Increase Your Home’s Value
If you are planning to put your home on the market soon, it’s a great idea to plan ahead. While there are many improvements home sellers can make to their properties, it can get very costly. How do you know what improvements will pay off? Here is a list of simple improvements that can quickly increase your home’s value.
Before reading the following, we would encourage you to put on your buyer eyes. Try to view your home as if it was the first time you’re seeing it. Also, keep in mind, before we put a property on the market we visit the home and will do a walk through with you giving our recommendations.
#1. Curb Appeal
One of the biggest ways to increase your home’s value is curb appeal. This is the home buyer’s first impression of your home; make it a good one! Keep the grass mowed and bushes trimmed. If there is anything that looks overgrown get rid of it. Buyers can view this as deferred maintenance and you don’t want that to be their first impression. As buyers pull into your driveway they are scrutinizing everything and thinking “Could this be my next home?”
Plant some fresh flowers and put down new mulch or pine straw. Keep your front porch clean, tidy and inviting. If you have a decent sized porch make sure there are chairs to lounge in, maybe a table. Even if you don’t use your front porch, make it look like you do! Make buyers feel like they need this space because they will use and enjoy it.
Take a good look at your front door. Could it use re-painting? Maybe even in a fun color. Consider changing out your front door hardware and porch light depending on their condition and age. If you have any windows that seem boring or basic, consider adding shutters.
So you’ve de-cluttered? Now de-clutter some more. After all, you’re moving very soon! We encourage sellers to rent a storage unit if you don’t already have another home. Pack away anything you can live without for the next few months. If it’s summer, pack away most winter clothes and vice versa. Pack up your china and glasses that barely get used.
Kids’ rooms and offices can be the hardest to keep clutter free. Buy some large baskets or bins that look like a part of your decor. When you need to do a quick cleaning for a showing throw everything in there! For the most part, do not keep toys in the main area of the home.
This is the one that gets most people, pack up most of your family photos. Buyers don’t care to see all of your family pictures. We have seen buyers get hung up looking at the sellers family photos and forget to even look at the house! If you have a side table that has a lamp and several knick knacks, the knick knacks need to go.
When it comes to the kitchen, keep your countertops as clear as possible. Do not have your counters lined with every small appliance you own. Don’t bother having decorations out on the kitchen counters. We want all of that counter space to shine!
Do not have overcrowded walls. Cluttered walls can make your home feel like the walls are closing in on you. When it comes to artwork stick to single, larger pieces rather than a wall collage for instance.
This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a professional home stager, though those can be very helpful in a vacant space when trying to increase your home’s value! Stage your rooms in the way they are meant to be used. Many floorplans now design rooms that allow for multiple uses. But if your floorplan clearly has a formal dining space and you currently use it as a playroom, stage it as a formal dining. Yes, this will be inconvenient for a few months. But much better than dragging out the home selling process for 6 more months.
This goes along with de-cluttering, but do not have random rooms that appear as storage spaces with boxes and things. This can be a big problem in guest rooms that don’t get used often. Even if you aren’t organized, make it look like you are for a few months! Keep your pantry, closets and cabinets organized. This makes buyers think, “Wow, they’re on top of things! If their small spaces are this well kept there’s no way they let major issues fall by the wayside.”
If your living room has large couches and large recliners, reconsider this based on the space. You may need to put some of this in storage to make the space appear larger. Also, consider storing some of your large bedroom furniture. Bedrooms can have some of the largest furniture in the home and can be the smallest rooms.
Are your walls a neutral, light color? They should be. There are many beautiful trends out right now: navy blue walls, black rooms with gorgeous white furniture, kelly green walls. None of this applies to a home on the market. Keep your style as neutral and clean-looking as possible to increase your home’s value.
Your exterior’s paint job may need some help as well, though we rarely recommend totally repainting a home to increase your home’s value. This can be very costly and you’re taking a chance when you don’t even know if buyers will like it. Instead, consider re-painting the door, shutters or trim if the exterior paint needs some updating.
#5. Miscellaneous Interior Finishes
If the first thing buyers see when walking into your home is your huge, brassy chandelier from the 90’s, consider changing this out. Light fixtures are very affordable at places like IKEA or hardware stores. They’re pretty easy to install or just call your electrician friend (everybody has one).
Faucets, bathroom lights, ceilings fans…if any of these jump out at you as outdated or if they aren’t working, consider replacing them. Now, if your bathroom faucets aren’t up with the latest trends, but they’re about 10 years old and seem to blend in with the rest of the decor while functioning properly, just leave them! There’s no point in spending unnecessary money.
Maybe this is just personal taste, but if you have a light fixture in a main area of the home that screams builder-grade, consider switching this out. Again, you can purchase nice looking, trendy light fixtures for cheap! This includes spaces like the master bedroom. If you have a huge master bedroom don’t have a dinky, little builder-grade light fixture.
In most cases we do not recommend replacing flooring, but at times it’s needed. If you have pets, consider at least getting your carpets cleaned. If you have a living room area with worn carpets that may have stains, it might be a good idea to check into replacing the carpets with vinyl plank or wood laminate. There are many options now that can easily be self-installed.
It is extremely common for home shoppers to tell us they prefer to not have carpet in the main areas of the home and that a carpeted living room is something they would change in the future. If your living room carpet is in good condition, by all means, leave it! But if it’s already in questionable shape it may be worth checking into a change to increase your home’s value.
#7. Clean and Maintain
Do a good deep cleaning of the inside and outside of your home. Take care of any deferred maintenance you’ve been putting off. If the gutter is broken, fix it. The paint on the back door is chipping, re-paint it. There’s slight wood rot on the bottom of the door frame, take care of it now! You want as little as possible showing up on a home inspection. Take care of these things now, before your home is ever on the market. This will prevent the contract-to-close process from coming to a halt for something that would’ve been an easy fix.
For instance, VA loans are pretty strict and require a WDO report in our area, which will not allow any wood rot or, in some cases we’ve experienced, even any algae stains on an outdoor storage shed. If this doesn’t come up until the appraisal is done, a small fix like this (let’s just say a green algae stain that can be easily removed) will require a signed addendum, a re-visit by the appraiser and probably additional appraisal fees.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!
We would be happy to chat or to come visit your home. We can easily provide you with a free home valuation at no obligation to you. Click here to start the home valuation process or call/text us at 904-717-2002 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.