Thinking of putting your house on the market in the new year? Before you do, you might want to get your house in order. Not sure where to start? Wondering where you can get the biggest bang for your buck? We have some guidance on the best investments you can make in the current market.

First off, neutral painting of walls, trim, doors, ceiling, and even cabinetry is HUGE (don’t forget the outside as well as inside). Updated flooring also makes a major difference. You want to convey to the buyer, “Move in, get comfortable, and take your time making it your own.” It’s hard to see beyond dirty walls and stained carpeting.

Take a look at your front entryway. In the real estate market, people really do judge a book by its cover. Pretend you are a potential buyer walking up to the front door and waiting for the agent to open the home up. Take a sharp critical look at what you see—from overgrown bushes to chipped paint on the door to dim lighting in the entry.

It would be great if every home on the market had an updated kitchen and bath, but this is unrealistic and often cost prohibitive. However, some enhancements can be done for a modest price and really make a big difference. Consider updating appliances, countertops, plumbing fixtures, lighting, and textiles.  

Beyond that, you’ll want to make sure all major problems are fixed. Broken air conditioners, leaky roofs, dripping faucets should all be taken care of before your house goes on the market. If you don’t want to replace a roof, consider a credit to the buyer as part of the sale price.

Other solid investments include a fresh coat of exterior paint, new garage doors, energy-efficient windows, and updated appliances. If you do decide to do a kitchen or bathroom remodel, make sure you don’t price yourself out of the market (or take shortcuts for a high-end home). You don’t want to put a luxury kitchen in a $250,000 home.

If you have specific questions about what you need to do to your home before you put it on the market, please reach out to us at (630) 441-5570 or through our website, We’ve sold thousands of homes in the area and can give you a free consultation.