Home values across the country have started to make a comeback since their 2006 peaks as more Americans have been able to purchase homes.
But at the same time, inventories have dropped dramatically pushing the price of homes higher -- a dynamic which could slow growth in 2016.
Buyers are ready to buy, but only the desperate ones are willing to pay prices they can't afford.
Whether you are doing the buying or the selling, you need to do everything you can to make sure you maximize the value of the property.
Top Atlanta real estate agent, Rhonda Duffy , says you should consider five projects that will give you a solid return on your investment. Buyers should also be on the lookout for these attributes in any home they are considering for purchase.
Open Up the Space: Is the living space small and cramped? Look for small ways to open up the room and create a better flow in the home. You might knock out a wall to open up two rooms, because people love big spaces. For example, consider opening up the kitchen and the living room together to make a great room.
Upgrade Light Fixtures: The lighting within a home impacts the overall ambiance and feel of the property. Homebuyers often prefer spaces that are bright and cheery, so it is important that you consider the setup of the lights within your home. Switch out old light fixtures, change the bulbs to increase the brightness, and consider adding a few lamps in the dark corners.
Basic Maintenance and Care: Schedule time to focus on the basic tasks of caring for your home, such as switching out rusty rain gutters, fixing a broken floor tile, having the carpets cleaned, and patching holes in the wall. Walk through your home to identify potential items that might decrease the value of the home, and make these repairs as soon as possible. These types of repairs might only cost a few hundred dollars, but they can have a big impact on the value of your home.
Improve Energy Efficiency: Homebuyers are becoming increasingly interested in energy efficiency, so you can capture people's attention by boosting the efficiency of your home. Upgrade the windows, make sure the doors and windows are properly sealed, and consider the quality of the furnace and air conditioning units. When these changes are made, you can use the energy-efficient features in the real estate listing to draw in potential buyers.
Clean Up the Yard: Curb appeal matters, because a person's opinion will be formed from the moment they pull up in front of your house. Spend time outside pulling weeds, clearing old branches, raking the leaves, and getting rid of other clutter. Consider the benefits of repainting the front door or making small improvements to the front porch.