Sellers: How to Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Many homesellers want to get the most for their money at the closing table.

Whether you’re looking to sell right away or in a few years, several sound renovation
investments are worth the money, according to HGTV real estate expert Heather Unger,
a Sales Associate with RE/MAX Central Realty in Lake Mary, Fla.

Here are her renovation suggestions:

  • Rev up curb appeal – A green lawn and fresh exterior paint are sure ways to
    attract potential buyers. Plant colorful flowers or hang flower boxes from
    windows, repair cracked walkways and choose a neutral, pleasing exterior
    color to maximize your home’s appeal.
  • Upgrade the kitchen – This is where you’ll get the best return on your investment.
    Buyers want granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, modern cabinets and
    hardware and updated light fixtures. Think IKEA kitchen: modern and functional.
    For the average kitchen in a 2,000-square-foot home, you’ll spend $8,000 or more
    for basic upgrades.
  • Redo the bathrooms – After kitchens, bathrooms are the next places to get the
    best bang for your buck. Granite countertops, modern faucets and light fixtures
    and tile floors are popular with buyers. The more you can do yourself, the more
    money you’ll save. Expect to spend about $3,000 or more. You can save even
    more by buying store floor models for sinks and vanities, or going to granite bone
    yards for materials.
  • Add space – If you have the money, consider adding square footage to your home
    by finishing your basement, expanding the master closet or knocking down some
    walls to create a more open floor plan.

Low-budget options
Don’t have time or a ton of money for major renovations? Don’t worry, says Laura Smith,
a Sales Associate with RE/MAX First in Baton Rouge, La. A clean, clutter-free home goes a
long way for many buyers, says Smith, who has appeared on HGTV’s “Bang for Your Buck.”

Here are Smith’s tips:

  • Make your home smell incredible. Get your air-conditioning unit professionally
    serviced and cleaned. Most companies charge under $150, and it goes a long way in
    removing household odors and allergens. Also, use plug-in fresheners and fabric
    deodorizing sprays.
  • Steam-clean the carpets – Instead of replacing carpets, call a professional to
    have them steam-cleaned and watch the transformation. You will be delighted
    to see that steam-cleaning the carpets (price depends on carpet area) is money
  • Remove clutter – Check your closets and donate old clothes, shoes or other
    items that you haven’t used in the past year. Buyers want to see storage space;
    this goes for the other closets in your home, as well as garages, if you’re having
    showings, remove all personal photos and clear off all appliances and knickknacks
    from countertops and display shelving.
  • Create an outdoor living space – Adding a sense of comfort to your patio,
    deck or backyard adds value to your home. Stage your patio or deck with a
    table and chairs, as well as an outdoor rug, lively plants, some colorful flowers
    or a small fountain. Get rid of unsightly weeds and keep the lawn mowed and

The advice offered here comes from sales associates affiliated with independently owned
and operated RE/MAX real estate offices and may not be applicable to all areas. Contact
an independent RE/MAX agent near you for expertise tailored to your locale.

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