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Which home improvements will help you sell today?

Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015 at 9:40:12 AM

Homes come in all shapes and sizes, and for buyers, the interior design can make or break a sale. With that in mind, today's sellers must make some smart choices with their improvements. According to Realtor.com, bold paints, converted bedrooms and carpeted floors are all turn-offs for potential buyers.

Depending on your perspective, the yearly fluctuations in home improvement trends are either a positive or negative. Either way, it can get confusing as to which route is the right one for your property. To help clarify, Home Loan Investment Bank's Randy Stockstill shared some advice for selling your home - and making the right design choices along the way. He explained that the first step is to address the exterior of your home.

"You can accomplish this by mowing the lawn, planting flowers in bloom, hanging easy-to-read house numbers and re-painting and staining the front porch," Stockstill recommended.

Next up is the inside of your home. According to Stockstill, you should tackle items that are often noticed by buyers, such as the floors.

"At the bare minimum, [your floors] should be sparkling clean, however, refinishing wood floors is a great way to make your home stand out," he noted. "Lastly, since everyone knows bathrooms sell homes, it's important to pay special attention to these areas. Dated bathroom tile can be a major turn-off. One inexpensive way to alleviate this concern is to paint over with a neutral color. Also, pedestal sinks are a great way to open up small bathroom spaces."

In addition to new renovations, you may want to dedicate some home improvement financing to undoing some of your past design choices. While this will be tough, the color or layout you like may not be right for a potential buyer.

"A little color here and there is okay, but try to rein in any wild designs in order to appeal to the widest array of potential buyers," Stockstill added. "You should also remove any personal items, such as pictures, awards and even little Timmy's drawing on the fridge. The goal is for prospective buyers to picture themselves living in the home, and these type of personal items can really get in the way. Finally, it's important to use your extra space wisely. Repurpose that spare bedroom as a home office or gym, and clear out the clutter from the garage so you can actually park your cars there."

When selling, focus on tapping into home improvement trends that are popular today, like outdoor living spaces.

"Rather than replacing a deck, for example, using a little elbow grease to dress the area up can go a long way," Stockstill explained. "Stabilize and replace any rotten boards, and stain for that 'like new' look and feel. Furnishing the area with a barbeque pit and a set of outdoor table and chairs will also add living space and cozy appeal to your home."

With these tips, you'll be able to better position your home to sell in today's market.