Unless you plan on living in your current home until the end of your days, chances are, you consider its potential resale value before making any major cosmetic changes. While certain modifications, such as painting the walls neon or adding mirrors to the ceiling, are likely to deter potential buyers, other cosmetic changes can have the opposite effect.
Adding low-maintenance landscaping, for example, is one way you can make your home stand out in a crowded marketplace, and replacing dated or unsightly small bathroom fixtures is another. Arguably one of the easiest ways you can increase your home’s value with minimal effort and expense, however, involves upgrading your staircase.
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When you think about foot traffic in your home, your stairs probably bear the brunt of it. With you and the other members of your family going up and down them multiple times every day, your steps are sure to suffer damage, and you can count on potential buyers noticing those little scratches, nicks or scuff marks when taking a tour of your abode.
While upgrading the actual steps is one option, you can also update your balusters, newel posts and handrails, many of which, at least in older homes, are outdated in terms of style. Replacing the handrail, for example, can be an economical and easy upgrade that can make your older home more competitive in today’s modern market. The same can be said for upgrading the type or quality of the wood used in your staircase – it’s a seemingly small improvement that can make a major difference in the mind of a buyer.
When placing your home on the market, you have to think “big picture,” and that means recognizing the safety concerns of your average homebuyer. Worn, shoddy railings and improperly spaced treads, for example, can be big turnoffs, and particularly when shoppers have young children or senior citizens living in or regularly visiting their homes. For some potential buyers, your addition of a solid, durable railing can mean the difference between closing the deal and returning to the drawing board.
In terms of ROI, redoing your staircase can deliver serious bang for your buck. Whether you’re looking to fix an easily identifiable problem or safety lapse, or you just want to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your abode, do so before listing it on the market, and see the return reflected in your sale price.