If you are thinking of selling, you should talk to a real estate agent.  Real Estate agents know what is selling in your area, what features buyers are looking for, and a host of other helpful information.  Consulting with them is free, so you have nothing to lose and only insights to gain.  Their expertise can help you get the best price for your home.

Talk to your real estate agent about items that will boost the value of your home.  Some things to consider when you are talking to them:

  1. Kitchens are King

First-time home buyers are usually looking for a modern/updated kitchen.  In a survey of millennials, the largest group of first-time homebuyers, one in three said that an updated kitchen topped the list in their ideal home.  Consumer Reports

Maximizing your kitchen’s value does not always take a complete renovation. Upgrading appliances to stainless steel finishes, replacing countertops with granite, flooring, a fresh coat of paint, and even new kitchen hardware can give a fresh, clean look.

  • Versatile space over Size

The bigger, the better is not always accurate in today’s real estate market. What people seek may be a more efficient use of space.  Open floor plans that allow for flexible living space were second in the Consumer Reports survey.  Rooms that have multiple purposes are the most efficient. Working from home is becoming more common, but your best bet is an office that can double as a guest room. Smaller rooms and a closet can be turned into an upstairs laundry, a popular idea with younger buyers.

As Airbnb’s become more popular, finishing the basement or the attic may be a way to add more living space.   You can rent this space out and earn extra money or have a designated area for family and friends.

  • Green is in

According to a 2015 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, “energy-efficient” was second only to “safe community” on the list of attributes that would most influence a purchase decision.  Increasing the R-value of your insulation, higher efficiency HVAC, and efficient on-demand water heating will all be seen as adding value.  The most excellent part may be that a homeowner will start saving money before selling.

Energy efficiency can start with more minor changes like LED lighting and high-efficiency windows.  Every bit of savings will help you and increase the value of your home should you sell.

  • Simplicity

Keep it simple.  Many of today’s home buyers, especially first-timers, are looking for a simple, stress-free solution when it comes to their homes.  Wall-to-wall carpets, ornate decorations, stain prone stone countertops all equate to more work in the eyes of today’s buyers.

Upgraded and well-maintained water systems, plumbing, HVAC equipment, newer roofs, and electrical wiring are big winners with first-time buyers.  Many will have used most of their savings on the down payment, so having fewer things to worry about fixing is a huge plus for them.

  • Paint

A new coat can add a clean and fresh look to any room.  Think in terms of neutral colors and use high-quality paints.  This alone can add 1% to 2% to the value of a home.

  • The Outdoors

Think of the outdoors as an expanded living space.  A patio, built-in grill, or fire pit add extra space with low maintenance.  Pools, for example, are high-maintenance, so today’s buyers may shy away from them.

  • Smart home technology

Millennials grew up with smartphones.  They have experience controlling things with their fingertips.  Often they are looking for homes that are compatible with this technology.  The right amenities, from programmable thermostats to security systems, can add 3% to 5% to the value of your home.