Posted September 15, 2018 in Real Estate Trends

Shana O’Brien 2018, Clark County WA real estate agent

So you’ve decided to sell your home! The goal is to sell as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. And the last thing you want to do is invest in remodeling right before you move out, especially since “Remodeling” magazine’s 2018 Cost v Value report suggests that most projects will only increase your home’s value by 57% of the cost of the project, on average.

But let’s rewind the clock. The best time to improve your home’s resale value is long before you decide to put it on the market. Performing the necessary ongoing maintenance during throughout your tenancy and keeping the home aesthetically current will serve you better in the long run. So let’s take a look at a few small-budget projects that you should be keeping current and updated; things that buyers will appreciate when you do decide to sell, per the National Association of Home Builders.

Exterior lighting: According to the NAHB, exterior lighting is the most sought-after outdoor feature for buyers. Not only does proper lighting have the ability to beautifully showcase your home and lawn, it’s also a safety consideration. If you’re looking to update your exterior lighting, think about walkway lights, patio pendants, and motion-sensor lights.

Ceiling fans: Potential buyers listed ceiling fans as the #1 most wanted interior décor item. If you have your original ceiling fans in your 1980-built home, you might consider updating them to be more attractive. Buyers will appreciate the energy efficiency of ceiling fans, especially when they add a decorative element to the room.

Hardwood floors: Across the boards, buyers indicated that they prefer hardwood or laminate flooring to carpet. It’s easier to maintain, a cleaner look, and more durable. Carpet should be replaced every 8-10 years, so if your carpet is reaching the age of replacement, consider a hardwood floor, even if the budget dictates an engineered wood or laminate product.

Energy efficient appliances: Future homeowners are looking to keep their utility expenses as low as possible. The more energy efficient your home is, the better. When it comes time to replace your existing appliances, consider making Energy-star qualified purchases. SIDE NOTE: stainless steel still ranks as the most sought offer finish for kitchen appliances, something to keep in mind when the time comes to update.

Outdoor entertaining space: A whopping 87% of future home buyers indicated that an appealing outdoor space is important to them. Keep landscape tight and neat and make sure the deck remains in good repair. If you don’t currently have a space for enjoying the outdoors, consider adding one. You can create an appealing patio area in one weekend using pavers from Home Depot. Especially in a small home, an inviting outdoor space can add the extra living space that a family desires without the expense of an addition.

Even if you’re not ready to sell, you should always keep an eye on your home’s value. For a free home valuation report, visit my web site at

Shana O’Brien
Realty One Group Cascadia
Realtor & Home Stager, WA and OR licensed • Author •