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an inherited home might need repair and renovations before selling

Estate sales are about to be big business for real estate agents. The aging Baby Boomer generation is leaving behind a lot of homes, and many of them have been in the family for generations. If you inherited a home from your parents or grandparents, there are some renovations that you should do before listing it for sale. Here are three things to consider when preparing your property for sale.

Before You Begin Your Renovations:

It might be tempting to dive into the job of preparing the house you just inherited for a quick sale. However, selling a house quickly is different than what you might look for if you are renovating a house for your own benefit with value from the investment growing over many years of ownership.

Here are some things to do before you begin any large renovations ...

  • Check for any issues that may be affecting the property's value, such as structural damage or mold
  • Consider how your renovation work might affect the sale price of the house and whether it will be worth it in the long run
  • Get an appraisal to find out what your home is worth now before you start spending money on renovations
  • Is this a home that you want to consider buying and living in, instead of selling?

With those items resolved, let's take a look at some of the key renovations that you should consider to help make your newly inherited home sell quickly and at a good price.

Replacing the roof

A new roof could boost your property’s curb appeal and value. It could also have many practical advantages such as improving insulation and reducing the risk of future leaks (if you’ve got an old damaged roof, it could only be a matter of time before water starts seeping in). Replacing a roof is not a DIY job due to being quite a precise and dangerous job - you’re better off hiring a qualified roofing contractor. While a new roof can be a big investment, it’s likely to pay off.

Installing or Improving A Driveway

If you’ve got a front lawn but no driveway, you could consider whether it’s worth laying a driveway. Having off-road parking could reduce car insurance rates and reduce the hassle of finding a space (especially if you live on a busy street). It could also increase the value of your home. When laying a driveway, make sure that it is professionally done. It could be worth hiring an expert to lay it to make sure that the driveway is neat and even. 

Additionally a freshly sealed or paved driveway simply looks great on photos that the prospective buyer might see even before taking the time to visit.

Low Maintenance Landscaping

While we're on the subject of curb appeal, making sure that the lawn is well trimmed and that any and all bushes, trees, and flower beds are taken care of will also show prospective buyers that your house is worth considering.

Remember though that the goal here isn't to plant the most amazing garden or landscaping elements ever imagined, but rather to go for inexpensive, good looking, low maintenance things that can be installed quickly.

Along with adding new elements, make sure to improve existing areas such as adding fresh stones or mulch so that the house looks great when someone drives by.

Unfortunately, many homes that people inherit may have elements like this that were once beautifully maintained but as your relative got older or perhaps suffered from illness the landscaping suffered.

Replacing the front door

Is your front door old and worn? If so, installing a new front door could have many benefits. A new door will not only add curb appeal, but it could also improve your home’s security and insulation. You should definitely think about getting a new front door if your door is visibly damaged - this could be an advertisement to burglars. Take the time to shop around for doors to find the right style for your home. 

Installing new windows

If your windows are starting to look a bit worn and damaged, you consider also replacing these. Installing new windows could improve your curb appeal as well as having many other benefits. Newer windows could provide better insulation in winter (it could be a chance to upgrade from single glazed to double glazed windows) and they could possibly offer greater security against burglars. You could also consider installing shutters to help with light control or storm protection. All in all, there are lots of reasons to consider new windows. Make sure to hire a professional to replace windows as this can be a big job. 

Replace Light Bulbs With Energy Efficient LED Lights

By updating the lighting in house you are preparing for sale, not only will the improved light help make the house look better and show prospective buyers that you are an owner who cares, but it will also save money and be better for the environment. Replacing all the light bulbs with LED lights (or even just enough to replace those that are out) is a great way for you as the owner to improve your home and help future buyers see what they will be buying. Replacing old, energy inefficient lighting can also lower power bills by hundreds of dollars.

Give Everything A Fresh Coat Of Paint

If you have any areas of the home that could use a fresh coat of paint, try to give them a new layer. Painting is one of those projects that might not seem like it has much value but always makes a huge difference when showing your house off to potential buyers. You should definitely think about repainting if there's flaking or peeling on exterior walls as this can be an advertisement for wood rot and water damage problems inside the property.

In addition, consider painting throughout before putting up for sale so as to highlight different features such as crown molding or architectural details in rooms around the house.

Installing or Updating a patio/decking

A patio or deck could be a great addition to your backyard. Such a feature can help to create a designated social area for placing outdoor furniture. A patio or deck could also add value to your home. Patios tend to be more cost-effective as they cost less upfront. Patios are also easier to maintain. A deck however could be a better option if your backyard is sloped - decking can be easily raised. Of course, for most people it’s all personal taste - some people prefer the style of a patio, while others prefer the style of decking.

Home renovations can be challenging, especially if you're trying to do them on your own. Luckily there are plenty of simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up the exterior of your home before putting it on the market. These projects will help make sure that prospective buyers see what they want when they first drive by - a beautiful house with curb appeal that will also be move-in ready with no big hassles to consider in the near future.

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