%

    A minor kitchen remodel averages $14,913 for $14,691 at resale, a recoup rate of 98.5%. Do a minor remodel when your kitchen needs a cosmetic update and not a drastically different floor plan. $15,000 will typically cover 30 feet of re-surfacing for cabinets and drawers, a new wall oven, cooktop, sink and fixtures, laminate countertops and resilient flooring. Recessed lighting is great for the kitchen and should be place 3' to 5' apart on center and 18" from cabinets to light the countertops.if your home is worth more than $500,000, opt for stone or trendy glass countertops.

    For a more economical option, brighten up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cabinets. It's much less expensive than buying new ones and you can esily add decorator detail without the cost by changing drapes and window molding.

  4. Exterior Improvements

    Average return at resale: 95.5% to 103.6%

    Paint, siding and updating the front entry are all important if curb appeal is lacking. The average cost to replace 1,250 sq ft of vinyl siding is $7,239, for $6,914 at resale, a recoup rate of 95.5%. Upscale fiber-cement siding costs $10,393 and returns $10,771 at resale, an even better recoup rate of 103.6%. A gallon of paint covers 400 sq ft and paint color cards take the guesswork out of choosing the right color combinations for doors, trim and siding. If your house was painted before 1978, test for lead before sanding or scraping.

    For an updated look, remove old awnings from windows and doors, swap damaged iron railings for real wood supports and a new front door or garage door always adds to curb appeal and impressive returns. 

  5. Attic Insulation

    Average return at resale: 105%

    Year after year, one remodeling project consistently nets homeowners the biggest return on their investment: adding attic insulation. Houses lose the greatest amount of heat through the roof, making additional attic insulation an investment in energy savings as well as home value. The average cost to insulate an attick with fiberglass insultion runs about $1,300, but the project increases resale value as much as $1,400, which means that you could recoup as much as 105% of the projects costs when it's time to sell.

Bottom Line

The process of taking on home improvements can seem daunting and overwhelming. Knowing where to start and which projects will bring you the most return at resale is tricky. That's why it's always best to consult with a professional Realtor who knows the current market trends, what buyers are currently looking for and how to make the most out of any project you do decide to take on. If you're considering selling your home, click here and let's chat - I'd love to discuss how you can get the most money for your home! 


As a consummate professional, Marc Cowan provides his clients with the highest level of expertise, service and integrity. Marc has a successful track record of negotiating complex transactions and is dedicated to helping each of his clients achieve their unique real estate goals. Contact Marc today to schedule a consultation.

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