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Home-Sellers, Agents Mostly Agree on Top Home Improvement Projects

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Both real estate agents and home sellers see the value in simple home improvement projects, saying they believe small renovations can go a long way in helping a home sell faster and for more money, according to a recent Realtor.com survey.

Home sellers may not need as much convincing as previously thought on the reasons why you should spruce up your property before the for-sale sign goes up, according to a survey of 450 REALTORS® and more than 1,600 home owners.

But as sellers realize the importance of home improvement projects to improve a home sale, are they targeting the right projects to attract home buyers?

Apparently so, according to the survey.

Sellers and agents agree on the top three areas of a home that sellers should focus their most time and budget on with home improvement projects. Those are:

§ Kitchens

§ Bathrooms

§ Exterior of the home.

They also tended to agree on what low-cost projects are most important address prior to resale:

§ Decluttering

§ Painting

§ Landscaping projects

As for what’s not worth the time or money, they agreed again: Spending time on the closets, garage, hardscaping (which is landscaping for driveways or other paved surfaces), and installing new windows.

Real estate agents also had two extra recommendations when prepping a home for sale that sellers didn’t rank top on their lists: Having the carpet steam cleaned and the house professionally cleaned. Also, agents recommend spending most of the landscaping attention on the home’s front yard, whereas sellers favored spending more attention to the home’s backyard than front.

Sellers also apparently are willing to put some money behind these renovations. According to the survey, about 24 percent of sellers plan to budget $2,000 to $5,000 on home improvement projects; 22 percent budget $5,000 to $10,000; and about 17 percent budget $10,000 to $20,000.

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