Looking to Sell? Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value
Jun 11, 2013 01:17AM ● Published by Erin Frisch
When you decide to sell your home, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is how to increase its value. There are many ways to accomplish that, but a number of them involve major renovations and lots of money. Here are several ways to boost your home’s appeal and value that don’t require a big investment, and you’re likely to be able to pull them off on your own.
Bushes and shrubs should be trimmed, the grass should be kept cut, and flowers should be used sparingly in the yard. Bushes tend to grow fast in the summer, so make sure there is room to navigate them on all sides and that they are not planted over anything important, like your well or septic tank. Trim around trees, rocks, walls, and steps for a neat and well-cared-for appearance. Consider adding fresh mulch around plantings. These are things you’ll want to do before any photos for real estate sites are taken. Keep flowers away from the entryways because many people have allergies, and bees around the doors can detract from an otherwise welcoming entrance. When you’re happy with your home’s “curb appeal,” move indoors for more ways to increase the value of your home.
Keep It Clean & Tidy
Of course, keeping everything neat and spiffy inside is a no brainer—it’s also easier said than done if you’re actually living in the house! Wash the windows and clean the screens, vacuum throughout the house daily, damp-wipe hardwood floors and tile before a showing, and wipe down walls and woodwork too. Clean dust off ceiling fans and other high places, and dry mop corners for webs and dust bunnies. Make sure furniture is dusted and artwork as well as personal items are dust free and neatly arranged. A potential buyer must be able to picture herself living there with her own “stuff”; this is easier to do when there’s less of your stuff around.
Repaint any walls that need a fresh look, and make sure your home smells good—fresh and clean! Patch any nail holes and blemishes from doorknobs hitting the wall behind them. (And don’t forget to make anywhere a potential buyer will place her hand, like light switches and doorknobs, bright and clean!) Once you patch the wall, you’ll need to paint it, corner to corner. If you have spots on your ceiling from a leak or a showerhead that’s too close to the ceiling, or smoke or soot from a woodstove, clean thoroughly and paint over with a water-sealing paint, then repaint the ceiling. Another important cosmetic fix is to regrout and recaulk wherever necessary. If you can’t get these trouble spots clean, you may need to recaulk, especially around the bathtub, one of the problem areas in most any home.
Repair dripping faucets inside and outside, fix scratches on doors and cabinets, and replace any knobs or drawer pulls that are broken, dated, or dirty. A quick DIY search on the Internet will deliver many helpful hints and directions for minor fixes of all kinds. And every home improvement store sells a variety of new products for removing scratches from wood and making other small repairs around the home. In fact, it’s amazing how many new products are available in those aisles! Your local hardware store often has the most knowledgeable people behind the counter who can steer you in the right direction. Be cautious about using air fresheners. One man’s scent is another man’s sneeze! Aim for clean and fresh, and avoid floral and spice. If you can air your home for an hour or two before a showing, do so.
Even if you’re not planning to sell your home soon, these tips can keep your biggest investment from falling into a state of—as realtors like to call it—“deferred maintenance,” also known as neglect.