How to increase home value before selling?

Many buyers look to boost the price they can ask for their homes by making improvements before staging time. General repairs to worn, weathered, or broken features are a must, so take inventory of your property to determine your fix-it priorities. If your architecture or interior design is dated or just plain ordinary, however, you might want to upgrade. Remember that today’s buyers will compare your home’s entryway, kitchen, and energy efficiency with other properties on the market. If yours doesn’t stand out, invest where your money will make the biggest splash.

While home remodeling preferences come and go, some long-term trends have remained strong and should continue to do so into the future. Remodeling magazine keeps track of popular trends across the country. Each year, they publish a list that has the greatest effect on the price of homes for sale. Although inflation will determine the actual dollar amounts involved in the years to come, those that recover the most from their investments now will probably do so until the whims of buyers change for good.

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What are buyers looking for now? Anything that increases energy conservation, curb appeal (or how your home looks to viewers from the street), and comfortable living spaces indoors and outdoors gets a second look from buyers. Choosing remodeling projects based on these criteria will serve sellers well for a long time.

Consider this: energy costs will only continue to climb. An eye-catching front entrance and landscaping will always make a terrific first impression. And unique features and creature comforts are something that will always set one home apart from the crowd.

What increases home value? Here are the best ways

Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report offers a wealth of remodeling upgrades known to consistently pay off when homes are sold. The top eight projects from the list recovered between 70% and 108% of the money invested, in 2017 dollar value. Take a look at these eight remodels that offer huge returns on their investments at the time of home sale:

Insulate attics with fiberglass.

Houses constructed prior to the explosion in energy costs may not be adequately sealed or have enough insulation to keep heat in and cold out, or vice versa. Get a professional to evaluate and insulate your old attic using the current R-30 gold standard. Remodel cost: $1,343. Average return: 108%.

Replace your front entrance with a new steel door.

Save on energy, increase home and personal security, and improve the view of your house from the street by simply replacing your front door with a steel model. Remodel cost: $1,413. Average return: 91%.

Add stone veneer to existing home siding.

Lend a dramatic presence to a portion of your house. Adding manufactured stone veneer panels or trim will enhance your current vinyl siding. All it takes is a small upgrade to give your facade the decorative look crafted by European stone masons, for a slice of the price. Remodel cost: $7,851. Average return: 89%.

Refurbish key parts of your kitchen.

It's hard to disguise the heavy use and abuse that most kitchens take over the years. Installing new cabinets, countertops, drawer faces, fridge, and stove with sleek new designs will work wonders to refresh your kitchen and casual dining area. Remodel cost: $20,830. Average return: 80%.

Install a new garage door and tracks.

A weathered, dated garage door decreases your home’s curb appeal. If your electric garage door opener still works well, you can replace just the door and steel rails for a new look and quieter operation. Remodel cost: $1,749. Average return: 77%.

Replace old windows with energy-efficient models.

Older thermopane windows may degrade visually or functionally from nicks, scratches, and condensation. Replace them with 10 new insulated windows for an instant makeover. Remodel cost: $15,282. Average return: 74%.

Install an outdoor deck.

Your existing back porch and staircase can give way to a brand-new wooden deck that buyers will fight over. Contractors offer basic square decks with optional bench and planter extensions for an overall wow factor. Remodel cost: $10,707. Average return: 72%.

Transform the front entrance.

Enlarging your front door area lets you add windows to the sides and top of the door, which you can show off with dramatic lighting. This first-look project gives buyers a first impression that is truly impressive! Remodel cost: $8,358. Average return: 70%.

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