Consumer Reports: Maximizing the sale price of your home

Millennials - the generation of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 - are entering the housing market in huge numbers. They are now the biggest group of real estate buyers. Consumer Reports tells us what millennials are looking for in a home and how to maximize your sale price.

If you're selling your home, keep millennials in mind. They're 75 million strong and house hunting.

"Millennials want move-in ready. They want to cook in that kitchen from day one and entertain in the backyard that very weekend," said Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports says the right renovations can boost your homes' value by 35 percent! So spend your makeover money where it will count the most.

A Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,500 millennials nationwide found a modern, updated kitchen tops their list of ideal home features. And you don't need to spend a lot.

For as little as $5,000, you could add a new suite of stainless-steel appliances, new flooring, and a new countertop. You'll have a clean, contemporary look that could lead to a three to seven percent bump in the sale price.

Have a bigger budget? Think about knocking down a wall. Millennials are also looking for an open floor plan with flexible living space - which could increase your selling price another four to six percent.

"Another good way to add value is by expanding the living space, maybe by finishing the attic or basement. And it's always a good idea to use materials that don't require a lot of maintenance," DiClerico said.

Like countertops made of quartz, which shrugs off heat, scratches, and stains. Also consider ditching dust-catching wall-to-wall carpet in favor of durable hardwood floors.

And don't overlook the power of paint. A fresh coat, particularly in high-traffic areas, can boost your selling price another one to two percent.

Real estate pros also say energy efficiency is another strong selling point. Lowering your home's energy costs will also save you money while you live there.

You can see Consumer Reports' complete guide on how to improve your home's value here.

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