Are you considering a home improvement project in order to sell your house? Before you recruit a contractor, you may want to do a little homework on the current housing market. Of course, we all want our home to have wonderful curb appeal to sell – and sell fast! But a little analysis can help you determine whether the renovation is worth your time and money.

For starters, get an appraisal to understand what you can list your house for in the current market. Next, check comparables to understand the sale price of homes with similar features or upgrades in your area. Experts say that across the board, remodeling costs have dropped 10-15% in the past few years. It may also be helpful to get two or three contractor quotes for your project. Also consider the length of time the renovation project could take and how that fits into your sale timeline.

If your home is already priced at the high end of the price range, then remodeling may not yield a high enough sale price to make it worthwhile. But on the other hand, it may pay a handsome return in the future. It’s always good to think about your home form the future home buyer’s perspective.

Remodeling magazine and REALTOR Magazine recently collaborated for a cost and value survey which evaluated which home projects recouped the most toward resale in the past year. This survey may contain helpful information as your weigh the pros and cons. Of all the projects listed, replacing your front door recouped the most at a handsome 85.6% return rate. Here are the top projects that made this year’s list:

Entry door replacement – Cost recouped: 85.6%

Siding replacement – Cost recouped: 79.3%

Deck addition – Cost recouped: 77.3%

Garage door replacement – Cost recouped: 75.2%

Minor kitchen remodel – Cost recouped: 75.4%

Window replacement – Cost recouped: 71.2%

Attic bedroom addition – Cost recouped: 72.9%

Entrance remodel – Cost recouped: 63.9%

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