Knowing the factors that affect the value of your home is important when you’re getting ready to sell. Focus on the changes you can affect and work with your realtor to minimize or compensate for the things you can’t.

7 Things You Can Change to Add Value to Your Home

  1. An updated kitchen. Big kitchens with lots of workspace are in. Savvy buyers know to look for solid surface counters and high-quality flooring, such as wood, laminate, tile or stone. Of course, newer appliances don’t hurt either.

  2. Modern bathrooms. Features such as a spa or whirlpool tub, separate showers with steam and/or multiple jets, double sinks, and a separate room for the toilet are all signs of a modernized bathroom.

  3. An impressive master suite. A luxurious bathroom, lounging or settee areas, and walk-in closets are on the wish lists of many buyers. Rather than embark on a renovation, enlist the services of a designer for some tips on altering the layout and design of your master suite.

  4. Authentic materials. Natural materials like ceramic tile, hardwood floors, and granite are very appealing. Even if it’s not the real thing, look for high-quality simulated materials. Ceramic tile or wood is preferred for bathrooms and kitchens, and wood or laminate products trump carpeting in the rest of the house.

  5. Quality windows. Windows provide important natural lighting and serve as source of décor. Equally important, they also help keep the elements out. Energy efficiency is on the minds of most buyers these days.

  6. A bright, airy vibe. They may not be able to touch it, but people do feel space and light, Many times, they even pay more for it. Wherever possible, open up your rooms to shed light and reduce clutter.

  7. Landscaping. First impressions matter. In fact, they might matter as much as 5 percent to 10 percent when it comes to the value of your home. Trees, well-maintained planting beds, and outdoor living areas help boost the value of your home. You need not spend a lot of money, but neither should your lawn and garden look like an afterthought.

Some Things You Can’t Change (And That May Lessen the Value of Your Home)

Technically, you can change anything, but these are the bigger ticket items that you probably won’t invest in when you’re trying to sell your home. Instead, talk with your realtor about the best way to minimize these things that might be perceived as negative to potential buyers.

  • A nontraditional floor plan. Small rooms and bathrooms, an inconvenient floor plan, or a layout that requires you to access bedrooms or bathrooms through other rooms will detract value from your home.

  • No garage or small garage. Unless you’re selling in the city, most buyers are looking for a two car garage.

  • Limited storage space. An oversized garage, an outdoor shed, attic space, and walk-in closets are on the wish lists of many buyers.

  • No basement. Finished basements are making a comeback. If you have an unfinished basement, do what you can to remedy any leaks or water problems before you put your house on the market.

  • A bad roof. Yes, you could replace it prior to selling, but roofs are expensive and you may not be able to roll the cost into your selling price. Instead, be prepared to take a hit in your asking price if your roof is in need of replacement.

  • Undesirable location. Though not all buyers have the same location expectations, understand that if you have train tracks in your backyard or if your driveway has a shared easement, this will, by nature, exclude some potential buyers.

  • Environmental hazards. This one probably goes without saying, but lead, mold, or asbestos problems make it extremely difficult to sell a home due to health risks. This situation requires a buyer who is willing to purchase at a deep discount and has the money to invest in making the necessary improvements prior to move-in.


Stay informed on Sarasota’s Real Estate Business Environment and Sarasota’s Finest Properties events by joining Michael’s Subscriber List.