Five Features that may Help Sell your Home

Remodeling your home isn't just about what you want, but also what the next owner might want. Especially if you're not planning to stay in your home for long, remodeling with the next owner in mind will help you choose projects that will add to your home's overall value. Consider some of these features to draw the attention of prospective buyers and fetch a good price for your home when you sell it.

1. Upgraded Kitchen: An up-to-date kitchen is the number one feature that homeowners everywhere are looking for, and it's an obvious place to start when remodeling. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are the standard these days, and a gorgeous tile or hardwood floor will also add value to your kitchen. Consider adding an island, which can double as a place to prepare food or a gathering area when entertaining.

2. Swimming Pool: If your neighbors' yards are dotted with swimming pools, as is common in an area with hot summers, you should include one as well. Consider the flow of the space – you don’t want a pool that consumes your backyard. Put the pool along one side of your yard and consider adding a porch or patio. Installing a fence around the pool will alleviate safety concerns and lower the cost of homeowners insurance.

3. Bathroom with Extras: Bathtubs with jets are standard in luxury homes, and double sinks are definitely the norm. If you want to impress someone looking for the luxury spa experience at home, go a step further with extras in the master bathroom area, like a sauna for relaxation and a tanning bed that allows for a sun-kissed look any time of year.

4. Finished Basement: Finish your basement to make it a functional space with plenty of flexibility so potential buyers can envision using it in the way they want. Start by creating a space that can be a family room, game room or man cave, depending on preference. If you have extra space, finishing the basement with a second smaller room for a home gym, guest room or home office makes it even more appealing. Don't forget to enclose the utility areas of the basement to make it feel more completed and presentable.

5. Energy-Efficient Design: Everyone is concerned about energy use these days, and not just to save on gas and electric bills. Many people see energy efficiency as a way of life and are looking for homes that will help them be good stewards of the environment. Remodeling your home to incorporate energy-efficient features can make it more appealing to buyers. Some features to consider include a solar water heater, bank of double-paned windows for passive solar heating, great insulation and Energy Star-rated appliances.

When you make remodeling plans, consider your own desires in addition to what will help your home sell. You'll be living in the house first, and you want to put your time, energy and money into remodeling in ways that you will enjoy. It helps if these features are things that others will enjoy as well, or that you can depersonalize when it comes time to sell, but don't let all of your decisions be based solely on what buyers want. Happy remodeling!