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According to Realtor.com, a 7.5% increase in listed homes is putting more homes on the market for buyers in the U.S. However, it’s not all good news. Mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been in a very long time. Buyers are looking at current rates (December 7, 2023) of 6.87% for a 30-year fixed loan, 6.13% for a 15-year fixed loan, or 7.2% for a 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage.

When it comes to selling, the increase in competition requires you to be competitive. When you want to get top dollar for your home, what are the best changes to make to ensure you boost the value of your South Florida home? These 10 home improvement projects and upgrades are going to help increase your home’s value.

Address Mildew and Damp

If there are any damp, mildewy areas in your home, address that before you call a realtor or list your home. Buyers don’t want to inherit problems. You might have a leak in a roof or plumbing that isn’t easily spotted. Your AC system may not be working as effectively as it should, so maintenance can help get it running properly.

Fix any areas of sheetrock or flooring that have mildew. If there’s mildew in the bathroom, which happens a lot when ventilation isn’t good enough, have the bathroom vent fan replaced or add one if your home doesn’t have it.

Consider New Flooring

If you have dogs or smoke inside your home, you may not notice the dog and smoke odors, but others will. The same is true if your HVAC system leaks and water seeps into the carpeting. If your home smells damp or mildewy, it will scare potential buyers. New flooring goes a long way to secure a fast sale.

First, make sure you have your central AC system inspected to make sure condensate drain channels are draining properly and that water isn’t collecting and spilling onto your floor. If it checks out, change the air filters and see if odors diminish. If your AC technician finds problems with the AC, get them fixed ASAP.

Second, if that doesn’t help, it’s a good time for new flooring. Yes, you do have to spend some money, but new flooring will pay for itself. Realtor.com reports that hardwood flows boost a home’s sales price by 2.5%.

If you’re lucky, you can avoid full replacement. Consider having the carpet professionally cleaned and steam clean any tile or linoleum flooring. If you have wood flooring, make sure any damage is repaired and research the cost to have the floors refinished. If you can afford it, refinished floors help boost your home’s value.

Declutter Rooms

If you have a very cluttered room, it may look like there’s a lack of storage. Remove as much clutter as you can. Put unnecessary items in storage, take down photos and unnecessary artwork, and make sure counters have plenty of space. Tidy cabinets by putting items in colorful storage bins to appear organized.

As you’re decluttering, repair anything that is obviously broken. If there is a door that sticks, fix it. If you have holes from the photo hangers, patch them with plaster, sand them down, and let them dry before repainting the repaired areas. 

Are ducts visible in your closets or open in a room? Make sure they’re fixed and free of cracks or holes. If insulation is falling off them, have that repaired by a professional HVAC expert. You don’t want exposed ducts creating an eyesore. If you can’t hide them completely, a decorative screen or stands with lush greenery can draw attention from the ducts in the corner of a room.

Make Sure All Major Appliances Work

Here’s a very important tip. Make sure all appliances work correctly and don’t have unusual odors. If your washing machine smells musty, clean it to get rid of the smell. Clean the refrigerator and freezer to make sure they look clean and taken care of. These are the appliances to ensure they are in good working order and repaired if there are issues.

  • Central AC system
  • Furnace/boiler
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Stove/oven
  • Washer and dryer
  • Water heater

The HVAC system needs to work. If a potential homeowner tests out the AC and finds it doesn’t kick in quickly or makes unusual noises, it can drive the buyer away. Be proactive and have a South Florida AC expert maintain and inspect your central air system. That inspection paperwork can help secure a sale.

Update the Paint

If you’ve been patching holes left behind or have bold colors on some of your walls, make sure you repaint ceilings and walls. Light, neutral colors are more likely to drive a sale. Cream, very gray, and white are ideal.

You may love the beachy feel of your aqua walls, white trim, and pale wood flooring, but it’s not going to be to everyone’s taste. Buyers will look and start to calculate how much it’s going to cost them to repaint. If you have to have bold colors, keep them to an accent wall and leave everything else neutral.

Paint decks and fences outside to make them look new, too. Clean any mildew or moss first with a cleaner designed to kill the growth and keep it from returning. A clean, fresh home is going to sell faster than one that looks old and dated.

Upgrade to Energy-Efficient HVAC Systems

Today’s buyer is looking for an energy-efficient home. High interest rates eat into a monthly budget, so buyers need to keep their utility bills low. With energy-efficient improvements, you help them achieve that.

Solar is a great investment in Florida, and it’s one that many homeowners want. Solar helps keep electricity bills down, which is essential when a home has central AC and a pool, as both of those drive up electricity usage. It also helps the environment. That’s a win-win situation in today’s world. It’s a costly upgrade, but if it’s one you can afford, it will help your home stand out against the competition and sell quickly.

However, we have one energy-efficient improvement that stands out as the best option. If your home’s central AC system is older, it’s worth paying to replace it. A new system with clean, inspected ducts is going to boost your home’s value. While you do have to pay for this new system, you can claim rebates and tax incentives if you have the work done before you move. Keep your receipts and make sure you work with a licensed South Florida AC installer.

All Year Cooling is licensed and partners with FPL on instant rebates for energy-efficient AC systems. Ask us how to maximize your purchase so that you’re getting the best ROI when you sell your home.

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