If the red-hot Utah real estate market has you interested in putting your home up for sale, you need to consider what will give you the best return on your investment. Whether you’re looking to sell now, or you’re wanting to make some changes to your Utah real estate that will prove valuable later, the choices you make are important. No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of ways you can add value.
First, decide on how much you can spend, and how you’re going to pay for the updates and changes you want to make. Increasing the value of your home is a careful balance of figuring out what you want to update – without overspending. Because chances are, if you do, you won’t get that money back.
Your home for sale in Utah is a huge financial investment, so you want to focus on things that will improve its value and get you the best return. So how do you make sure you’re making the right choices?
Real Estate Home Staging
Some things don’t need to be replaced – they simply need a facelift. Take some time to make a list of things that can be refreshed and updated inside your home. Chances are, if you don’t like those things, buyers looking at homes for sale in Utah won’t either. Here are seven ways real estate home staging can breathe new life into your home’s interior:
Give your walls a fresh coat of paint
- New paint not only looks great for buyers but also improves the look of your home in marketing photos and virtual tours. Fill in nail holes and make repairs as needed before painting.
- You can never go wrong choosing light, neutral colors throughout your home. Be sure to pay attention to touch up the baseboards and molding. Using the same color in every space will give a clean, fresh look and improve the flow from room to room.
- Want to take a peek at some of the current paint trends? Get some helpful tips and tricks as well as the best colors to help add more value to your home.
Repair and update your floors
- Flooring matters when it comes to adding value to your home, so don’t ignore it. It needs to be at its best when you are showing your home. As with paint, having the same flooring throughout the house creates a visual flow, and that matters to potential buyers.
- Hard surfaces beat out carpeting whenever it comes to value. You can keep the carpeting in bedrooms if you’d like, but when it comes to high-traffic areas you want something easy to maintain and consistent throughout. Hardwoods offer a great resale value, however, budget-friendly luxury vinyl is growing in popularity with homeowners.
- When it comes to deciding on whether or not to replace your existing flooring, it depends on its current condition. You may be able to get away with deep-cleaning carpeted areas and doing basic repairs and refinishing on hardwood or tile. If you’re unsure, consult with your realtor.
- Updating old hardware on doors and improving or adding lighting to your home are both budget-friendly ways to easily add value and make the inside more buyer-friendly. Keep the finishes you choose for both hardware and lighting consistent, and consult an electrician for trickier projects.
Focus on Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are typically the most desirable areas for buyers. Utah buyers tend to prefer more midrange remodels or upgrades when it comes to kitchens and baths. No matter what you decide to do, always keep function in mind. Small improvements are usually all that’s needed. Spending money on high-end finishes or luxury upgrades won’t give you the best return so focus on these areas to make the greatest impact on your Utah real estate:
- Swap out old, outdated fixtures on sinks, showers, tubs, and cabinetry, keeping the finishes consistent throughout your home.
- Most cabinetry can easily be refinished or repainted. A simple fix is swapping out the cabinet doors for a more modern option. According to Apartment Therapy, painting your cabinets a neutral color is the best way to appeal to the majority of buyers.
- Natural stone countertops offer a great return on investment both in the kitchen and bath. While quartz countertops are growing in popularity for home buyers, they may not be within your budget.
- In bathrooms, change out builder-grade mirrors, update your tile, and add storage. Mixing high and low-end items can create a huge impact while saving you money. Refinish or replace your existing tub, or upgrade your shower doors.
- In your kitchen, add a new backsplash, and update to more modern, energy-efficient appliances.
Adding more storage to your Utah real estate home is easier than you think, and it’s what buyers are looking for. No one has ever said, “I have too many closets!” You can easily work with the existing spaces in your home to add much-needed storage and value with these simple solutions:
- Add functional cabinets or shelving to your laundry room or garage.
- Create a mudroom in your entryway or garage. These entry points to your home are used daily. It can be any combination of a bench, cubbies, hooks, or even lockers. House Beautiful offers plenty of inspiring ideas.
- Add functional shelving and organizers in your closets or pantry.
Find More Space
There are plenty of low-cost options out there that still offer a high-end look. You can never go wrong with creating more usable space in your Utah real estate. More importantly, the value is in space that is finished and can be heated and protected from the elements. Utah real estate home buyers are big on basements. Keep in mind that if the area isn’t finished, it won’t count in the overall square footage of your Utah homes for sale.
- Remove existing walls when possible to create an open floor plan in the main living areas. While you’re technically not adding more square footage, you are giving the illusion of more space.
- You can sometimes double the square footage of your home by finishing your basement. If your basement is already finished, you can add a closet to one or more rooms to create an additional bedroom, and that can mean BIG money when it comes to resale value.
- You can also finish an existing attic space and use it to add a family room or even another bedroom or bathroom.
- Enclose an existing porch or patio to add more livable space, but be sure that the area can be heated so it is considered part of the house.
- When it comes to outdoor space, adding a new deck or expanding an existing deck is one of the top 10 ways to improve the value of your Utah real estate.
Don’t Forget the Outside
Leave potential homebuyers wanting more by creating great curb appeal. You spend so much time and money focusing on the inside, you forget that the first impression matters just as much. Curb appeal adds value to your home. It’s the first thing people see, and if it’s not up to par, they may not get past the front door. Here are some helpful tips to draw your buyer into your Utah homes for sale:
- According to a 2019 study from Remodeling magazine replacing your garage door is the #1 way to add value to your home, with a return of 97.5%!
- The same study shows that replacing existing siding or adding a manufactured stone veneer are also great returns on your investment. In fact, here on the Wasatch Front, manufactured stone tops the list when you’re looking at cost vs. value. If you’re looking for a less-expensive option, pressure washing the outside of your home and touching up chipped or peeling paint can greatly improve the overall appearance.
- If you don’t want to spend money replacing or adding existing exterior finishes, a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors will do wonders to make your home look great. Don’t forget to pay attention to the trim.
- Expensive landscaping, pools, or fancy water features won’t give you the best return. Focus instead on low-maintenance options. Cut your grass, prune trees and bushes, or add fresh mulch. Give your home a pop of color with potted flowers.
- Your front door matters more than you think! Refinish your existing door or upgrade to a more energy-efficient steel option. According to Better Homes and Gardens, you can make an amazing first impression with a fun, new color.
Big Ticket Items
If your Utah real estate property is more than a decade old, you want to address any maintenance issues that will inevitably pop up in the near future. Focus on these big-ticket items that may need to be replaced:
- Repair or replace your roof. According to the National Association of Realtors, a new roof offers a return of 105%.
- Have a professional inspect your heating and cooling systems and update or repair as needed. You may also want to consider upgrading to a tankless water heater.
- Have a thorough inspection done of your home to check on your foundation, possible mold, or anything that might need to be updated.
Make Your Utah Real Estate More Energy Efficient
Make your home more energy-efficient – and more appealing – to buyers. Many are looking for green options and those that will help them save on energy costs. Here are a few simple changes you can make to add value for your buyer:
- Replace your existing toilets with low-flow options.
- Install a smart thermostat to help save energy and regulate the temperature throughout your home.
- Opt for energy-efficient appliances in your kitchen and laundry room.
- Install new windows according to where you live, whether you live here on The Wasatch Front, or elsewhere, to reduce energy costs and improve insulation.
If you’d like professional advice on our real estate home staging services or a free evaluation of your home, don’t hesitate to contact us today!