How to Increase Your Home's Value | BMO Harris
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You’re ready to sell your home and you want to get top dollar, but there’s a snag — its value isn’t as high as you’d like it to be.

In that scenario, you can do one of two things: settle for a lower asking price, or find ways to beef up your home’s value before it goes on the market. But how do you know which home renovations are worth your time and money?

We’ve broken down some of the best home renovations for your budget and time frame. Check out the ideas below to help you get the most bang for your buck when it’s time to sell:

Best home renovations when time and money are tight

If you don’t have days or cash to spare on home upgrades, it pays to be choosy about where you use your limited resources. Look for projects that boast a quick turnaround and low costs to make the most of your time and money.

1. Spruce up the walls with new paint. A fresh coat of paint can bring new life into your space and it may help buyers see the place in a new light. The key is to pick the right colors.

Homes with yellow or sage green wallsThird Party Link can sell for as much as $1,300 more than expected, according to a 2016 Zillow survey. That’s a nice boost for something that may only cost you a few hundred dollars and a couple hours of your time.

2. Give your kitchen a mini-makeover. A major kitchen remodelThird Party Link cost on average nearly $60,000 in 2016, adding just under $39,000 in resale value. If you don’t have that kind of cash on hand, there are still ways to spruce up your kitchen that will make your home look more expensive.

If you have older cabinets, a fresh splash of paint is an easy way to emulate a recent rehab. New knobs on doors and drawers is another low-cost fix that can make your kitchen look more high-end. While you’re at it, consider swapping out a dated faucet or light fixture for one that offers a fresher look.

3. Amp up your curb appeal on the cheap. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and your home should be just as attractive on the outside as it is on the inside. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks hiring professional landscapers.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, it costs $120 to seed a lawn, with an estimated cost recovery of $500. That’s a 417 percent return on investmentThird Party Link for something that can be done in an afternoon.

Best home renovations when you can afford to splurge

If you’ve got a few years before you plan to sell, you have time to invest in some bigger projects to potentially increase your home’s value. These improvements may take longer to complete, but the pay off can be huge once your home hits the market — and you get to enjoy them while you still live there.

1. Replace your roof. A roof typically has a life of 15 to 20 years, so it may be smart to consider replacing yours if you have an older home.

Not only can a new roof improve the aesthetics of your exterior, it’ll give buyers peace of mind that they won’t need to replace it again anytime soon. In 2017, the average roof replacementThird Party Link cost $20,664 and homeowners were able to recoup almost 69 percent of that in resale value.

2. Take your kitchen upgrades up a notch. A kitchen overhaul could prove profitable when you’re trying to sell. This room is a crucial selling point for many buyers, so any investments you make here probably won’t go unnoticed.

A minor kitchen remodelThird Party Link, which includes replacing cabinet fronts, upgrading appliances with energy-efficient models, updating the sink, replacing laminate counter tops, new paint and new flooring, cost an average of $20,122 in 2016. About 83 percent of that, or $16,716, went back into sellers’ pockets in resale value.

3. Expand your space with an addition. Increasing your square footage is another way to potentially increase value. It’s definitely a hefty investment, but one that can make a big difference on your bottom line.

A family roomThird Party Link addition, for example, cost more than $86,000 on average in 2016 but it added more than $58,000 in resale value. Bathroom and master suite additions added 56 and 64 percent in resale value, respectively.

The bottom line

Don’t settle for a low list price. There are plenty of ways to help up your home’s value before you sell. Choosing the best home renovations all comes down to how much time and money you can afford to spend. Looking at all the options (and their ROI) can steer you toward the projects that will pay off when buyers come knocking.

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