Your real estate professional is advising you to declutter, stage your home, plant new flowers, and make repairs and updates. You may be reluctant because of the costs, but according to HomeGain, your real estate agent is giving you sound investment advice that can actually make you more money when you sell your home.
Through its Home Sale Maximizer feature, HomeGain, an agent referral website, identified the top 10 home improvements under $1,500 that add the most to home sellers' bottom line, as recommended by real estate professionals across the nation.
The top 10 home improvements are listed by the greatest return on investment (ROI):
1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI)
2. Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI)
3. Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI)
4. Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI)
5. Repairing electrical or plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI)
6. Kitchen and bathroom ($1,265 cost/$3,435 price increase/172% ROI)
7. Replace or shampoo carpets ($647 cost/$1,730 price increase/169% ROI
8. Paint interior ($1,012 cost/$2,112 price increase/109% ROI)
9. Repair floors ($931 cost/$1,924 price increase/107% ROI)
10. Paint exterior ($1,467 cost/$2,222 price increase/51% ROI)
What's interesting is how consistently listing agents recommended the same home improvements. Nearly 100% of listing agents recommend cleaning and de-cluttering, while 97% recommended lightening and brightening and 80% recommended staging. These top three categories cost just a little over $1,000, yet netted sellers as much as $5,734 at closing.
As defined by HomeGain, the top three money-makers for sellers are:
Cleaning and decluttering: Remove personal items; wash and clean all areas inside and outside of house; freshen air; remove clutter from furniture, counters and all areas of the home; organize closets; polish woodwork and mirrors, etc.
Home staging: Add fresh flowers; remove personal items; reduce clutter; rearrange furniture; add new props or furniture to enhance rooms; play soft music; hang artwork on walls, and more.
Lightening and brightening: Open windows; clean windows and skylights inside and outside; replace old curtains; remove other obstacles from windows that block out light; repair lighting fixtures; make sure windows open easily, among other suggestions.
It takes money to make money, and that's never been truer than when you're selling your home.