Finally, the real estate market has begun to grow again. It may not have the price increases like during the last bubble, but that’s probably a good thing. Still, after holding onto your house for years, you’re finally ready to put it up for sale.
No matter why you’re selling your Seattle home, you want to get the most you can for it. After all, you still have to move in somewhere new after the closing. That’s why you’ve been thinking about doing some home improvements. It can increase the selling price, but it can also help attract more buyers. But what should you do?
As a rule, putting money into your home will improve its value. However, a rule is not the same thing as a guarantee. In fact, Investopedia lists several home improvements that actually do not help much when selling your home. “Hidden” improvements like new plumbing cannot be seen by buyers, so these can be skipped. You also don’t want any improvements to stand out too much. A modern, stainless-steel refrigerator looks out of place if the rest of the kitchen is outdated and white.
Although a swimming pool or hot tub are very visible and fun, The Balance explains they’re also a big hassle to take care of. And if prospective buyers have young kids, they might worry about safety so much that the pool is a turnoff. While some buyers will like it, you just won’t make the money back with adding either to your home.
Then what kind of renovations should you focus on? HGTV has an excellent list of home improvements that increase the value of your home. For example, updating kitchens and bathrooms are usually a good idea. (Just be careful you don’t make them so expensive that they are out of place in your neighborhood.) You also don’t have to spend a lot with these, as just reglazing an old tub can do wonders.
If you have the room, the Seattle Credit Union recommends you should consider remodeling your basement or adding a deck. Turning an unfinished basement into a real room is an obvious benefit, but even with the rainy Washington weather, an outdoor deck is hard to resist.
Lastly, improve your curb appeal — but not too much. Expensive landscaping looks dramatic but doesn’t offer much return on that investment. Instead, look to installing a new front door and keeping shrubs and trees professionally pruned.
With all these project ideas, you might be wondering how much you can do yourself. DIY projects will save you money, but only if you can do them right the first time. Take an honest look at your skills, and don’t forget to factor in the price of materials and new equipment if you’re doing it yourself.
You should consider hiring a contractor if your home improvement plans involve pipes, wiring, or structural changes. But do budget your cash and the time you’ve planned for the remodel itself. The average price for a major remodeling project in Seattle is $3,246 - $15,563 and they can take anywhere from 6-7 weeks to complete.
Now that you know what improvements to skip or focus on, it’s time to create a plan. Explore your home and write down some ideas, then pick the ones that add value. When your home sells for a higher price, you’ll be glad you did.
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Author, Holly Gray
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