Top 4 Home Improvements Under $40,000

Preparing your home for market has never been more important than now. New construction and the increase in remodeled properties with flashy finishes and designer fixtures are making the decision easy for eager buyers wanting an updated, stylish, turn-key solution. If asked “what is our competition”, and the answer is every home on the market, then it’s time to assess what needs to change with your home in order to compete with the new kids on the block.

Most clients agree that updating their home would make a big difference, admitting there hasn’t been any updates in several years. Some have talked about remodeling but simply never got around to it. Others are reluctant to make any changes, insisting their home has been perfect for them and therefore it will be perfect for any buyer.

Let’s be clear, spending money to improve your property’s marketability is always a good idea. It’s not only about return on investment but rather how quickly your home will sell and how competitive your home will be in today’s market.

Here are my top four suggestions for giving your home a quick, easy, fabulous new look that your buyers will love! The best part is you won’t have to spend a lot of money.


A fresh coat of paint through-out is a game changer. A new wall color not only can transform a space, but it is by far the most affordable update to any home. Think of paint as a new haircut or a new outfit. We’ve all experienced that person we haven’t seen in a long time and have said “I love your new glasses” when in fact, it wasn’t the glasses at all – it was their haircut. The best thing about painting is the house smells like new construction. Typical painting projects can be as little as $5,000, and up to $15,000 depending on how many rooms.


New carpet makes a huge difference. Some buyers are not carpet people – often turned off by stains and traffic patterns that never seem to look better after being professionally cleaned. An average cost for carpet is around $4.00 sq/ft, installation and pad are approximately $2.00 sq/ft. Carpet for three bedrooms can be in the range of $5,400. Wool is more expensive, ranging from $7.00 – $9.00 sq/ft.

Light Fixtures

Lighting can be a Deal Maker for buyers. Think of lighting as art. Lighting has taken Center Stage, often-times being the one thing in the room that everyone is talking about. Spend money on the right light fixture, and people will remember your home. Lighting costs can vary. On average, lighting for a typical condo or home can range from $5,000 – $10,000.

Photo Styling & Staging

Having a professional stylist prepare your home for photography can change the perception of your home instantly. People who know me know this is a biggie for me. I’ve always said the perception of your home should be equal or greater than the price. If styled or staged beautifully, buyers will see the value in your home and be more inclined to act more quickly when considering an offer. Styling and staging can be as little as $3,500 if styled only and as much as $6,500 if staged with furniture.

Never underestimate any square inch of your home when presenting it to potential buyers. You never know what will resonate emotionally with a buyer. Fresh paint, new carpet, and updated lighting will make your home look new and appealing. And sometimes it’s the most unassuming thing, like a book placed on a coffee table, or a framed college diploma, or a stack of perfectly folded towels next to a soaking tub. Think of your house as a Five-Star Hotel experience for your buyer. A beautifully styled, thoughtfully appointed home will increase buyer purchase confidence and make them feel like Royalty. I can’t think of a better combination! Let’s get started. Your home is about to become FABULOUS!

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