If you’re thinking of selling your home in the coming year, it’s time to start taking stock of your property. What condition is it in? What upgrades or renovations have you done since you bought it? What repairs and fixes does it need?

All of these things can impact the resale value of your home, and while you’d obviously like to make a profit on your original purchase, that can only happen if the conditions are right.

Do you want to make a good ROI when the time comes to sell your home? Here are 9 things you’ll want to take into consideration first:

  • Age / Condition – Now, you obviously can’t help how old your home is, but it is important to remember that as your property ages, it probably won’t command as high a value as it once would have. The key to turning a profit on slightly older homes is maintaining its condition – ensuring its safe, beautiful and not a lot of work for the next owner. That means you need to commit to regularly servicing the important systems of the house – the HVAC, the water heater, the plumbing, etc. – as well as keeping up with general repairs of the roof, doors, windows and other important areas of the property.
  • Renovations – You’d probably think that doing any renovation means you’ll automatically turn a profit. Sadly, just like in any industry, trends come and go. If you updated your home with seashell shaped sinks, shag carpeting and linoleum floors, you’re probably not going to make your money back, since those trends went out of style long ago. Make sure you do some research before you renovate or upgrade your property. Only invest the money if it’s something that’s in-demand (and will be when you’re ready to sell).
  • Security – Everyone wants to feel safe in their home, so while you can’t help your neighborhood’s crime rate, you can take small steps to better secure your property and make it more appealing to future buyers. Consider installing a storm door, good porch and driveway lights, a camera system or doorbell or even a security alarm. These can all add value to the home.
  • Bedrooms / Bathrooms – If you have the space to do it, adding in an extra bathroom or bedroom will also help bring in more cash. It could be an addition to the property, or it could be you just converted a loft, basement or attic space to a real room. Either way, it can make your home more marketable to buyers.
  • Your décor / furnishings – It’s OK to have a unique taste in home décor while you live there, but if you paint the walls neon green, plaster puppy dog wall paper all over the bathroom and hang Christmas lights all over the study, you may have a hard time drawing in buyers. You’re best served with classic, neutral furnishings and décor that offer new buyers a foundation to build on.
  • The state of the yard – Most new buyers – especially those with kids – want a home that has a well-cared for yard. That means the backyard is covered with grass, is free of any hazards or holes, and offers plenty of space to run and play for the kids. They also want a front yard with curb appeal; flowers, a patio, trees, a nice mailbox and even simple, painted address numbers can all add to this. Don’t focus all your time on prepping your home’s interior before you sell. Look outdoors, too!
  • The smell – No one wants to buy a house that smells of cigarette smoke or stinky dogs. They may not notice it consciously when they walk in, but you can bet buyers won’t be impressed if there’s an odor in your home – and they definitely won’t be willing to pay the big bucks when that’s the case. Avoid bringing strong smells into your home, and invest in some plug-in air fresheners to keep the place smelling appealing all year round.
  • Trees – We already talked about the yard, but did you know trees can actually add a lot of value to your home all on their own? It’s true. A University of Washington study shows that a mature tree can add 2 percent to a home’s value and if that tree is on the street, up to 3 percent! If you’ve got multiple trees in the front yard, it could add anywhere from 3 to 15 percent to your value.

Are you considering selling your home? Then contact the Claus Team today. Our expert agents can help you prep your home so it gives you the absolute highest return on your investment possible.