Improvements That Get Your House Sold

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If your house has been sitting on the market since spring, you may be asking yourself what you can do to 'get it sold.'
As any fan of a certain HGTV show will tell you, you can do one of two things or some combination of the two.
1) See what other homes in your area are selling for, then cut your price to make it competitive.
2) Make

If your house has been sitting on the market since spring, you may be asking yourself what you can do to 'get it sold.'

As any fan of a certain HGTV show will tell you, you can do one of two things or some combination of the two.

1) See what other homes in your area are selling for, then cut your price to make it competitive.

2) Make reasonably priced improvements to help your home look it's best.

There are plenty of home improvement projects that you could spend $10,0000 or $20,000 on, but it's unlikely you'll get more than 50 percent of that back on your resale price in this market. It may be better to offer a seller's credit for that amount, rather than trying to do the work yourself.

High ROI Projects For Under $30K
Project | Return on Investment
1. Deck Addition (wood), 81.8%
2. Siding Replacement (vinyl), 80.7%
3. Minor Kitchen Remodel, 79.5%
4. Window Replacement (wood), 77.7%
5. Window Replacement (vinyl), 77.2%
6. Bathroom Remodel, 74.6%
7. Deck Addition (composite), 73.7%
8. Roofing Replacement, 65.5%
9. Backup Power Generator, 57.2%
10. Home Office Remodel, 54.6%
Source: Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs Value Report

David Lupberger of ServiceMagic.com and a former contractor says to imagine the experience you'd want a potential buyer to have as they walk up to your home for the first time. Are the bushes covering half the house? Is the yard full of weeds? When the buyer first enters the house, does the paint and carpets look fresh and clean?"

"You want to try to create that 'wow' experience for the buyer," says Lupberger. "They should feel like they don't have to do anything with the house, except maybe change the wall colors."

At the same time, you have to know your competition. Lupberger says that granite countertops are increasingly expected for higher priced to mid-range homes, and ServiceMagic, which matches home owners up with pre-screened contractors, has seen a lot of those kinds of requests this year.

Deck additions ranked highly in the report cited above, and Lupberger agreed that outdoor space is desirable for buyers."

"Am I going to put a 30 by 20 deck on the back of my house just to sell it? Probably not," advises Lupberger. "But could I screen in an existing deck or put a roof over it? Then it becomes a three-season space."

Sellers may want to address at eyesores before they consider any grandiose additions.

To make a good first impression, Lupberger says you may want to consider a new front door with leaded glass or "sidelights," pressure washing your deck or repairing any peeling paint or damaged siding before you start looking at anything else.

Before you gut your kitchen, Lupberger says to look at replacing the countertops, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures and even some appliances.

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