1. Replace the Front Door
If you plan to sell your home later this year, remember that the first impression your home makes on buyers is their first glimpse of the outside. The old saying is true. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression and a new door makes a great impression. According to Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® Magazine a new door yields and average of 86% return on the investment. A garage door, 75%.
2. Add a Deck or Patio
Buyers love outdoor space so consider adding a patio or deck. If you already have a nice outdoor space, perhaps a water feature or fireplace would improve the area. Generally, a new deck will recoup about 77% of the investment on sale.
3. Remodel the Kitchen
Kitchens are the heart of the home. It is the place where a lot of family time is spent. A kitchen remodel might return 60% to as much as 100% if done well. You might consider just replacing the counter tops and/or the appliances.
Windows are one of the most important things you can do. While a return of only about 72%, new windows provide better energy efficiency and look great. It is one of the things Buyers are looking for when looking at an older home. In order to let as much natural light into your home as possible, don't allow your window treatments to cover the windows unnecessarily.
Rooms that are filled with light are more attractive and functional than dark rooms. You can replace older light fixtures with newer, more efficient ones that will not only make the home look more modern but provide better functionality as well. And at a reasonable cost.
6. Update the Bathroom
Bathrooms are the next thing Buyers look for and a bathroom reno can be pricey. Returning about 68%, on the surface it looks like it isn't a good investment. However, if it means the difference between selling and not selling... You can replace the fixtures, re-caulk, and perhaps have the tub resurfaced without breaking the bank.
7. Organize the Closets
Organized closets can help make your home look larger and actually be more functional. And, at a relatively small cost this may be an investment you want to make.
Here are a few more reno ideas and their estimated returns.
Interior painting: 50% to 100%
Roof replacement: 50% to 80%
Replacement of furnace or heating system: 50% to 80%
Expansion (addition of family room): 50% to 75%
Installation of hardwood floor: 50% to 75%
Fireplace (wood or gas) 50% to 75%
Central air conditioning: 50% to 75%
Skylights: 0% to 25%
Finished basement: 50% to 75%
Wood fence: 25% to 50%
New garage: 50% to 75%
Interlocking paving stones on driveway: 25% to 50%
Landscaping: 25% to 50%
Pool: 10% to 40%
(above estimates are from www.styleathome.com)
As you can see, while some if you are planning to sell, renovations are not good investments unless they are needed to make the home saleable. You are likely better off to price it right and let the new owners do the renovations the way they like.
Be careful not to over-improve your home for the neighborhood. A REALTOR® can offer advice about how to spend your money so that your home sells faster and for the best possible price.