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Make Your Home Real Estate Ready

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

To increase resale values, look beyond the status quo

Once upon a time, all a homeowner had to do was slap a coat of paint on a wall or install a fresh backsplash in the kitchen to grab a buyer’s attention. A newly caulked bathroom and shades added a finished look.

But in this white-hot market, homeowners eager to attract the highest bidder must do a lot more to get a house real estate ready.

Improving a beautiful home is best handled from the outside in. According to a Zonda Media 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior improvement projects provide the greatest return on investment. Outside fixes like siding, stone veneer, and garage door replacements represent 11 of 12 items that boost curb appeal. Exterior photos online tell the tale before a potential buyer crosses the threshold and online images can make or break a sale in seconds, so an inviting approach to a home is essential.

Not surprisingly minor kitchen remodels also lead the pack, but the pandemic has thrown a new player into the mix: working from home. The Great Resignation has resulted in an unprecedented 4.53 million Americans quitting their day jobs, many of whom have begun working from home. Add those numbers to the number of remote workers, in excess of 4 million. Factor in a Flex Jobs estimate that a whopping 36 million employees could be working remotely by 2025 and the demand for home offices is not surprising.

As a result, the new commute to the office takes about 60 seconds, from the bedroom or kitchen to whatever space a homeowner has allotted for their workspace.

“It’s something can add tremendous value to a home and we’re seeing a lot of dining and second bedrooms modified for home office purposes,” said Ciprian ‘Chris’ Fiastru, founder of Total Home Care and owner of Chicago Clean Home.

Fiastru launched his remodeling company to provide quality contracting services to existing cleaning company clients.

“Kitchens and baths are also still very important to new buyers when considering a purchase, because they know how costly and burdensome it can be to remodel those spaces after purchase,” said Fiastru. “Adding these updates before the sale can result in a much higher asking price.”

Experts cited in Remodeling magazine’s 34th annual Cost vs. Value report estimate the average return on 22 popular remodeling projects rose to about 60% nationally.

Fiastru also suggests considering a sanctuary approach when making changes to older houses to ready them for sale.

“Contemporary buyers want to feel comfortable at home more so than ever,” said Fiastru, of the rise in indoor and outdoor entertainment remodeling trends.

Indeed, in a HomeLight survey of one-third of top agents ranked “the desire to make homes a sanctuary from the world” as the top reason for renovations in their market. Priorities from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the Cost vs. Value report, and top insights from HomeLight agents reveal the following as having a high return on investment:

1. Replace garage doors

A $500 new door could add $5,000 to the selling price in the right neighborhood. – Michele Harrington, First Team Real Estate’s chief operating officer in California. the Cost vs. Value report reveals a garage door replacement returns 93.8% of its value.

2. Upgrade the kitchen

The gathering center of the house is critical in a remodeling process for a higher asking price. Upgrade with professional, efficient appliances, multiple seating options, and nice countertops. An updated kitchen can add up to $100,000 to the value of a home. For homeowners on a budget, Fiastru recommends something as simple as adding a kitchen island or walk-in pantry to add flair and valu.

3. Replace siding

Adding new siding helps with that all-important exterior of the home. It also will help manage energy costs during summer and winter.

4. Remodel your bathroom

The big secret to make this easy is to simply add a double-sink bathroom vanity. Real estate agents rank that as a frequently desired bathroom upgrade for modern buyers, who want more personal space in the bathroom. This is known as a psychological boundary which spouses and families with children are well familiar. White tile, chrome and nickel fixtures also help. Bath updates can add $50,000 to the value of a home.

5. Build or convert a home office

Speaking of walk-in pantries and closets, those can also be converted into home offices and exercise rooms. Agents say just having that devoted space is a bonus and adds value to the home.

Total Home Care provides remodeling and home repair services throughout the greater Chicago area. Book a free consultation and estimate by clicking this link.


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