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.
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.