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Top 5 home improvement projects real estate agents should recommend to sellers

Here are the top five home improvement projects generating the highest ROI to recommend to sellers

We’ve all witnessed the housing market slowdown that has occurred over the last year. Across the country, homes are spending more days on the market as interest rates rise. Many sellers have returned to offering concessions and dropping prices to entice buyers.

Additionally, competition for listings is on the rise as fewer homeowners are looking to sell. The “same old listing presentation” and tired marketing tactics aren’t cutting it for agents looking to win listings in today’s competitive and tight market.

Now more than ever, sellers expect an agent who will confidently create a plan to get them top dollar for their home.

Being able to provide data-driven home improvement recommendations can help agents build credibility with potential clients, sell homes faster and for more money, and ultimately win more listings.

When making pre-listing repairs or renovations, different projects can result in vastly different
returns. These are the top five home improvement projects generating the highest ROI that real estate agents should be recommending to their selling clients:

Kitchen refresh: 377% ROI

Kitchens are often considered the heart of a home. They are a focal point for potential homebuyers, so updating a kitchen before selling can result in increased buyer interest and a high ROI for sellers.

These days, buyers want move-in ready homes – they don’t want to face huge construction
projects before they can get settled. Because of this, a dated kitchen can turn buyers away and cause a house to sit on the market for longer. On the flipside, an updated kitchen can help a home sell faster – seven out of 10 buyers say they would purchase a home if it had a gorgeous kitchen.

Kitchen refreshes include painting cabinets, installing new appliances, installing new
countertops, updating hardware and more. As a whole, refreshes are cosmetic updates that
typically do not require permits and cost less than structural remodels.

Remodels are structural renovations that make homes more livable and require more labor,
resources, and money to complete than refresh projects. Example of remodels include
reconfiguring electrical, plumbing or gas lines and removing or adding walls or rooms.

Refreshing key areas of a home, like the kitchen, delivers higher returns than full remodels
given that they cost less overall and are faster to complete. A kitchen refresh has a 377% ROI,
while a full kitchen remodel only has a 220% ROI.

Refinishing hardwood floors: 348% ROI

For some homeowners, pulling up a dated carpet to find hardwood underneath can be a dream come true. This is because hardwood floors have a certain modern, luxury appeal to them that can change the entire feel of a home.

Because hardwood floors are such a desirable flooring option, they tend to be in high demand and can bump up the sale price of a home – especially in a competitive market where there is a high demand for move-in ready homes.

Basic listing prep: 297% ROI

Normal wear-and-tear is expected, but makes a home look lived-in. Homeowners want to
picture themselves living in a clean, fresh home.

This why agents should recommend that sellers tackle basic pre-listing home improvements, including painting, flooring installation or refinishing, lighting updates and hardware swaps. These simple updates can make a world of difference when preparing to sell.

Roof replacement: 288% ROI

Roof replacements can be scary for homeowners because they sound like an expensive task.
But in the case that a roof is leaking or falling apart, it’s best to recommend sellers get it
repaired or replaced.

The good news is that if a roof is newer or has been well-maintained, then a few repairs can ensure no red flags are brought up during the buyer’s inspection.

Flooring replacement: 280% ROI

Not all carpet needs to be pulled up before selling, but agents should advise sellers to update
any carpets that look outdated. While colored carpet may have been in 50 years ago, buyers
are looking for more neutral options these days.

If there is carpet in a part of a home where it’s no longer popular – like in the bathroom or kitchen – it’s best to recommend sellers replace it with a more modern flooring option.

Popular types of flooring for today’s buyers include new carpet, luxury vinyl tile (LVT),
hardwood and tile. LVT looks like hardwood flooring but is much easier to maintain, is
completely waterproof and costs less to install.

Depending on the age and condition of the carpet, sellers may not need to rip it up. If the
carpet appears to be in good condition and still in style, simply having it cleaned to remove any dirt and dander buildup can suffice.

According to a recent homeowners’ survey, 67% of potential buyers say they only consider
homes with updated features and layouts, and 77% of potential buyers won’t consider
purchasing a home that isn’t move-in ready.

Recommending the right home improvements to sellers will help increase the value of their home and attract more buyers – especially in today’s competitive market.

Olivia Mariani is the Chief Marketing Officer at Curbio, a rapidly growing PropTech
company that is transforming home improvement for the real estate industry.

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