Home prices in major U.S. cities were up 5.7 percent in December 2015, and the market is predicted to be seller-friendly this year. If you’re planning to sell your house in 2016, you may have some competition from other homeowners looking to take advantage of a favorable market.
Improving your home’s curb appeal is one of the easiest ways to stand out in a competitive market.
The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report evaluated the impact of interior and exterior home improvements for people planning to stay in their homes and for people planning to sell. They ranked eight exterior improvements, in two categories: appeal to buyers and biggest boost to resale value.
Top-ranked exterior improvements:
- New roof. A new roof topped the list of exterior upgrades most attractive to buyers and most likely to increase resale value. This is also a costly upgrade, so if your roof is a few years old but in good condition, you might want to focus on less expensive projects.
- New vinyl windows. Realtors ranked new vinyl windows second in both categories. If you have a large home, new vinyl windows may assuage buyer concerns about heating and cooling costs, because so much of those costs depend on window quality.
- New doors. Number three in both categories was a new garage door, and a new steel front door was the sixth most appealing upgrade for buyers and seventh most likely to add resale value. The report estimated a new garage door averages an 87 percent return on investment, and a new steel front door offers a 75 percent return on investment.
If you’re going to replace either the garage door or front door, consider replacing them both, so their color and style match. Garage doors aren’t just white, utilitarian necessities these days — they’re available in a variety of finishes and designs that can add visual interest to a home’s exterior.
4 & 5. New vinyl siding and wood windows ranked fourth and fifth on both lists, and new fiber-cement siding and fiberglass front door also made the cut. A Realtor can help you decide which improvements would be most likely to appeal to buyers in your area and improve the value of your home.