Selling a House - Best Renovations for The Money (Part 1)In today’s tough real estate market, it can feel almost impossible to get top dollars for your house. These tips will give you the best return on investment when renovating your house for sale. Don’t over-invest if you don’t need to!

In the first article, I will cover all interior renovations and give you concrete tips and advice as to how to maximize the value of your house with minimal repairs.

Please keep these generic rules in mind when doing your repairs:

The biggest and most common mistake house sellers make is “replacing the old” in order to “install the new”. A good example is your roof. A leaking roof does not automatically mean that the old roof needs to be replaced. A few replaced shingles is often enough to take care of this problem. Another thing to keep in mind is that whenever you tear out the old, you usually create more work you initially intended. You break a window or bust a pipe… The lesson is very simple: don’t think everything you replace the expensive way is going to come back as a higher sale price.

What the buyer sees as valuable is what you are after. A dirty roof could easily be mistaken for an old, leaking one that needs to be replaced. A simple power wash can take care of this problem and an old roof looks brand new again. Another good example is a dirty carpet. No one wants to see themselves walking bare-foot on a dirty carpet let alone let their kids crawl on one. A good carpet cleaning can do miracles to a home.

Part 1 – Interior

1. Interior cleaning Clean the whole interior of your house, and I mean every inch of it. Start with the toughest spots (bathrooms, kitchen) and work your way to light fixtures, window sills and base boards. Pull all the appliances out from the wall and clean underneath them. Don’t forget the scuff marks on the walls and fingerprints on door knobs. To finish off the first step, give your house a fresh smell. There are several different products on the market that all work very well. Whatever you end up choosing, pick a one that generates a fresh scent for months. However, remember not to mask a bad odor by only trying to use fresh scent. You obviously need to solve the root cause first which often is your dirty carpet. Fresh scent is a finishing touch that seals the deal for you.

2. Carpet cleaning If your home has a carpet, it needs to be clean when you try to sell your house. This is a must! No one wants to picture themselves laying on a dirty carpet let alone see their kids crawl on one. Cleaning a carpet should always be your first option. If done well, this is a very cost efficient solution and saves you lot of money. Hire a professional carpet cleaning company to do the job remember to negotiate the price up front.

3. Light Replace all old light bulbs with brand new 100 watt bulbs. If your blinds are faded and look old, consider replacing them with new ones from Home Depot or Lowe’s. Even the cheapest ones make a huge difference and help your home look fresher.

4. Paint Before painting the interior, make sure all holes and imperfections on the walls are filled with wall putty or hole filler. When painting, you need to focus on two things: 1) color, and 2) finish. A rough rule of thumb when choosing the right finish is that walls and other areas that need to hide imperfections, require flat finish. Flat paint can be easily recognized through its rough surface that cannot be cleaned with a rag or cloth. Kitchen cabinets, base boards, trims and some ceilings are usually painted with semi gloss paint. This surface can be recognized from its “slippery” touch.

5. Fixtures and other hardware New light fixtures can be very inexpensive and make a dramatic improvement to any home. Don’t spend more than $15 per fixture to keep the budget down.

Another very inexpensive way to improve the interior of your home is to replace all old light switch and electric socket covers with brand new ones. Make sure you choose the right size and color for every room.

Bathroom and kitchen faucets can sometimes look stained and old. Replacing all of them is good idea when you want to improve the appeal of your bathrooms and kitchen. Be careful with this investment, though, since faucets can be very expensive if not chosen carefully. My recommendation is to go with brushed metal colored faucets.

Part 2 of this article will focus on exterior improvements. Stay tuned for more valuable information!