8 Cheap Fixes to Improve the Value of Your Home
Here are 8 cheap fixes to improve the value of your home. These have great payback when you are thinking about selling your home. When homeowners are considering upgrades to their home, they need to ask themselves if they are doing the updating to sell the home or doing it because they want to enjoy the upgrades for years to come. As a Realtor I always tell sellers:
” The home you live in is not the home you put on the market”.
What can you do for instant payback that takes little or no money?
Declutter and Clean Your Home, It is Free!
If you want shelves full of collections throughout your home, have great hunting trophies in your living room, and orange is your favorite wall color, knock yourself out. Your friends and family will be entertained in your home and admire your decorating taste, collecting savvy and hunting skills.
The day sellers decide to put their house on the market, their home really ceases to be their ‘home’. It needs to be viewed as a “house”. A successful seller will declutter and depersonalize the house. You are planning to move, right? Start now to clean and sort things that can go to a charity, other family members or are trash. How many items of the same kind do you need? Box unneeded items you are keeping. Make sure closets and cupboards are neatly arranged and appear spacious.
Look around each room and decide if you really need these items for the next few months. Also, ask yourself if they will go in your new home? If you are downsizing everything is not going to fit anyway! If you are looking for a different home style, today’s accessories may not fit into the scheme of your new home.
Painting a neutral color will help buyers picture themselves living in your house and they will not be distracted by bright colored walls.
By all means, remove any animal heads, walls of family pictures and major collections. Again, how can a buyer picture themselves living in your house if their eyes are darting around at the “unusual” decor of your home? If buyers are distracted by the contents of the house they spend time talking about the unusual house and they don’t talk about how to place their furniture!
So, what improvements will have a payback even if you don’t sell the house for a few years?
A kitchen remodel can be anything from new counter tops, think solid surfaces such as granite or quartz. Updated or replaced cabinets. Consider painting the cabinets, refacing or replacing depending on the age and condition. Always add hardware. This adds interest and is a nice visual for buyers upon entering the kitchen.
Also, think about replacing the sink. Farmhouse sinks are popular today. Also updated faucets of a high-quality scream “updated kitchen”. Replace appliances with stainless steel. There are several price points and many appliance stores will make a package deal. Add a coat of paint to brighten and freshen up the room. Consider different window treatments. IF you have wallpaper, please remove it. Walls covered with big orange flowers or crowing roosters are a distraction. Again, you are moving, so take it down or risk being known by buyers as the “ugly wallpaper kitchen house”.
Experts say you will get back 99 % of your investment in a bathroom remodel. A tiled shower with water saving shower head or a rain shower will scream “updated and elegant” to buyers. Tiling a shower will add a modern feel. Update faucets for that new feel. Replace toilets with water efficient models. Consider updated vessel sinks. If you have carpet (heavens forbid) in your bathroom, that needs to go! Add high-quality towel racks and add high quality new towels for showings. Look around the bathroom and think “storage”. Can you add a cabinet over the commode? Consider pull-our shelves in the lower bathroom cabinets. There is a lot of storage room in cabinets and the pull out shelves make stored items very accessible. If you older mirrors consider changing to individual mirrors hanging over the sinks or framing a large mirror to give it that “finished’ look.
Clean out your closet so it shows open and uncrowded. Consider any of the closet organizers which have rods, shelves, shoe racks and drawers for maximizing storage. Buyers always love closet
organizers. They may not be organized in their closet today, but the promise of future organization with YOUR closet is a great buyer motivator. Again, you are moving, so sort clothes and shoes, take unwanted items to goodwill, have a garage sale or put in storage.
to do with those items? Again, why not give to friends, families, shelters or a charity? Buyers expect to see a bed, a couple of nightstands and dressers, maybe a cabinet for the TV, but not odd furniture. Again, this is distracting to buyers and makes a room look small.
If there is room in your laundry room consider adding extra cabinets. Buyers love having cupboards over the washer and dryer. If there is room for a bar for clothes drying, consider adding one as well. Anything that adds to storage to your home will have a great payback and help draw in the buyer.
Throughout the House
Clean out all closets, drawers, and cupboard. Buyers will open closet doors to see potential storage. Sort through drawers and remove clutter. Show buyers your house has plenty of room in cabinets and drawers. When you start your major cleaning spree, think kitchen cabinets, drawers, and pantry. Don’t forget linen closets & bathroom cabinets. Arrange sheets and towel neatly in the linen closet. Remove excess linens and towels. Show how much storage is available in your house!
Unless you are really selling a fixer-upper and have priced it accordingly, buyers today expect a house to be clean, light and bright. Increase the wattage in your light bulbs…..make sure all light bulbs work! When a buyer sees a bulb that is out, they don’t know if the bulb is just burnt
out OR if there is an electrical issue. Buyers are usually looking to upgrade their current living arrangements, either moving into a first time home or moving up. Look at your home as a buyer would view the entire home.
Start by looking at your home from the street. How is the curb appeal? How do you feel walking up to the front door? Are your landscaping and entrance welcoming? Do you need to replace or repaint the front door? How does your hardware look? If you have a security door or other door screen, it is free of dust and dirt? Consider a paint update. Perhaps you need to add some colorful potted plants by the front door? Is your front light clean and free of bugs? Do you need to remove or put a garden hose in a container to make the front attractive? A buyer spends a few minutes at the front door as the Realtor retrieves from a lockbox. Buyers are looking around, looking at the condition of the house and already making a judgment on the property. Often buyers will drive by your house before
scheduling an appointment to see the house, so don’t underestimate the need for GREAT curb appeal!
Inside Your House
Walk through your house like a buyer, look up. Do the ceiling fans need to be dusted? Are the air filters clean? If there is an open staircase, are the cabinets and shelves visible from the stairs clean? Are all the windows cleaned, inside AND out? Are the window sills clean? If you have sunscreens (as we do here in Arizona), consider taking them down to make sure the house shows light and bright. Make sure the patio doors are clean and shine. Clean out the slider track so the door slides easily. Open up all your curtains and blinds so the house looks bright and inviting.
If you start these 8 home improvements that have great payback you can save money, make your house appear larger with more storage and sell faster. Adding brighter light bulbs, decluttering and freshening up your front are little to no cost items, only requiring your time and elbow grease!
Once sellers see their home as a “house” and look at it like buyers will see it, they have a better chance of selling that house. Want to see what the competition has to offer? Go look at a few homes in your neighborhood similar to yours that are currently on the market. How does your house compare? Compare price and condition and price relative to the conditions. If you were a buyer, which would you buy?
Call me today for a free seller’s consultation. I see hundreds of homes a year and can help get the most money for your home with minimal investment of time and money.
Keller Williams Realty