Many sellers are looking to answer: What are the best home improvements to increase my home’s value before I sell it?
We’ll answer that question in detail and hopefully bring you new insight so you can find clarity in what you should spend your money and time on.
Receiving a high price in a short amount of time is the goal of any seller. You want to know and feel like all your work was worth it in the end. However, problems start to arise when you strategize the best way to add value to your home before you sell it.
Should you update the kitchen, landscape the backyard, or add that deck you’ve always wanted? What are practical things to update or add that make sense?
At Dani Beyer Real Estate, we’ve worked with hundreds of sellers who wanted to maximize their return on their homes. We do it by following some simple yet useful tips and strategies. We’ve sold homes across price points in Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding areas. From beautiful country-side mansions to small cozy homes – we’ve sold them all.
What home improvements matter to homebuyers?
Some real estate agents and blogs will tell you to focus on completely renovating significant areas like the kitchen or bathroom. While these items can significantly improve the home’s value, they can set you back upwards of $20K to $50K.
On the other end, some agents recommend doing a complete home inspection to assure the inside the walls are in perfect working order – electrical is up to code, plumbing is safe and working, and more. While home inspections are cheap, they can lead to expensive repairs and updates, depending on your home condition.
With so much information floating around for the best home improvement tips, it’s important to distinguish between creditable sources and regurgitated information. While significant repairs are needed, we often find only minor changes are necessary for the most significant impact.
So, what home improvements are most important to homebuyers?
The copout way to answer this question is to say it depends on your home’s condition and location. If you want an idea of your home’s current market value, click here to request your 100% free home evaluation.
The more detailed answer we can provide is this: homebuyers prefer open-concept layouts.
The overwhelming majority of our buyers tend to require an open floor layout with enough free space to have friends and family over.
It might not be a shocker to you if you watch HGTV, but it’s surprising how many miss this. Kitchens and bathrooms are still up there on the priority level for updates; however, sometimes all that’s needed is to remove a non-load-bearing wall or two to open up space.
Look around in your property, what current walls might you be able to remove to make the space more open? Typically, there are opportunities to remove a kitchen wall that leads to the living room, or maybe you have a wall that makes your entryway tight when guests enter.
With our 16+ years of real estate experience, the one home improvement tip we’d recommend to increase your home’s value would be to focus first on transforming your space into an open-concept layout. After that is addressed, then updating the kitchen and bathrooms take priority.
Which home improvement projects provide the best return on investment?
Not all houses are made equal. Sometimes you won’t be able to provide an open-floor concept.
So what can you do now?
You can always request your 100% free home evaluation to determine what projects your home might need based on your location. With our experience and some help from online sources, we’ve compiled a brief breakdown of the three most profitable home improvement projects that have the most bang for the buck.
The 3 Most Profitable Home Improvements Projects
A 2020 home renovation study (by remodeling.com) compared the average costs for 22 remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 101 U.S. markets.
You can view the full report from remodeling.com here, but we’ve listed the top three results for you in a table.
|Project||Avg. Job Cost||Avg. Resale Value||Avg. Cost Recouped|
|Siding Replacement (Stone Veneer)||$9,357||$8,943||95.6%|
|Garage Door Replacement||$3,695||$3,491||94.5%|
|Minor Kitchen Remodel||$23,452||$18,206||77.6%|
It’s important to note that the data above should be taken as general stats. There are so many other factors that play into what you should and should renovate (location, the neighborhood, etc). We advise you to seek a professional real estate agent if you have any questions.
1. Siding Replacement (Stone Veneer)
One of the best home improvement projects you can do to increase value is to replace your current siding with stone veneer. While this project is not an option for everyone, the data shows us it’s something to consider.
Stone veneer siding consists of thinly cut pieces of stone that are applied to the side of a home. The stones themselves come in a variety of colors and shapes. It’s essentially tile-like rock designs.
And according to Remodeling.com, the average job cost to put up stone veneer siding is $9,357. Yet what you’ll recoup almost 96% of that initial cost. Not a bad investment if it will help you sell quicker.
For example: if you are listing a property for $300,000 and spent $9,357 on new stone veneer siding, you could now list it for $308,943 with that new renovation. Not bad! Of course, there can be some downsides to installing stone veneer siding, so make sure you make an informed decision based on your budget and neighborhood.
Stone Veneer Sidings Jobs (Before & After)
A yellow vinyl house transformed into a more stately and modern house.
Image source: AllThingsStone.com
A plane grey home gets a new facelift with minor stone veneer additions.
Sometimes the most straightforward changes make a big difference. This house added a stone veneer accent wall.
Image source: BrickMaster.com
If you’re considering adding stone veneer to your property, some popular stone veneer designs and colors are:
- Western Ledge Stak
- Rench Chateau
- River Rock
- Weathered Edge
- Fast Stak
- Bluff Stone
2. Garage Door Replacement
When we think of home improvement projects, we most likely don’t automatically think about replacing the garage door. But the data shows this is a very possible option if you have a few thousand dollars to spend and want a high return.
