Home Selling

5 Ways to Increase Your Home Value

If you're getting ready to sell your home chances are its been a few years since you've renovated. Though not always critical to get on the market, to increase your home's value there are usually a few rooms that could benefit from being 'brought into the now'. As this can be a slippery slope down the money pit, its important to make smart decisions and get the best bang for your buck. Luckily, there are several inexpensive ways to update your home without having to spend your savings.



1. Curb Appeal

First and foremost, clean up your yard.  This can cost as little as a few hundred dollars or even better, just a Saturday or two.  Trim the bushes, edge out the flower beds, mow the lawn, even plant a few fresh flowers.  These are small jobs that almost anyone can do, and add a lot of value to the look of your home.  

Also pay attention to the entry. A coat of paint and updated hardware for your front door gives your home a fresh new makeover for a small expense. Clean your welcome mat, or spend $30 on a new one.  Remember, the entry is the first impression potential buyers will have of your property, and sets the tone for the rest of the home. A small improvement here will go a long way.


2. Kitchen & Bathroom Refresh

The kitchen will be one of the most important rooms to potential buyers when viewing your home.  If its stuck in the past, they will immediately think of the remodeling cost and that will cut significantly into your offer price.  That said, replacing cabinets, counter tops and appliances can be expensive.  For a fresh update, try painting the cabinetry a light, neutral color.  You'd be surprised at how much this one thing can brighten, clean up and update the space.  Replace the sink and faucet for a more modern feel. You can even add or replace the hardware - knobs and drawer pulls can elevate the look to a more custom upgrade.  Depending on the size of your kitchen, these updates can save you a significant amount of money as an alternative to a full remodel.

Bathrooms are almost, if not just as important as the kitchen.  Again here, small changes can make a big difference.  A deep clean will do a world of good on its own, but on the larger scale, updating fixtures or mirrors will bring a whole new look to the bathroom.  If that's not in the budget, a new shower curtain and hand towels can enhance the space and make it look more modern.

Think lighter, brighter and neutral when choosing your update.  Not only does it blend well with older styles, it also makes small bathrooms and kitchens seem bigger.


3. Declutter

This can make such a difference there are people who actually do this for a living.  By decluttering you are essentially staging your home as a possibility or suggestion for a potential buyer. Less clutter makes your house look larger, cleaner, and more spacious.  It allows the the home to shine through without the distraction of items that accrue with years of "living".  Decluttering really is a task all in itself, and though a bit daunting, you can actually MAKE MONEY by doing it.  Check out my more in depth post on how to declutter your home.


4. Deep Clean

Though there are many ways to increase your value, I cannot stress enough the importance of this one thing.  Spend the money to have a professional service come in and do a thorough deep cleaning of your home. Have them scrub tiles, clean grout, clean appliances inside and out, ceilings, baseboards, floors, dust under and inside furniture, in the back corners of closets - everywhere.  None of the other upgrades will make much of a difference if your house is not clean.  It could even bring the value DOWN. Most companies or individuals who offer these services cost less than $500 - it will be money well spent.


5. Finishing Touches

Its always surprising to me how easily good lighting is overlooked - indoor and outdoor. Lighting is everything! It sets the mood, affects size perception, allows you to work, can make or break a good photo, or room for that matter.  If a home is not properly lit it can come off as dark and dismal, and lets face it, nobody wants to live in an old cave.  Updating your major light fixtures will bring warmth and character to your home, and show the potential of each individual room.  Think about installing ceiling fans in the bedrooms (this is especially value-building if your home does not have air conditioning). More modern light fixtures in rooms like the kitchen and dining rooms will rejuvenate the feel of the major living areas as well. 

The greatest ally to good lighting is the right paint, and luckily, it really does not take much to make a difference. Just touching up existing paint, or even adding a single accent wall can completely update a room.  You can play with more color here, especially with an accent, but for selling purposes strong neutrals with a warm tone tend to be the most versatile. The time and labor will be minimal, and go a long way to renew and brighten your space.

Bottom line here, you want to make improvements that won't break the bank, but will still build a good amount of value.  Anything you can do to clear and brighten your home will have a positive effect in one way or another.

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Lauren Haule

Written by Lauren Haule

Lauren is a Faira blog contributor.