Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers
With an increasingly unpredictable housing market where the return on investment is less and less certain, sellers will want to do everything they can to set themselves apart. While renovations can be a good idea to get a home ready for the market, it is important to be strategic with what updates you make. High-end finishes, granite countertops, and track lighting are all lovely, but buyers are unlikely to write off a house that doesn’t have them. A house with an old or non-functional home comfort system, however, is much more likely to end up in the “no” pile without a second glance. While luxury upgrades are exciting, having a heating and cooling system that performs reliably is an essential that virtually no buyer is willing to live without.
Questions to Ask Yourself As You Get Started
When you are looking to sell a house, making strategic upgrades to your heating and cooling system means understanding the people you are trying to sell to and what their needs may be.
You can get an idea of what upgrades may be beneficial by asking yourself questions such as:
- Does the existing system work well? If your system is 10 years old or less and works reliably, a full replacement probably will not be necessary. A system that is 15 years old or more, however, may be a turnoff to buyers who do not want the hassle of replacing the system in the near future.
- Will repairs be sufficient to getting the system in good working order? If performance is flagging but a technician is able to make repairs and get it back in good condition, there is no need to replace straight away.
- What is the climate like in the neighborhood? While a top-shelf AC system is a boon in our tropical climate, getting a brand-new heater is not likely to see a significant return on investment. Take the needs of the climate into account when considering new upgrades. Likewise, a sunny locale with significant AC needs could benefit from solar panels.
- Is the existing system energy-efficient? The US Department of Energy reports that homes with energy-efficient home comfort systems can see a selling value as much as 8% higher when compared to homes without. This feature is becoming more and more important to buyers, and may be worth the investment, particularly in an area where AC is so crucial.
What Heating & AC Upgrades Can I Make?
For older homes and systems in particular, basic upgrades can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping a buyer’s attention.
Problems with insulation are easy for sellers to fix and represent a very low-risk investment. A properly insulated home places far less strain on their heating and cooling system, thereby extending its lifespan. While buyers could complete this task just as easily, having the home be move-in ready is a bonus that many prospective homeowners are always excited about.
If you’re going to update the insulation, you should make sure that the windows are properly insulated as well. It is estimated that you could recover as much as 74% of your energy costs by upgrading to more energy-efficient windows! With buyers more and more concerned about long-term efficiency, this is an excellent selling point to set your home apart.
Doors & Weather Stripping
You might be sensing a theme here – beyond ensuring that the system itself is performing as it should, the next best thing for homeowners to tackle is ensuring the home is as well-insulated as possible. This means that the system will not have to work as hard, will be less prone to breakdowns, and will have a longer lifespan. As energy-efficiency has become a common concern, there are numerous attractive doors made of energy-efficient materials. Even better, choosing a unique door can improve curb appeal and give buyers a strong first impression that they’ll remember after they leave. Once these updates have been made, you can finish off the insulation of the whole home by being certain that the weather stripping around windows and doors is in good shape.
If your heating and cooling system is old enough to warrant replacement, it is a good idea to consider replacing the duct work as well. It is likely to have begun deteriorating and would reduce the efficiency of even a brand-new system substantially. Further, brand-new duct work ensures better indoor air quality and may be a particular benefit to buyers with severe respiratory or allergy concerns.