After months of discussion with your partner, you’re officially ready. It’s time to sell your home and make your next move.

So – you start the process by scheduling an appointment with a professional appraiser. They come by your house, take a walk around the property, and finally sit down to give you an estimate of your home’s market value.

Let’s just say you end up less than impressed with the figures they’ve come up with – there’s no way you’d be willing to sell it for that price. This home was a massive investment, and you’re determined to increase its value before you sell. How should you go about doing it?

The benefits of great curb appeal

According to a survey by Zillow, real estate experts estimate great curb appeal can add 15% – 20% of value to your home, while poor curb appeal can devalue your home by up to 10%. If you’re trying to find a quick way to boost your home’s value, upping the curb appeal could be a smart way to do it.

Think of your home’s curb appeal as its first impression on potential buyers. Upon first glance, does the house seem inviting, cozy, and well-maintained? Or does it seem outdated and unwelcoming?

When buyers see the outside of your home is stylish and taken care of, they’re much more likely to want to see what the rest of the house has to offer. And, based off the data, they’re willing to pay more too – so what projects can take your home’s curb appeal to the next level?

In this article, we’re going to share a list of 5 home renovations that offer a great return on investment and could increase your home’s value and curb appeal. After all, you’re putting a lot of time, work, and money into improving your home – why not prioritize the projects that’ll get you the most bang for your buck when it comes time to sell?

A quick note: For the following examples, you’ll see that the estimated job cost is higher than the estimated resale value. Once you factor in the value that’s added by increasing the curb appeal of your home, you could end up making money on these improvement projects.

Manufactured Stone Veneer

  • Job cost: $9,357
  • Resale value: $8,943
  • ROI: 95.6%

Accenting your home with manufactured stone veneer is a simple way to increase your home’s visual appeal without the high costs of natural stone. Manufactured stone is lightweight, easy to install, and offers a wider variety of colors and styles than you’d generally find with natural stone.

If you think stone veneer could give your home the upgrade it’s in desperate need of, there are three common styles you should consider to draw in the most buyers. While each has its own unique look and feel, any one of them will increase your home’s value and curb appeal significantly.

According to remodeling.net, removing the bottom-third portion of your street-facing siding and replacing it with stone veneer typically costs around $9,357 from start to finish. With that said, you should recoup around 95.6%, or $8,943 of that investment when you sell your home.

Garage Door Replacement 

  • Job cost: $3,695
  • Resale value: $3,491
  • ROI: 94.5%

If your current garage door is looking a little beat up, replacing it could help you snatch up a few extra grand when you put it on the market. Think about it – your garage door probably takes up at least 30 to 40% of your home’s front-facing exterior. If it’s in rough shape, potential buyers will notice.

To attract buyers, install a garage door that’s low-maintenance, well-insulated, and sturdy enough to offer some security. To increase the curb appeal, think about adding a few small windows and be sure to choose a color or finish that matches your siding.

74% of homeowners with a car consider a garage to be very important or extremely important for them, so don’t underestimate the impact this relatively minor renovation can have. With an average cost of $3,695 and a return of $3,491 (94.5%), there’s little chance you’ll regret spending time and money to complete this project.

Vinyl Siding Replacement

  • Job cost: $14,359
  • Resale value: $10,351
  • ROI: 72.3%

Replacing your existing siding with vinyl siding is a great way to increase the curb appeal and overall value of your home. It’s relatively easy to install (saving you big money on labor costs), made to withstand the elements, comes in a variety of colors and designs, and more often than not has a lifetime warranty.

According to Elizabeth Mendenhall, the 2014 regional VP of the National Association of Realtors, homes painted with neutral and traditional colors typically bring in the broadest range of buyers. She advises sticking to shades of off-white, yellow, light blue, or gray to drum up the most interest.

On average, replacing your home’s siding with vinyl siding will cost you around $14,359 – though the size of your house will likely affect this estimate. When it comes time to sell your home, around $10,351 (72.3%) of that expense should go right back into your pocket.

Wooden Deck Addition

  • Job cost: $14,360
  • Resale value: $10,355
  • ROI: 72.1%

Just about everyone loves the inviting outdoor space decks provide. When potential buyers visit your home, they won’t just see the deck – they’ll see the family barbecues, summer hangouts, and days spent enjoying the outdoors that could all take place there.

Adding a 16×20-foot deck on your property with railings will cost you around $14,360 at the end of the day, but they hold their resale value extremely well. You can expect to get back around 72.1% of the project’s cost, or $10,355, once you complete the sale.

Steel Entry Door Replacement 

  • Job cost: $1,881
  • Resale value: $1,294
  • ROI: 68.8%

Your home only has a second or two to make a great first impression on a potential buyer. Believe it or not, the color, material, and style of your front door plays a major role in how people perceive your house. If your front door doesn’t make buyers feel welcome, there’s a good chance they won’t even take the time to walk through it.

Steel doors, when compared to wood or fiberglass doors, are usually favored for their durability, security, and energy efficiency – so move forward with steel for the best return on investment. Out of all the projects we’ve mentioned here, replacing your entry door with one made of steel is by far the most affordable and simple to complete.

With an average cost of $1,881 and a resale value of $1,294 (68.8%), swapping your door before selling is a quick and easy way to boost your home’s curb appeal and get more money for your home.

Try painting your front door a simple, traditional color for the best results – shades of dark red, navy blue, green, gray, and black tend to attract the most buyers.

As you can see, increasing your home’s value and curb appeal doesn’t have to be a major undertaking – relatively minor improvements like replacing your front door and garage door can make all the difference in the world! If your budget allows it, think about tackling the more expensive projects listed here as well – you might be surprised to find out how much more valuable your home could be.

So… what’s going to be first on the to-do list?

Read more:

How to Pay for a Home Renovation

The Best Way to Fund Home Improvements