HomeGain Releases 2012 National Home Improvement Survey Results

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HomeGain reveals new survey findings of top 10 do-it-yourself home improvements for home sellers; cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as highest return on investment

In a buyer's market, sellers need to dress their homes for success before putting them on the market.

HomeGain, the first website to offer web-based free instant home values, today announced that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging survey.

HomeGain surveyed nearly 500 real estate professionals nationwide and configured a list of the top 10 do-it-yourself home improvements that cost under $5,000 and benefit sellers most when they sell their homes.

According to the HomeGain survey, the top five home improvements that real estate professionals recommend to home sellers based on average cost and return on investment (from highest to lowest ROI) are:

1. Cleaning and De-cluttering ($402 cost / $2,024 price increase / 403% ROI)
2. Lightening and Brightening ($424 cost / $1,690 price increase / 299% ROI)
3. Repairing Electrical or Plumbing ($808 cost / $3,175 price increase / 293% ROI)
4. Landscaping ($564 cost / $1,777 price increase / 215% ROI)
5. Home Staging ($724 cost / $2,145 price increase / 196% ROI)

Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to rank as the top suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2003). This low cost home improvement is recommended by 99 percent of real estate professionals. The average recommended cost for this project is $402 with a returning value of just over $2,000 to the home’s sale price, or a 403 percent return (ROI).

In past surveys, Home Staging and Lightening and Brightening were battling it out for the number two position on the top 10 list. In the 2011 Home Improvement Survey, Lightening and Brightening reclaimed the number two position and held on to it in 2012. Home Staging, however, fell to number five.

The options to Landscape the Yard and Repair Electrical and/or Plumbing stay in the top five, both jumping past Home Staging.

“In a buyer's market, sellers need to dress their homes for success before putting them on the market,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain. “The HomeGain results show that do-it-yourself home improvements like cleaning and de-cluttering and lightening and brightening your home are cost effective ways of increasing your chances of selling faster and closing closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements.”

Rounding out the top 10 low cost, do-it-yourself home improvements are:

6. Replace and/or Shampoo Carpets ($671 cost / $1,747 price increase / 160% ROI)
7. Repair Damaged Floors ($902 cost / $1,898 price increase / 110% ROI)
8. Paint Interior ($968 cost / $2,002 price increase / 107% ROI)
9. Update Kitchen & Bathroom ($1,958 cost / $3,255 price increase / 66% ROI)
10. Paint Exterior ($1,407 cost / $2,176 price increase / 55% ROI)

The home improvements with the highest price increases to a home's resale value continues to be Updating the Kitchen and Bathroom ($3,254 price increase), followed by Repairing Electrical & Plumbing ($3,175 price increase) and Painting the Exterior of the Home ($2,176 price increase).

To see the complete survey results, visit the HomeGain Real Estate Blog.

HomeGain’s Home Sale Maximizer online home improvement tool, based on the results of our home improvement surveys of real estate professionals, is designed to provide home sellers with the most cost-effective improvements to best increase the saleability of one’s home.

About HomeGain

HomeGain is a leading provider of online marketing solutions that connect real estate agents and brokers with home buyers and sellers. HomeGain offers free services to find and compare real estate agents, research home values, and view homes for sale. Since 1999 REALTORS® have used HomeGain's real estate marketing programs to connect with consumers, promote their services and grow their business. HomeGain.com has been a top visited real estate website since 1999. HomeGain is your real estate connection.

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