Whether you want to boost your home value because you’re selling or just for the heck of it, one thing usually comes to mind: cost. How much will it cost to get my home value up and will the improvements be enough to boost my selling price? If you’ve got lots of money, great, you can renovate the whole thing to increase your home value, add another bedroom and bathroom, get all new appliances, replace the siding etc. Those are the major (and costly) things you can do to increase your home value.
Most of us however, are on a budget, especially when it comes time to move to a new home. There are a few cheap tricks you can use to help increase your home value without putting a huge dent in your savings.
1. USE your real estate agent! Technically, they don’t get paid till you actually sell your home, but they will wind up making quite a bit of money off you, so put them to work! Have them do a walk through of the home and point out things that may affect your home value. They are the experts after all and can tell you what kind of things will boost your value the most. Some improvements can actually detract from the value of your home, but a real estate professional can give you hints on what to work on and what to leave along.
2. Focus on your kitchen – it still tends to be the heart of the home and potential buyers usually check it out first when viewing a home for sale. For a couple hundred dollars, you can certainly spruce of the kitchen to increase your home value: spring for new sink faucets, repair any squeaky or off-track drawers and cabinets, replace old and worn cabinet handles, etc. If you’re really handy, you can even refinish the cabinets yourself.
3. Check out your floors and walls – if your hard wood floors are scuffed, buff ‘em. If your carpets are stained, get them professionally cleaned. If your walls are scuffed or paint is chipped, re-paint them if necessary, or just wash them! A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can go a long way to cleaning up walls. It’s not always good to outright replace flooring or carpeting or paint your walls, as some potential buyers want to be able to do their own renovations to a home they purchase.
4. Be sure to replace anything that is broken, or just looks old and decrepit. Not only does this help maintain your home value, but it shows buyers that the home is maintained and well cared for. This includes doorknobs, light fixtures, light switches handles, etc.
5. Bathrooms are another important feature buyers tend to look at, and which can definitely affect your home value. You can spruce it up relatively cheaply by replacing the old floor with new easy-to -apply vinyl flooring – you don’t even have to take up the old floor, just install the new floor right on top of the old one. You can replace worn or cracked toilet seats, re-grout the tile and even replace an old sink with a pedestal sink for a relatively low price. Fixing up the bathrooms of your home is a great way to up its value.
6. Possibly the most important and overlooked aspect of raising your home value and getting a buyer will to pay market price is CLEANLINESS! Before even thinking about showing your home, you should do a THOROUGH scrub down, from top to bottom. Trash extra clutter, sweep and vacuum floors, dust EVERYTHING, clean ceiling fans, window sills, wash the drapes, dust the furniture, get into every crevice of your house. While just cleaning may not do a whole lot to raise the home value, it does go a long way to getting the home SOLD. Buyers want a home that is relatively clean to move into – no one wants to spend their first day in a new home thoroughly disinfecting everything.
7. Last, but DEFINITELY not least is focusing on curb appeal. Once you’ve done everything you can to the inside of the home, it’s time to step out front. A poorly maintained and junky lawn can not only decrease your home value, it will also discourage potential buyers from even taking a look inside the home. Landscaping is an important consideration when you are deciding to purchase a new home. Get your hands dirty by cleaning up any junk and trash you have littering the outside of your house. Prune the hedges and trees, mow the lawn and clean away any dead plant life. If your lawn has bald spots or dead grass, consider either planting shrubbery there or laying grass seed. When it comes to the outside of your home, a little effort can go a long way!
Those are just a few relatively cheap and easy ways to increase your home value. Of course, it all goes back to number one – using your real estate agent to determine what improvements will be the most beneficial to boosting your home value and getting your home sold faster. Of course, if you’re just looking to improve your home and not necessarily sell anytime soon, you may not have a real estate agent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use one! Real estate agents are ALWAYS looking for potential business and therefore usually willing to help out what could be potential clients. Even if you won’t be selling for another 3 years, start shopping around for an agent to do a walk through of your home and give you some advice. That doesn’t mean you have to list with them! (But they don’t need to know that.)
You can also take advantage of websites that will give you a free home value report, and many of those sites will actually connect you with a local real estate professional. Take advantage of that by having the agent come out, look at your home and give you some more advice on increasing your home value!