Home improvement projects spring sellers should tackle now (and what to skip)

The top projects that recent sellers said helped sell their homes were a fresh coat of paint and … [+] styling.

Sellers gearing up for the spring home buying season need to roll up their sleeves now and promote their homes if they want to attract a shrinking pool of buyers. Investments in repairs, maintenance and repairs can pay off at the time of purchase.

New research commissioned by Zillow and conducted by Harris Poll found that most recent sellers (65%) take on at least two home improvement projects to prepare their home for sale, while data from Thumbtack found that they can invest about $5,400. average when hiring a professional to complete the most popular projects.

The survey found that sellers who sold their home in the past two years mostly completed interior painting (40%), carpet cleaning (35%) and landscaping (33%) before listing their home for sale.

Data from Thumbtack shows the average cost of those projects adds up to $5,388, but the average can be as much as $8,249 in metro areas like Seattle-Tacoma and as little as $4,102 in metro areas like Miami-Fort Lauderdale. In addition to location, home improvement costs can vary based on the size and scope of the project. For example, small landscaping projects, such as planting flowers, lawn care and tree trimming, can cost a few hundred dollars, while larger projects involving planting trees and installing sprinklers can cost thousands.

“These projects can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home remodeling expert. “An inviting outdoor space, clean floors and a fresh coat of paint – especially the right color – can give a strong signal to potential buyers that the home is well-maintained and modern. While sellers may be reluctant to present these projects early, that development can ultimately pay off, whether it’s helping the house sell faster or more money.”

Nearly 3 out of 4 recent sellers (74%) believe that the improvement projects they completed to prepare their home for sale helped them sell their home. The top projects that recent sellers said helped sell their homes were interior painting (27%) and landscaping (21%).

“A well-maintained home is one of the best ways for homeowners to attract buyers,” said David Steckel, real estate expert at Thumbtack. “Thumbtack research found that a well-maintained home can sell for about 10% more than a similar home in average condition. Buyers are making the biggest investment of their lives, and they want peace of mind investing in a well-maintained home. .”

When considering projects to skip, only 11% of recent sellers thought appliance repair or replacement, and roof repair, maintenance or cleaning helped sell their home. On the other hand, less than one in five recent sellers (17%) believe that completing a kitchen renovation to prepare their home for sale helped them sell. While costs vary depending on the work done and materials chosen, this project can average $10,355.

Neglecting needed maintenance and minor cosmetic upgrades can lead to regretful sales, especially in today’s changing market. A Zillow survey found that 30% of recent sellers think more home improvements or renovations would help them get a higher sale price. Exclusive Zillow research found that about two out of three real estate agents believe today’s sellers are wrong if they think they don’t need to fix up a home before selling.

Late April is traditionally the best time to list a home for sale, which means now is the time to skip any repairs or improvements. Previous research by Zillow found that the top seller’s regret is not starting the process of preparing their home for sale sooner. And a quarter of sellers who made at least one home improvement before listing their home for sale said it took longer than expected.

Today’s housing market is very different from the chaotic era of bidding wars and rush sales. A recent Zillow analysis found that homes are now on the market for an average of 54 days, 45% longer than last year. However, listings that find buyers are doing so in 18 days across the country, suggesting that the most interesting properties are still moving quickly. Real estate agents can help sellers decide which projects are worth investing in based on their neighborhood market.

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