The 10 Must Have Features That Will Help Sell Your Home

25 May
Family buying a new home

Homeowners take on new upgrades and renovations to help improve the resale value of their home which increases offers once the home has been listed on the real estate market.

Summer time is one of the best times to sell your home. If you are considering putting your home on the market you may be reluctant to finally tackle a few home upgrades. While this reluctance certainly makes sense, you won’t be living in the home for much longer, it can end up being a costly mistake.

Buyers are looking for certain features and upgrades these days and if your home doesn’t have them it could mean the difference between your house sitting on the market for months with no offers and multiple offers within the first few days of listing it.

Here is a quick list of some of the must-have features that buyers are looking for:

Laundry Room: This is a big one, according to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), a separate laundry room is the number one feature wanted by buyers of all ages. A completely separate area where laundry can be washed, sorted and folded keeps the mess out of living areas and is highly desired by potential buyers.

Adding a laundry room can cost as little as $1,000 or range up to $5,000 or more depending on where you need to locate it and how extravagant you want to get.

Exterior Lighting: When it comes to exterior features, NAHB surveys show that exterior lighting is the number one feature homebuyers are looking for in a new home. There are a variety of options when it comes to lighting but spotlights, walkway lights and pendant lights are always popular.

In addition to lighting up your lawn, exterior lighting is an excellent safety feature you can highlight in your real estate listing. Costs will vary depending on whether you are replacing existing lighting with new lights or if an electrician is required. Expect to spend between $500 and $2,000.

Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient windows and appliances are a major selling point with homebuyers these days. While upgrading your appliances is fairly affordable, replacing your windows with energy-efficient units can be pricey.

According to statistics, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can lower your heating and cooling costs by an impressive 12%.

Expect to spend a few thousand dollars on appliances but replacing windows can easily running up to $10,000 or more depending on the number of windows that need to be replace.

Patio or Deck: When getting your house ready to sell make sure that the backyard or outdoor area looks good and is functional. A patio or deck or other outdoor living area is highly desired by many of today’s homebuyers.

If you already have a patio or deck a quick cleanup may be all that’s needed. Adding some new patio furniture is a nice touch and if the deck is made of wood and is faded, consider having it stained or painted before putting your home on the market.

Patios and decks can be pricey depending on the size and materials used. If you need to and add an outdoor living area to your home expect to spend a few thousand dollars for a small to medium sized deck or patio. The larger the deck the more expensive it will cost.

Hardwood Floors: Hardwood floors are easier to maintain and clean while also offering a cleaner look to the home. In addition, hardwood floors can last for decades while carpet needs to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

If you already have hardwood floors in your home but they are looking a little worse for the wear consider having them refinished before putting your home on the market. This is a fairly affordable option and can dramatically improve their look.

If you have carpet in your home and want to replace it, expect to spend at least $2,000 and possibly much more depending on the amount of flooring you need.

Storage in the Garage: While this feature is not a deal breaker for most homebuyers, it can make your home stand out. Families love the extra storage space that a properly outfitted garage offers. It is fairly easy and inexpensive to add storage solutions to your garage and most of the work can be done on a do-it-yourself basis.

Regardless of whether or not your garage offers plenty of storage you should clean out the clutter and make sure it looks presentable to potential homebuyers.

Eat-In Kitchen: A kitchen that has an eat-in area is especially important for families with children. Families use these areas for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they often become a focal point of the home.

If you don’t currently have a kitchen with an eat-in area adding one can be fairly inexpensive, or fairly pricey depending on how much remodeling needs to be done. If possible create an eat-in area by simply clearing a space in your kitchen and adding a small table with chairs.

If a remodel is required be sure to use licensed contractor and verify that all work is permitted and inspected.

Vegetable Garden: While definitely not an absolute must have, it can make your home stand out. Younger homebuyers are especially interested in having a garden where they can grow their own vegetables. If you already have a dedicated garden clean it up and make sure your plants look healthy.

If you don’t have a garden consider adding one, this is a fairly inexpensive way to make your home stand out.

Finished Basement: This is a tough one because it is a major draw for homebuyers but is probably too expensive and time-consuming to do before putting your home on the market. If you have a finished basement, clean it up, clear out the clutter and make it is as attractive and useful as possible.

If your basement is currently unfinished it probably does not make financial sense to finish it before putting your home on the market, as there is little chance you’ll recoup the cost or the time you spend. However, an unfinished basement should be cleaned out and clutter free. Considering getting an estimate to have it finished, which you can pass on to potential buyers.

Home Offices: According to the NAHB, a separate home office is extremely popular with most potential homebuyers. Adding a home office does not have to be expensive, you can convert a guestroom, add it in a finished basement or even use a larger closet as a home office.

Now that you are aware of what homebuyers are looking for, start converting your home and then sit back and start fielding offers.

Helpful Article: Seven Most Dangerous DIY Home Renovations

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