MILWAUKEE, WIS. – If homeowners have an eye toward selling their home, it’s important to demonstrate its quality to potential buyers. Minor home improvement projects, both indoors and outdoors, can quickly increase home value and help it sell. Members of Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., celebrating 50 years as the areas leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource, offer remodeling tips with the buyer in mind.
- Focus on the small stuff. Updating a home with the intention of selling it doesn’t have to be costly. “There are low-cost projects that can set a home apart from others and have a high rate of return,” explained David Kallie, CR, of Dimension Design, Build, Remodel, Inc. in Brookfield. Small projects can give a space a “facelift” and up-to-date feel, such as replacing cabinet door and drawer fronts, changing out the hardware, installing new light fixtures, replacing the countertops, or using a neutral paint color.
- Be efficient. Replace existing appliances with ones that have an Energy Star rating. Appliances use a lot of power. For homeowners hoping to sell, efficient equipment will mean money saved to potential buyers.
- Expand within the existing footprint. Consider remodeling the attic or basement. This will increase the livable square footage and can fulfill homeowners’ unique needs – an extra bedroom, a home office, a “hangout” for the kids, or a media room.
- Take care of the “honey-do” list. Well-maintained homes appeal to buyers, so it’s essential to tend to tasks that individuals have been postponing. “A home should look well cared for. Now is the time to address items that are in disrepair, such as cracked walls or dripping faucets,” said Kallie.
- Consider the kitchen and bathroom. “Generally speaking, the rooms with the most return on investment are the kitchen and bathroom,” said Kallie. Kitchen and bath remodels often have a higher return because they are heavily used rooms. Homebuyers usually look for kitchens that are conducive to entertaining and bathrooms with a spa feel.
- Make replacements. Replacing siding, windows, and doors can instantly improve a home’s curb appeal. “Homeowners want low maintenance exteriors that are in good condition,” said James Houghtaling, CR, of Renew View Custom Trim in Milwaukee. “Other items to repair or replace include roofing, trim, gutters, chimneys, large windows, and the front entrance door.”
- Extend the home. A deck can extend a home’s living space outdoors, a concept that has become popular as more people stay home or enjoy “staycations.”
- Conserve energy. Old, drafty windows will disenchant most buyers. Replace them with Energy Star-rated, efficient windows. Also, seal gaps, cracks, or holes at the top of the foundation, around windows and doors, by the attic, and other vulnerable areas to avoid air leaks. “Remove worn or cracked caulking and replace it,” said Houghtaling. This will help seal the leaks.
- Pay attention to the landscaping. Make sure the yard has been well maintained and attractive. Add lighting to give it a warm glow and enhance its safety. Get rid of weeds. Reseed bare spots in the grass.
- Consider repainting. If paint is faded, chipped, or peeling, it’s important to repaint the exterior because it can have an effect on the home’s curb appeal. “Avoid trendy colors, and consider using light, neutral paints with accenting trim. This will appeal to more people,” explained Houghtaling.
The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 800 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.
For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI’s Remodeling Guide,” call 414- 771-4071 or visit the Council’s website at www.milwaukeenari.org.