Top 5 projects to prepare your home for sale

By Rose Meily, for Silicon Valley Community Newspapers

prepare to market your home


The housing market is heating up, and home-owners who plan to place their properties on the market are considering remodeling projects that return the most value and increase buyer interest with better curb appeal or popular features.

Housing market data reveals small, smart remodels reward homeowners with better return on investment and can help sell their home. Here is a list of top five remodeling projects from the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers:

1–Add a deck

Building on a wood deck returns 82 percent of the expense, according to Remodeling magazine’s cost versus value study. Decks built from composite material also offer a hefty return. Homeowners and prospective buyers are attracted to outdoor living space where they can relax and entertain near the comfort of indoor conveniences.

2–Replace vinyl siding

Improving curb appeal with small enhancements can increase the likelihood of a home sale. Refreshing the exterior with new siding updates the look of the home and is a necessary home maintenance task.

3–Replace windows

Updating windows can also return a solid portion of the investment (78 percent for wood frames and 77 percent for vinyl). New, energy-efficient windows help reduce energy leakage from the home and can bring down heating and cooling bills.

4–Remodel the kitchen

A minor kitchen remodel can improve the look without costing a bundle, and yields an 80 percent return. Consider replacing cabinetry fronts, countertops and flooring. Installing low-flow faucets and energy-efficient appliances can also reduce water and energy expenses.

5–Remodel the bathroom

Payback on remodeling a bathroom can reach 75 percent with new fixtures, tile, toilet, vanity and lighting. Low-flow toilets consume less water and can decrease the monthly water bill.

Smart remodeling projects for improving the home can attract buyers and make the home more appealing. Carolyn Miller, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, says that when preparing a home for sale, sellers can showcase a home to maximize curbside appeal by repainting, replacing flooring, updating windows and other projects.

Miller reminds home-owners to consider how long they plan to live in their home and the number of years left on their mortgage before they decide to undertake a big project. If they plan on selling their home and would like to do some remodeling soon, she advises them to consult a real estate agent.

“Realtors can provide input on what projects can add value to a home. They are also the best source of information about a project you plan to undertake, as it may exceed what you can or want to do with your existing home,” said Miller. They can also explain the variety of factors that affect a home’s value, such as location and condition of surrounding properties, she said.

Information in this column is presented by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors Send questions to



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