By Anessa V. Cohen

As sellers start to prepare for the spring season and for putting their homes on the market, I am pulling out a great list that provides excellent suggestions for homeowners to help with their prep work. The following five tips for maximizing resale are the first in a three-part series that I will share over the next few weeks.

  1. Landscaping. When done well, it can add to the price you receive for your house as much as 100% for whatever you have put into it.

Sod costs about 30–35 cents a square foot, so a 5,000-square-foot lot could cost about $1,500 to sod.

Splashes of color at the front of the house are eye-catching. For maximum impact, choose one color and vary the height of the plants.

If your doorway is overwhelmed by greenery, get out the shears. Replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants, mixing heights and colors for dramatic effect.

A charming focal point, like a walkway or fountain, adds major value to your property. Roll a sealant on flagstones for a permanent wet look that enhances the color.

  1. Bathrooms. It costs an average of about $10,500 to replace an existing bathroom. You will recoup much more than that on resale, but make sure to pick neutral colors that all people can relate to.

If you can pipe a child’s name on a birthday cake, you can re-calk a tub. Scrape out the caulk using a caulk softener to help you. Re-caulk the tub and then fill the tub with water after you are done to stretch the caulk while it dries.

If your old tub is the only thing in your bathroom throwing off its fresh look, re-glaze it for a like-new finish. Cost: $300–$400.

Remove dated wall coverings and apply a fresh coat of paint.

Old shower doors can ruin any bathroom. Removing them or replacing them will add the illusion of space.

  1. Kitchens. Some minor kitchen remodeling can spruce up even the most worn-looking kitchen when a total kitchen remodel is out of the question.

A $15,000 kitchen update covers 30 feet of re-facing for cabinets and drawers, a new wall oven, cooktop, sinks, and fixtures, as well as laminate countertops.

If this is not in your budget, consider replacing just the appliances with new stainless-steel replacements to spruce up the kitchen, and change the countertops to give it a newer look.

If you have old wood cabinets, consider sanding them down and re-staining them.

Change the mini-blinds on your kitchen windows. This is inexpensive and looks great.

  1. Exterior Improvements. The average national cost to replace 1,250 square feet of vinyl siding is $7,239. Siding can make your entire exterior look like new, and its cost will be recouped in any sales price you receive.

A gallon of paint covers 400 square feet of house. (Paint-color cards take the guesswork out of choosing the right color combinations for doors, trim, and siding.)

Give a bare, charmless porch a dramatic makeover by adding a pergola and columns.

  1. Attic. Add insulation in your attic to lower your utility bills. Just make sure the soil vapor barrier is installed down toward the ceiling to prevent moisture from seeping in.

A solar-powered attic fan is a super-efficient way to save on cooling your house. The attic fan exhausts heat from above your home and is powered by a solar cell on the roof, so it doesn’t add a cent to your utility bill.

If solar is not an option, installing a regular attic fan should still be considered, since it lowers the temperature by pulling the heat out of your attic and keeping your house cooler.

Please stay tuned over the next two weeks for a continuation of our home-improvement tips.

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to



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