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Sell Smarter Not Harder: Increase Home Value Before Hitting the Market with These Upgrades

 If moving is among your list of goals for 2024, you might want to consider acting sooner rather than later. According to ATTOM Data Solutions, a national database for all things land, property, and real estate, the best time to sell is late spring or early summer. An analysis studying more than 51 million single-family homes and condos revealed that the real estate market tends to be more active as the weather warms, citing the month of May as having the highest seller premiums. Essentially, homes are more likely to sell above market value in May, June, and April. 

And it’s certainly no secret that United States home buyers experienced market frustration in 2023, including — but not limited to — soaring mortgage rates that drove up average monthly payments for many.

Although experts predict that some of the same challenges will persist in 2024, this Forbes Advisor article tells home buyers and sellers to anticipate a much busier buying season this spring.

All things considered: what’s the best way to proceed in the market? How can those looking to sell prepare accordingly, and ultimately learn how to sell not harder, but smarter?

Research initiated by the popular U.S. real estate marketplace, Zillow, and conducted by the Harris Poll in 2022 revealed that nearly 75% of recent sellers believed that various home improvement projects helped to secure the sale. On the contrary, nearly one-third of sellers felt they could have gotten a higher selling price if only they had completed repairs.

The National Energy Improvement Fund (NEIF) aims to empower homeowners to Go Greener, Affordably: encouraging the installment of efficiency improvements by providing low-cost, fixed-rate monthly payment financing. On an operational level, NEIF works in close partnership with quality — “NEIF-Approved” — contractors to pass its financing options to residential borrowers performing upgrades that qualify for a loan.

Not all home improvements are created equal, however, when it comes to leveling up market value or increasing your return on investment (ROI), according to industry experts. But with the right strategy, and access to NEIF’s affordable financing options for residential projects, you can plan on getting the biggest bang for your buck.

Home Improvement Projects That Add Value

Remodels — Bathroom & Kitchen

  • Updated bathrooms and kitchens both rank highly among prospective buyers’ lists. Not only do these spaces, if in-style, increase appeal, but can also provide high ROI for current homeowners, if done right. The personal finance brand,, suggests that kitchen and bathroom renovations yield a 75% and 71% cost recovery, respectively.



Various Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

  • Today’s homebuyers are becoming increasingly concerned with energy efficiency in their home search. In a 2022 study conducted by real estate tech company, HomeLight, 48% of real estate agents surveyed reported that energy efficiency was a priority to their buyers. Converting a fossil fuel-burning furnace to an electric heat pump (known as HVAC conversion), for example, is just one efficiency upgrade that is suggested by experts to pay for itself.



Basement Conversions

  • Converting your basement into a livable space can boost home value and provide a high ROI. Especially considering how normalized the work from home and/or hybrid work model has become in the U.S. (more than one-quarter of American workers followed a hybrid model in 2023), added space to serve as a home office, for example, has become increasingly appealing to buyers.



Outdoor Improvements

  • Updating your home’s vinyl siding, paint, and other front entry features can all realize significant returns at resale, as outlined in this home improvement article posted by HGTV. Suggestions include removing old, outdated awnings, replacing wrought-iron railings for wood ones instead, among other aesthetic changes.


As you begin to indicate which upgrades make the most sense for you and your home, consider consulting with an NEIF-Approved Contractor for further insight, expertise, and information about NEIF financing. It’s also important to keep in mind that a project’s value or ROI potential will likely vary over time, and based on factors including market trends, buyer preferences, location, and more.



SOURCES: ATTOM Data Solutions, Bankrate, Forbes Advisor, HGTV,, Zillow MediaRoom