People typically spend money on home improvements for one of two reasons: personal gratification, or to increase home value. Unless you purchase a true “fixer-upper” and are looking for a quick flip, there aren’t too many modifications that will pay greater dividends than what’s invested. That makes the real goal of home improvement before selling increased visibility and appeal. With that in mind, here are a few quick and low-cost improvements that have good return on investment:
Cleaning and general maintenance: One of the easiest, but most important things to do. Luckily, it’s also one of the lowest cost investments. Some people are able to see past smudged windows, dirty carpet, and cracked caulk; others will move right along to the next house.
Painting: A nice coat of paint on the interior and exterior can make a big difference. It’s all about curb appeal on the outside, and non-obtrusive or off-putting colors on the inside.
Hardware: Kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls, bathroom hardware, door handles, light fixtures … if chosen carefully, they can create a flow throughout the home on a relatively small budget.
Landscaping: Another big factor in the curb appeal category. It starts with making sure that the lawn and existing groundcover are neat and in good order. If you want to take it another step, a few well-placed shrubs or borders can create an attractive entrance for a moderately small investment.
Beyond the more overt fixes, you should consider hiring an inspector to examine the rest of the home for any other major considerations. Understandably, a clean bathroom and fresh coat of paint won’t be major considerations if there’s a leaky roof or broken furnace. If everything else is in good standing, make sure to put your best foot forward by focusing on the details.