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What Are the Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Listing?

October 05 2022

luxury coupleOwning a home remains the "centerpiece" of the American Dream, according to a recent survey by Bankrate. Nearly 75% of homeowners say it's the highest measure of achievement: more than being able to retire, having a successful career, earning a college degree, or raising a family.

Homeownership is one of the most proven builders of wealth. U.S. Census data documents that home equity and retirement savings account for more than 65% of a typical household's wealth. More importantly, homeowners have a median net worth more than 80 times greater than renters.

Homeowners know the value of maintaining their homes, but when it comes time to sell a home, they may wonder, "What are the best ways to increase the value of my home?"

It's a great question to ask before homeowners get ready to sell and can start planning well in advance. Today's buyers want market-ready homes, and those are the homes that continue to sell the fastest.

Fortunately, research and real-world experiences tell us what improvements — big and small — can add immediate value to a home that's getting listed for sale.

As someone who has helped purchase, renovate, and resell more than 1,000 homes in Southern California as a successful flipper, here's what I've learned: the marketplace tells you what works and what does not.

Smart renovation is the key to improving a home's value before listing it for sale, and every homeowner can benefit from this knowledge.

Today, companies like Revive Real Estate, which I helped create to bring the economics of home flipping to homeowners without the risk and the strain, offer every potential seller a way to improve their homes without fronting any of the money.

The best improvements to make

Real estate is local — and so are, to some degree, local design elements and buyer preferences. Therefore, homeowners choosing what to improve in their home before they list it for sale is crucial to maximizing the selling price. Some improvements will yield much higher returns than others, and which are which depend on both the home and the local market.

Before embarking on a punch-list of improvements, sellers need to answer a few questions:

  • Are you looking to keep it simple with visual enhancements?
  • Would functional improvements be beneficial for your home?
  • Could your home significantly benefit from energy efficiency improvements?
  • Is making your home more spacious — or feel roomier — inside (and out) a priority?

Once a homeowner understands what they are trying to achieve, it is easier to determine what specific improvements will maximize their sales value.

Fast and easy on the pocketbook

Almost every home needs a little love, but some need more love than others. Many homeowners who have kept their properties well-maintained are looking for improvements that will help their home sell faster but won't bust their budgets.

Minor but higher-impact improvements include:

  • Painting — inside and out
  • Landscaping — make the first impression the best impression
  • Replace appliances
  • New fixtures — from lights to doorknobs
  • Replace or refresh carpet and flooring
  • A new front door
  • Professional deep cleaning
  • Replace all toilet seats

Keeping improvements simple for many homeowners is their best path. When a home is well-maintained, giving it a little more love can help increase its curb appeal and make a great first impression when it hits the market.

Bigger improvements mean higher seller profits

On the other hand, we find the homes that need a lot more love than simple cosmetic repairs. After all, the average age of a home in the US is 39 years; in California, it's 43 years.

What presale renovations can make these homes sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars or more?

Using Revive research — we've done hundreds of renovations and closely track actual seller profits — these are the major improvements that can get a seller the biggest bang for their buck:

  • Kitchen remodels
  • Bathroom replacement and additions
  • Garage door replacements
  • Replacing HVAC systems
  • New window installations
  • Replacing siding
  • Adding or replacing a deck or patio
  • Mold removal and prevention
  • Finishing a basement
  • Installing outdoor living spaces

Keep in mind that many markets offer unique locally related improvements that can also help maximize a property's value. Working with a presale renovation firm, such as Revive, can also help uncover those. From adding a pickleball court to fixing a dock for a waterfront home, the goal is the same: to maximize the return on the sale of your listing.

Because major improvements can be costly, that's where a presale renovation firm, like Revive, can help. The process is turnkey: meet with a design team, who will show your sellers the most profitable improvements to make; tap into the Revive contractor network; and often in 90 days or less, the home is ready to sell.

Homeowners don't have to hunt for reliable, available and proven contractors, find designers and architects, or scramble to find sources that can deliver quality materials on time to get the job done. They also don't have to assume all risks and liabilities. It's a nightmare avoided.

Most importantly, homeowners don't have to scrape together the available cash to pay for the cost of needed repairs and renovations immediately.

Finally, when the home renovations are complete, the home is move-in ready: among the fastest-selling homes on today's market.

To get an idea of how much impact a presale renovation can have on a home, here are before and after photos of dozens of Revive renovation projects so you can see for yourself the massive profits sellers can earn by making the right improvements.

Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes.