There’s a realtor’s sign going in the front yard soon, but you want to make as much off the sale as you can. Before you list your home, how can you increase its value? Be it an aging fixer-upper or a little starter home that needs some jazzing up, it doesn’t have to be difficult to add value.
Wondering where to start? Here are seven ways you can increase your home’s value and see some return on investment.
1. Enhance the Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything in real estate. If a home buyer doesn’t like what they see initially, it’s hard to get past it and want to own it. A home that needs some TLC on the outside can quickly be enhanced, and without spending a lot of money.
For peeling or faded paint, apply a fresh coat. Even if you hire a painting service, the increased curb appeal will often get you more than enough of a return to cover the added expense.
2. Create an Outdoor Oasis
For any home with a front and/or back yard, it pays to make it into a space that shoppers can see as extra living space for backyard entertainment or a kids’ play area. Plant a few new trees or flower beds and keep the yard well-groomed. Stain a faded deck or add a ground-level patio area with an outdoor table and chairs.
3. Make it Energy Efficient
Visibly make the home more energy efficient so buyers expect low-cost energy bills. Replace traditional bulbs with LED light bulbs and install low-flow shower heads. If your windows need to be replaced, change them with low-E triple-pane windows rather than your drafty old aluminum sliders. Install a smart programmable thermostat and stage your home with energy-efficient appliances.
4. Reduce the Required Maintenance
When it comes to selling a house, you want to make buyers think there’s as little work to do as possible. For any pre-listing repairs, use supplies that are low- or no-maintenance. Vinyl siding can be installed rather than painting old wood. Replace clunky wooden doors with insulated steel or fiberglass doors.
5. Brighten the Interior
Dark interiors look smaller and tighter, even with an open floorplan. An easy and inexpensive way to make the square footage feel large is with bright wall colors and accents. You can paint the walls a bright, neutral color and replace the flooring with lighter materials.
If that’s not in the plans, hang large bright wall hangings and stage the home with light-colored furniture. Remove window coverings or, at minimum, keep them open wide. Open up the floor space by taking some larger pieces out of your home altogether. If the interior feels airy and large, it can entice shoppers and put your home at the top of their list.
6. Class Up the Kitchen
As the saying goes, “The kitchen is the heart of the home.” Nowhere will you get better return on investment than in the kitchen. For dated cabinets that are still in good condition, you can have them refinished or painted for much less than replacement. If you’re planning to replace the cabinets as part of a pre-sale reno, take care to keep the colors neutral and light, appealing to more people.
There are plenty of options for countertops now including granite, quartz, wood, laminate, and even concrete. Find an option that has wide appeal and is mid- to low-range budgetwise.