By Tom Kraeutler

If you’re planning to sell your house any time soon, home improvements that build property value should be on your to-do list. It’s a buyer’s market, and between tighter purse strings and plenty of properties to choose from, shoppers want homes that are move-in ready and free of the need for home improvement projects that will add to their own bottom lines.

“There’s enough inventory out there right now that buyers can find what they like without having to compromise,” says Harrison Tulloss, a ZipRealty agent based in Raleigh, N.C. “They don’t have the money or inclination to put in a down payment, get a loan and then turn around and spend more cash to do exactly what they want to improve a property.”

Planning home improvements that pay you back at the time of sale requires a strategic vision as well as design, finish and product selections that welcome the widest possible range of buyer tastes. Drawing on tips from real estate pros, along with Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, here are 10 home improvements that pay you back when you sell.

Front entry doors: Curb appeal is the first step in a successful home sale, and installing a beautiful, high-quality entry door is a simple home improvement that delivers impact both in buyer drive-bys and online listings. A new entry door will also help lower home energy costs and stand up to weather extremes.

Attic bedroom: Converting an attic into useful living space is a smart way to add value and attract those shopping for multigenerational family homes. “Parents are moving in with their kids and vice versa, or people are combining their incomes to live in a bigger house,” says Renee Mayhall, RealEstate.com managing broker for the Carolinas. “So we see buyers focusing on properties with a higher number of bedrooms and baths to accommodate that.”

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Top 10 Home Improvements That Pay You Back

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