“The best our home has ever looked was the day before the for-sale sign went in the yard.”

– said every client, every time.


HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Survey reported homeowners spent an average of $5,157 on home projects in 2016. The only reward for completing a home project shouldn’t be personal satisfaction but also knowing you’ve helped increase the value of your home.

If you are considering a move, whether that is next month or next year, selecting which updates, upgrades, or maintenance issues that will pay off in the long run can be tricky.

Reaching maximum resale potential is also extremely hyper-local. What applies on the West Coast may not apply here in the Midwest, so don’t believe everything you’ve seen on HGT

Below is a collection of Brian’s “Model Home” tips to help homeowners focus on a honey-do list that adds value now and into the future.

Curb Appeal: A home is like a book, judged by its cover. Mulch the flower beds. Power wash the exterior. Cut back overgrown trees.

Front Entry: A critical point of first physical connection. Touch up paint the front door. Consider upgrading the storm door. Inside-light, bright, and open.

Pro Tip #1 Don’t lock out Potential.  Make a buyers first experience memorable not one struggling to unlock the front door.

Kitchen: No other room is more important. Rule of 3s on the countertops. Good lighting is huge. Consider updating cabinet hardware and other fixtures for a good return on investment.

Bathrooms: Cheap updates include vanity lights and plumbing fixtures. Expensive ones include flooring, vanity and bath tile surround.

Bedrooms: Oversized bedroom furniture is a deal killer. Window furnishings are significant because there isn’t much else to look at.

Pro Tip #2 Put a smile on your home.  Bold, new house numbers are a subtle welcome for visitors.

Basements: Open, clean and bright…Easy enough.

Garage: A clean, organized garage is a secret indicator of a well-kept owner. Inspectors always find electrical issues out here. How banged up is the garage door?

Backyard: Flat is king. Landscape problem areas with low maintenance, high hide shrubs. Open space is preferred by buyers with kids.


Windows: Funny thing about windows, buyers see right through them. Low return on investment.

Flooring: It’s hard for a buyer to overlook Kool-Aid stained or injured flooring.


Pro Tip #3 Hardwood Flooring No-No.  Do not place fake wood flooring next to real. 

Ceilings: Prime and paint any old water stains wall to wall. Spot painting draws attention.

Storage: Food in the hall closet indicates a lack of kitchen storage. Plastic bins stacked neatly in the garage is very acceptable.

Smells: Neutralize don’t deodorize. Heavy smells scream cover-up.

Paint: Very high return on investment. Don’t be afraid of colors in the rooms but the main floor should be neutral.

Pro Tip #4 To Repair, Replace or Upgrade.  Spending money on improvements boils down to one question- what does the competition look like? 

Plumbing & Electrical: Updating ceiling fans, faucets, and lighting are good investments. Home inspectors love to find deferred maintenance under sinks, in the utility room or in the electrical panel.

Furniture: Rearrange for unobstructed walk ways. Make rooms appear as large as possible without making them look barren.

If some of these projects require a little extra muscle check with Brian’s network of carpenters, painters, and cleaners. Effort spent in the right place can often mean big returns at the closing table.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]