4 Home Improvement Projects to Do Before Putting Your House on the Market

by Samantha Leon

Homeowners preparing to put to a house on the market can make upgrades and improvements to increase the value of the home and get the best possible deal in a sale, but all home improvement projects are not equal. Some may add great value to the home at minimal expense, while others done at great expense add little value when the house is put up for sale.

Extensive remodels or renovations that could delay the process and blow up your budget should be avoided. A few relatively minor upgrades and home improvement projects will give the home an entirely new, fresh look and increase the home’s value without breaking the bank. 

First impressions can have a significant impact on potential home buyers. Increasing the home’s curb appeal and ensuring it continues when entering the house play a big role in the ability to make a sale at or near the asking price. The two most important rooms prospective buyers are typically interested in inspecting are the kitchen and the bathroom. Making those two rooms look new, comfortable, and functional will go a long way to presenting the home in the best light.

The following home improvement projects to do before putting your home on the market will make your home more appealing to potential buyers and increase the overall value of the house:

1. Kitchen Counter Upgrade

The kitchen is the most popular and heavily trafficked gathering place in the home, and often the first place prospective home buyers want to see. Kitchen countertops set the tone and style of the room. Advances in manufacturing technology and a societal focus on reusable and energy-saving materials have expanded the options for kitchen countertops. 

Installing new stone kitchen countertops will improve the look of the kitchen while providing a durable and attractive surface. Quartz and granite countertops are popular materials that can be found at Marble and will add to the look of the kitchen and increase the overall value of the home.

  • Quartz: Engineered stone has become the most popular surface material for kitchen countertops and adds instant resale value to the home.  Extremely hard and durable, quartz countertops of highly resistant to stains and chips, though it does have a weak tolerance to heat. Quartz is one of the most expensive countertop options and will lose coloring with long-term exposure to sunlight.
  • Granite: Each granite slab is unique with different shades and patterns to add rich, classic beauty to the kitchen that will catch the eye of the most discerning prospective homebuyer. Granite provides a hard surface that makes the countertop resistant to heat and scratches. Hot pots and pans can be placed directly onto the counter without damaging the surface. Granite is very heavy and may require additional labor to add structural support. 

2. Refresh the Bathroom

An old, dingy bathroom will be an instant turnoff to potential home buyers. Small improvements and minor renovation projects can improve the look and functionality of the bathroom while adding resale value to the home. Larger, more expensive remodeling of the shower stall, vanity, or toilet will make the bathroom look great, but may not always be the most cost-efficient for the purpose of selling the home. 

Common ways to upgrade bathrooms to increase the property value without having to completely renovate include:

  • Update bathroom fixtures: Replacing outdated fixtures and hardware is a comparatively inexpensive way to give the bathroom a new, fresh look. 
  • Update bathroom paint: Changing up the paint can do wonders to improve the style and feel of the bathroom, especially if it has a splashy or unconventional look. Neutral colors and traditional styles are more likely to have universal appeal to prospective homebuyers. 
  • Add tile and backsplash: Neutral colors and natural tile in bathrooms are gaining in popularity and provide an updated attraction that will appeal to more potential buyers.

3. New Flooring

Flooring is a crucial element that can kill a potential sale before it’s even begun. Bad flooring repels potential buyers as much as bad smells or unfinished basements.

Hardwood flooring remains a classic look and gives the highest return on investment, as it is still the preferred flooring option for most homeowners. Refinishing techniques are an inexpensive way to add luster and richness to the floors. Hardwood floors are easy to clean and do not offer a home for dust and other harmful particles that can remain in carpeting even after the most thorough cleaning. 

4. Exterior Improvements

Potential home buyers will already have an opinion of the home before they even open the front door based solely on the curb appeal of the house. Exterior home improvements increase the overall value of the home and will help to sell the home more quickly. 

Exterior home improvement projects that will add resale value include:

  • Replace doors and windows: New, energy-efficient doors and windows will help secure the home and show potential buyers that they will save on utility bills. 
  •  Update landscaping: In addition to making sure the lawn is manicured and the yard is free of clutter, planting flowers or adding other accessories like new house numbers or a new mailbox will increase the curb appeal to create the best first impression of the home. 
  • Repainting: Putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of the home will make it look brand new with minimal expense. 
  • Replace garage door: Garage doors are regularly exposed to the worst weather conditions and can make the entire house look old or unkempt if they look worn or do not work properly. A new garage door will improve the look of the home and increase the overall curb appeal.

Home Improvement Projects Increase Resale Value

Making improvements to the interior and exterior will make a home more presentable to potential homebuyers. Upgrades and replacements that are neutral and traditional will appeal to the broadest range of people looking  to buy a home. A local real estate agent will be able to help determine the projects that will add the most value when it comes time to put the home on the market.

About the Author

Samantha is a writer and an editor. She is from Bergen County in New Jersey and she graduated from Montclair State University in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She enjoys writing about architecture, home decor, home remodeling and do-it-yourself projects. She has a passion for environmental preservation and animal rights. In her spare time, she likes to read fiction and relax with her two dogs, Lucy and Ricky.