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Susan Haughton's Blog

By Susan Haughton | Agent in Alexandria, VA

Sellers: First Impressions Do Matter

REMODELING magazine surveyed REALTORS® in dozens of cities to rank the home remodeling projects relative to those that pay the biggest dividends in terms of cost recovered at resale. The following project percentages are from this year’s Cost Vs Value Report Clearly, first impressions matter most!

It may surprise you to learn that the highest payback at 102.1% is a mid range Entry Door Replacement. I was very happy to read this because when I take Buyers out, one of the first things that garners comments – as everyone is standing there on the porch, waiting for me to unlock the door – is the condition of the front door and the hardware. Heaven help us if there is any creeping wood rot or peeling paint screaming “my owners have neglected me!” All the shiny new upgrades INSIDE take a hit when a neglected front door sets the intial tone.

Coming in at the second best project to undertake is a midrange Garage Door Replacement. I know, I know, it’s not nearly as much fun to replace garage doors as it is to pick out new appliances or new carpet, but new garage doors bring the second highest payback at a national average of 83.9%.

Now, number 3 initially surprised me, but once I thought about it, an upscale redo of siding fits right in with the initial impression the front and garage doors set. So, with a cost return of 80%, sprucing up the siding is definitely worth the investment.

Everyone has probably heard the common mantra that kitchens and baths sell homes — there is no doubt there is truth to that. A mid range kitchen remodel recoups on average 72.8% of the cost.

Would it surprise you to learn, however, that a wooden deck addition gives you the same return as a kitchen remodel? Hmmm…that’s a a handy tip to know.

When it comes to making any updates or upgrades, though, be sure to check with your local HOA for any neighborhood restrictions as well as with your local municipality to ensure you obtain any necessary permits before doing any work, particularly if you are undertaking any of it yourself.

If you are uncertain as to what upgrades to make or if you’re not sure what colors and designs are appealing to Buyers these days, just check with your local REALTOR. We are happy to come out and give you a few tips on how to best maximize your dollar. After all, we do spend our days previewing other homes in your marketplace and know better than anyone what’s selling.

Comments

By David & Samuel Rifkin,  Fri Feb 8 2013, 13:17
Thank you very much for this great information.

-David
By Susan Haughton,  Fri Feb 8 2013, 13:31
Thanks for stopping by and commenting, David!

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