Depending on what style or color of garage door works best for your home and neighborhood, a $2,200-$3,500 investment could get you a 94% return.
Steel garage doors are among some of the most popular options when choosing a new door.
Steel Garage Door
Fiberglass Garage Door
If a replacement is out of the question, some more affordable options would be to paint or even add a garage door skin to your current garage door.
Painting your garage door is the cheapest option. You’ll be surprised what a fresh coat of white, black, or neutral-colored paint can do.
Garage door skins are an interesting new concept that might be worth the investigation. Depending on your current door’s makeup, (steal, vinyl, etc.) a garage door skin would cover up your existing door with new panels that are more modern and sleek.
3. Minor Kitchen Remodels
Kitchen renovation projects are more common but also tend to be more expensive. However, don’t let any significant dollar amounts scare you into believing you can’t tackle a kitchen project worth the investment.
From the study, they explain “minor” kitchen renovations average $23,452 in cost. While we wouldn’t call these minor updates, we know they’re taking an average across the United States, so the number seems more reasonable when you add in West Coast states.
Still, let’s look at the average return on what you spend. 77.6% is a decent return, even if you had a higher kitchen renovation budget. But if you’re budget is limited to only a couple thousand or less, the great news is there are still so many affordable projects you can tackle that, we would argue, could even help you hit that 70%+ cost recouped percentage.
Higher-Budget Kitchen Remodels:
For those with a higher kitchen remodeling budget of $10k-$25k, remodeling.com recommends leaving your current kitchen layout as is but updating the following:
- Replace cabinet fronts with new shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts
- Update cabinet hardware
- Replace cooktop/oven range
- Replace slide-in refrigerator with new energy-efficient models
- Replace laminate countertops
- Install midpriced sink
- Install new faucet
- Add new resilient flooring
- Finish with painted walls, trim, and ceiling
Data shows these nine items can provide you with a 70%+ return on your investment. If you’re not able to hit all nine, we recommend prioritizing numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9.
Even then, though, it can be challenging to take a project on like this, so we’ve outlined three budget-friendly kitchens remodel options for you.
Lower-Budget Kitchen Remodels:
If you’re on a tighter budget or need to get a kitchen to remodel out of the way quickly, here’s a list of three low-cost kitchen remodeling projects you can take advantage of.
1. Keep the Footprint, Change the Outer Shell
More times than not, sellers shouldn’t gut their kitchen. Instead, they can use their existing footprint and layout while updating minor items that are the most visible.
One great example is kitchen cabinets and hardware. You’ll be amazed by some new paint, new kitchen doors, and handles will do. The best part is you most likely will still be able to keep your current appliances. You’ll even notice the potential for adding open shelving to your kitchen, which helps open up and modernize it even more.
Image source: RefreshLiving.com
2. Focus on Organization
Kitchens that appeal to us are often kitchens that are well organized. They have clean lines, pops of color, and incorporate objects that make us feel at home.
When thinking about organization, consider adding glass jars, spatula holders, spice bins, or cookbooks. Throw in a white or colored kitchen towel on the countertop or hang your utensils, knives, or pots on the island or sidewall.
Consider also including small potted plants or any type of simple greenery (but don’t go overboard). These can brighten up your room and help it feel fresh and new.
3. Add More Light
Adding light can easily be one of the best budget-friendly options when updating your kitchen.
Under the counter-top, LED lights are a simple addition that can make your space pop. While some products ask that you install wired lighting, sometimes you can get away with battery-powered products.
Another option is to add track lighting. For around $100-$400, you can add some beautiful and visually appealing lighting accents to your kitchen that will be sure to add perceived value.
Image source: Avantela Home
Looking to Buy or Sell a Home in Kansas City, Missouri?
Selling your home can be stressful and challenging if you don’t have the right trusted real estate agent guiding you through the process.
From start to finish, we are here to help you sell your homes for top dollar in the shortest amount of time possible.
Here’s what some of our clients have to say:
“We had 21 people view our house, received seven offers, and sold for 12k over asking in one day. The process was smooth, every interaction was professional and informative, and we couldn’t be happier with the process. Highly recommend the Dani Beyer team!”
“Dani handled every detail of the sale of my house excellently. As a result, it sold in 2 days. She sold the house for more than she promised. Under-promise over-deliver. Her strong and experienced staff took care of it all. I was pleased with their performance.”
“Dani and her team are true professionals! Our agent Sarah was so easy to work with and helped make our transition from out of state very smooth. They took care of everything and even did our closing for us as we were still on the road with our Uhaul. My wife and I couldn’t be happier with our experience working with the entire Dani Beyer team! Thanks again!”
If you’re considering selling your home or moving quickly, we’d love to serve you.