What Impacts Property Values

Dated: October 19 2020

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When a homeowner is ready to sell their property, the first question is, “How much is my home worth?” 

We all know that the real estate market fluctuates. This is partly due to external factors, including the state of the economy, the local market, and mortgage rates. While you can’t control everything, there is plenty you can do to maintain or increase the value of your property before selling. 

Keep reading to learn about what helps - and what hurts - property values. 

Factors that Help Property Values

Prioritizing Your Remodeling Projects

Often, people think they need to do a full remodel in order to increase property values. Instead, focus on projects that will make the biggest impact on your home. In the National Association of Realtors 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, the top five projects that are MOST likely to have a positive effect on home values are:

  1. Complete Kitchen Renovation

  2. Kitchen Upgrade

  3. HVAC Replacement

  4. New Master Suite / Owners’ Suite

  5. Bathroom Renovation

The first two on the list are related to kitchen upgrades, but that doesn’t mean you have to gut your entire kitchen! In our local market, we find that some simple upgrades usually have a big impact. 

This year, we’re also seeing an increased desire for home offices and outdoor space. If you aren’t sure what remodeling project will make the most significant difference when selling your home, ask your real estate agent!

Fresh & Clean Spaces

Remodeling isn’t always in the budget, and that’s ok! Before selling, prioritize cleaning, decluttering, and staging your home so that it appealing to potential buyers. When people walk into a well-presented space, they are more likely to envision themselves living there. 

Functional Floor Plan

No matter the size of your home, a functional floor plan is ideal. When preparing to list your home for sale, make sure there are clear pathways from one area to the next, showcasing the home’s flow. If your home is on the smaller side, maximize the space to appeal to more buyers. 

Factors that Hurt Property Values

Not Keeping Up with Regular Maintenance

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is neglecting regular maintenance. Every year, it is recommended you spend 1-3% on the upkeep of your home. This includes small jobs and repairs both inside and outside to keep the property up to date. Regular maintenance generally won’t increase your property value, but if you fail to keep up with yearly maintenance, it can make your home decrease in value. 


Remember how we spoke about remodeling to help property values? Well, sometimes, homeowners go overboard with upgrades. When a homeowner makes over-improvements, they generally won’t see a return on that investment. For example, overly stylized or ornate finishes (think marble floors or a spa bathtub) may be just your style, but don’t always appeal to a wide range of buyers. 

Unpleasant Sights and Smells

Most potential buyers are willing to do some light work to make a home their own - whether it’s changing the paint color in the living room or sprucing up the outdoor space. But if someone walks into a house with neon wallpaper in every room or a stench that lingers, chances are, they are going to move on to the next home on their list. Unless you’re willing to lower your asking price, fix these things!

If you are ready to find out what your home is worth, contact us!

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Jill K Biggs

Jill Biggs leads the top-producing real estate team in Hudson County, N.J., a booming market located just outside of New York City. With more than a decade of experience serving Hoboken, Jersey City a....

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