Paint is an upgrade that usually pays dividends. A fresh coat is vital to making a positive first impression. The value of painting the interior can be about double that of painting the exterior because potential buyers want to feel at home inside or feel like the home will show well to potential renters.
If you decide to paint, leave it to the professionals. Painting seems easy on its face, but balancing colors, getting proper trims, cutting clean lines, and making sure the coats are even are difficult even for experienced amateurs.
Plumbing is mostly invisible, so it is hard to impress a buyer with plumbing work. Your main concern should be if there is an issue that would cause your home to fail an inspection. While you could discount the purchase price, outstanding problems will often scare off potential buyers and decrease demand for your property.
If you are thinking about replacing sinks and bathtubs, that may end up involving a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Remodels may not increase the value of your property over what you have spent for the improvements, so you might consider skipping it if you are not planning to keep the property for a few years. The one exception is a plumbing fixture that is a major eyesore and needs to be replaced to keep buyers from forming a negative perception about your property.
Flooring is another tricky area. On the one hand, it is a major part of how the property looks and can make or break a first impression. On the other hand, it is expensive and very much a matter of taste, so you may or may not recoup your full investment. For example, if you have a carpet in poor condition and install a mid-level replacement, the buyer may be doing mental math about upgrading to nicer carpet or installing wood floors.
Ventilation is such an afterthought in most homes that it is probably worth skipping. If you install an upgraded ventilation system, it might impress the buyer, but if none of the other properties they look at have ventilation systems, it might be difficult to put a price on it. In addition, floor plans and location will usually be bigger factors to buyers.
Heating and cooling are similar to plumbing. If the system works in the background, few buyers will notice it. While some buyers might scrutinize utility bills, you will not have time to develop a pattern of low utility costs if you upgrade the heating and cooling system right before selling your rental property.
If your home does have heating and cooling problems, you probably want to get it fixed. This is especially true if it will affect potential buyers’ comfort when you show the home.
Landscaping is another first-impression item and is highly impactful when it comes to curb appeal. The most important thing to do is to present a neat and clean look. This includes a fresh mow, pulling weeds, and removing dead plants. These are things you can take care of on your own.
Flowering plants in your beds and fresh mulch can also impress. However, this is another area that is about subjective tastes, so some buyers will care more than others. It will also depend on how your home looks compared to surrounding properties.
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This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.