When it comes to getting top dollar for your seller, an upgraded home interior can make the difference between a middling offer and an inbox full of highly appealing ones. Before your client lists their home or even considers putting their house on the market, it’s worth the time to have a conversation with them about tackling some popular home interior upgrades that can make a splashy impact on their property’s resale value.
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Here are seven common home interior upgrades that have proven to be hot tickets with buyers, giving your sellers more bang for their buck:
1) Complete Kitchen Renovation. Topping most buyers’ wish lists would be the kitchen of their dreams. Year after year, a complete kitchen renovation ranks number one on the National Association of Realtors (NAR) lists of both projects appealing to buyers and of projects likely to increase home resale value within their Remodeling Impact Report. Although it’s a big undertaking, the popularity of the project among buyers means your sellers could earn their money back and then some by committing to a major kitchen overhaul.
If a full renovation would break the bank or seems overwhelming, talk to your client about trying small tweaks to the kitchen, like refreshing the backsplash, painting the cabinets, or installing updated appliances. Upgrading worn-out surfaces, finishes, or materials can still have a big impact on the look of the kitchen – and your listing price. A whopping 40% of Realtors suggest sellers upgrade their kitchen in some capacity before listing, and 20% think a kitchen upgrade helped close a sale.
2) HVAC Replacement. Energy efficiency is a top draw in the home market today, so it’s no surprise that buyers are looking for a recently replaced HVAC unit when shopping for homes. Replacing the HVAC unit to a more current model improves energy efficiency, the home’s heating and cooling capabilities, and lowers energy bills – a winning trifecta. In addition, this update may help sellers qualify for the IRS energy efficiency tax credit for properties placed in service before December 31, 2021.
If sellers want to lean harder into energy efficiency, have them consider upgraded insulation as well, which can help the home stay more comfortable during the extreme temps of the summer and winter months. Homeowners agree, with 66% having a great desire to be home after replacing their HVAC system.
3) New Main Suite. When it comes to expected value when selling the home, a new main suite ranks just behind a kitchen renovation/upgrade and replacing the HVAC unit. Depending on the footprint of the home, clients might want to think about annexing less desirable space, like formal living areas or dining areas, into a bigger main suite. If the main bedroom doesn’t have its own bathroom, maybe a closet or other storage space could be used to add en suite facilities. For homes that already have a distinct main bedroom and bathroom, you could update the finishes to add modern appeal.
In the bedroom, sellers could consider new flooring and fresh paint, while in the bathroom, swapping laminate counters for marble or quartz, switching plumbing fixtures to brass or copper, and painting cabinetry all can create a new, luxe look. The most important benefit for homeowners is better functionality and livability with 65% reporting an increased sense of enjoyment when they’re at home.
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4) Bathroom Renovation. Powder room looking dated? Giving a half bath a quick renovation can add major ground floor appeal to a home since such small spaces often lend themselves well to trendy and bold design flourishes. Or, if a home is lacking that all-important second bath or half bath buyers are looking for, your sellers may consider repurposing closets or other less-used spaces into another bathroom. According to the NAR, one-third of Realtors have suggested that sellers renovate one or more bathrooms before listing their homes.
5) Basement Conversion to Living Area. A big way to improve livability in a home is to increase the usable square footage. Without building on an addition, a basement conversion is a shortcut that turns unused space or space formerly relegated to storage into a new living area. Converting a basement to a living area makes a house more livable and seem more spacious, which is why it ranks high on the list of what today’s buyers are looking for. NAR estimates this project could cost around $46,900 but could be recovered at resale to the tune of $30,000, meaning 64% of the project’s value would be recovered.
6) Flooring Renovations. According to NAR data, floors can pay off in a big way in terms of recouped earnings from an initial investment. New wood flooring has a recovered project cost of 106% with refinished hardwoods trailing a close second at 100%. This means that, for an estimated $4,700 investment in installing new wood floors, the seller could recoup $5,000 at sale.
For refinishing wood, a cost of $2,600 would likely be recouped at $2,600, as well. Replacing tile or carpet with new wood flooring can instantly modernize a space, or if the home already has hardwood floors, consider refinishing the wood to restore it to its former glory. By sanding out those scratches and putting a dent in those dings, refinished hardwoods bring back that brand-new look.
7) Attic Conversion to Living Area. Just as with a basement conversion, an attic conversion can take storage space and add to the footprint of livable space in a home. By converting an attic into usable living space, a home can gain a bonus room (or bonus rooms!) that can be used as an additional bedroom, office, game room, or for any other purpose. When it comes to possibilities for the extra space, the roof is the limit. For an estimated $80,000 project, sellers would likely gain back 56% of the value of the project at resale, according to NAR data.
In your experience, what have been the top interior selling points within your market? Let us know in the comments section.