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Which Upgrades to Make
1) Kitchen Upgrade / Renovation    For every homeowner, the kitchen is always the most important room in the home. It’s the central focus of every party. It’s where the important meals are prepared. It’s the room with the most expensive amenities. Take the time to plan the design of this upgrade carefully, and with re-sale in mind too.
2) Bath(s) Upgrade / Renovation    For every homeowner, the bathroom is the second most important room in the home.  It’s more than just four walls. It too can be a statement of character. It too can have expensive amenities, like a steam shower, a jetted tub, heated floors, extravagant tile, upscale lighting, and more. Because of the expense, plan this one carefully.
3) Add a Deck    The home has become a central entertainment place. For family gatherings or any kind of social entertaining, a great party deck is a nice compliment to a comfortable living space. A deck is always high on every homebuyer’s wish list.
4) Finish the Basement     The basement should be more than just another storage area. Make it functional as part of the home. Yes, it can be expensive to add bedrooms, bathrooms, and additional living areas, but well worth the investment.   Enjoy the benefits now, and reap the rewards later.
5) New Windows    Today’s homeowners ( and homebuyers ) rank energy efficiency high on their wish lists. Replacing old, drafty windows with new energy-efficient ones will lower heating & cooling costs, reduce noise, and improve the appearance of the home. This improvement pays for itself.
6) Add a Family Room    Especially for an older home with limited family space, this addition can make the most sense, and add the most to your future resale value. As with the deck addition, a well-planned family room addition will maximize the comfortable living space of any home.
7) Add a Fireplace    Even if it’s a gas fireplace, this addition is high on the list of homebuyers.
8) Add a Pool   This will be the most expensive improvement you can make. Make sure the neighborhood can support the additional cost added to the value of your home.
9) New Landscaping   This is a must-do item. Everyone will first notice your home from the street; it’s your curb appeal. Home buyers first judge your home when they drive up outside. If the curb appeal is missing, they will drive on and look for another home. It’s the curb appeal that makes them want to see the inside. It’s not that expensive if planned carefully.
10) New Lighting  One of the least expensive improvements can easily add the most future re-sale value. New lighting makes an older home feel younger and more appealing. Study the current trends, but be careful not to choose ultra-trendy styles that will quickly be out-of-style.
For all of these improvements, my suggestion is to do them now. Don’t wait until it’s time to put your home on the market. Make the improvements now and get some good out of your investments.

Why Stage the Home
It’s the curb appeal from the street that makes home buyers want to see inside. But, once inside, the home has to have that same appeal, or the buyers will quickly move on to the next home. Hiring a professional to stage the home prior to putting it on the market will greatly improve the chances for a quick offer and a better offer. Hoarders reap the most benefit from the services of a professional home staging company. Too much stuff can give the impression of a “not-so- well-cared-for” home.   It’s probably better to choose a minimalist approach; this style makes the rooms look and feel larger, younger, brighter, and more open.
Vacant homes, on the other hand, make it difficult for home buyers to visualize the width and depth of rooms. Vacant homes are also cold and uninviting to home buyers. When a home has nice, trendy, well-placed furnishings, it gives a warm, cozy, “come-on-in,” appeal to visitors. The buyers will stay longer and try to see their furnishings in the rooms, a very desired buying signal.
A good home stager will incorporate various Feng Shui techniques to make the home even more inviting to the senses. Feng Shui is all about the flow of energy within the home. It’s about the placement of things within the home to make it more appealing. Sometimes it’s the piece itself that makes the difference, good or bad, and sometimes it’s the placement of the piece. Color too is an integral part of Feng Shui.
For a home that is still occupied, the home stager will work with the existing pieces of furniture, adding some pieces, removing some pieces, and suggesting alternative placements. For a vacant home, the stagers offer loaner pieces to make the staging effect. It’s important that the style of the furnishings matches the style of the home. This is where the stager’s credentials and experience really come into play. Sleek, ultra-modern furniture will probably not give the same effect in a Victorian home as it would in a loft-style condo.
When you want to sell your home for top dollar, consider hiring an expert to help you attain just the right look in every room.   The benefits of a higher offer and a quicker offer will more than offset the cost of hiring a professional to stage the home.