Apr 12, 2024

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Couple compares flooring options for a home improvement

Do you have plans to put your home on the market? Even if the answer is no, it’s good to know which home improvements could improve buyer appeal when you do decide to sell.

For example, kitchens and bathrooms get a lot of attention from buyers. What problems might they notice with yours? Does your house look well-kept on the outside? What about any unfinished space?

The answers to these questions will help you start a list of potential projects.

Many people would prefer to buy a house that is move-in ready, rather than having to do upgrades after the fact. The goal is to make changes that are functional, visually appealing, and not too custom or trendy.

Here are five ways to improve your home that could attract buyers if you decide to sell. And who knows? You might like the results so much that you will want to stay.

Table of Contents

1. Update the kitchen

2. Create a bathroom retreat

3. Upgrade the flooring

4. Replace the roof

5. Boost curb appeal

1. Update the kitchen

How it might help: The kitchen is often the heart of the home. It’s where we cook for our families, entertain, and talk about our day. Maybe that’s why 30% of realtors suggest sellers do a kitchen upgrade before selling.1

Trends to consider: Kitchen trends come and go. But this year, some old favorites are making a comeback. More than half (57%) of homeowners add or update an island during a kitchen remodel, often one longer than seven feet.2

“Solid-surface counters have been a ‘must’ for a long time,” said Dianne Rechel, realtor. And when it comes to staging, “be sure to organize and declutter to make it appear more spacious,” Rechel added.

For a little added glam, full-wall backsplashes are also popular, with blue still a favorite kitchen wall trend. Lighting can be a powerful — and cheap — factor, too. “If your kitchen offers a lot of natural light, make the most of it by opening curtains and blinds,” said Rechel. “Also consider adding more overhead or spot lighting. Fresh, light, and bright are three of a realtor’s favorite words.”

2. Create a bathroom retreat

How it might help: Many homeowners come to their bathroom to relax, so making it a serene spot is a good goal. No wonder 26% of realtors recommend an upgrade before selling.1

Trends to consider: When it comes to bathrooms, making the most out of the space often requires strategic changes. For example, already popular shower upgrades were even more common in 2022: 78% of homeowners chose to enlarge the shower when removing a bathtub.3 And many also chose to relocate it.

Adding a modern vanity and some fun, high-tech features to faucets and toilets are also popular upgrades. “The more luxurious, the better,” said Rechel. “Small extras like a heated towel bar may give buyers the feeling that they would be living a luxurious life there.” Other considerations are replacing your shower curtain and towels, which you can take with you when you move.

3. Upgrade the flooring

How it might help: Underfoot but not forgotten, beautiful wood floors make a strong first impression. It makes sense that 22% of realtors suggest sellers upgrade worn-out wood flooring before selling.1

Trends to consider: As far as floors go, you can’t go wrong with classic wood. “One of the most popular and attractive features a home can have is gleaming hardwood floors,” said Rechel.

“Hardwood like oak has long been a staple in fine homes. With many buyers concerned about sustainability, another popular choice is bamboo. The demand for environmentally responsible materials is growing,” Rechel said. If wood floors aren’t an option in your home, Rechel recommends ceramic tile of light and gray shades, or laminate products that resemble hardwood.

4. Replace the roof

How it might help: It might not be as fun as other home improvements, but a well-functioning roof is key. What’s more, buyers seem to like it when sellers have replaced their old roof with a brand-new one. In fact, 33% of realtors suggest upgrading worn-out roof surfaces before selling.1

Trends to consider: Your roof can make a bold statement about your house. Roofing trends for 2023 included metal roofing, contrasting color, and asphalt and “cool roofing” (white roofing).4

“Roofs are a necessity, add to a home’s appeal, and increase its value,” said Rechel. “They are also expensive, and not a fun remodel to deal with. But from a buyer’s vantage point, the more life the roof has left in it, the better.”

5. Boost curb appeal

How it might help: When buyers see a house that’s maintained well on the outside, they trust you’ve taken the same care inside.

Trends to consider: A new front door can make a statement without a big price tag, as can replacing a tired garage door. Adding a stone veneer to the front of the house is not cheap, but it will add a modern note to the overall impression.

If stone veneer isn’t in the cards, siding needs to be in good condition. Power washing can help. Also paint the trim, tidy up the landscaping, and consider a lighting upgrade.

Get input from the pros

As you make plans to fix up your house, keep in mind that you probably won’t recover all your costs when you sell. The right improvements could make your home more appealing to buyers, though.

So, focus on fixes that help your home stand out in the market. And enjoy the upgrades while you still live there.

For more guidance on which improvements make the most sense for your home, contact an experienced real estate agent. And a reputable contractor can give you an up-to-date estimate of the costs involved.

Then you can think about how you will pay for the work. Will you use savings? Tighten your budget for a while? Work with contractors? Try to do DIY some of it?

Keep in mind that a personal loan from Discover® could ease the stress of making your home market-ready and help you get to “open house” day sooner.

Learn More About Home Remodel Loans
1 https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2022-remodeling-impact-report-04-19-2022.pdf
2 https://www.houzz.com/magazine/10-big-takeaways-from-the-2022-u-s-houzz-kitchen-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~155930753
3 https://www.houzz.com/magazine/2022-u-s-houzz-bathroom-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~162628467