1. Paint and patch
Nothing detracts from a home’s value or its beauty more than scuffed and peeling paint! Fortunately, this is one of the easiest and least costly ways to boost your home’s value. In fact, studies have shown that a quality paint job can earn up to 141% return on your investment, making that $25 can of paint well worth the cost and the effort. However, steer clear of those bright colors—real estate experts recommend neutral color schemes as the best way to maximize a home’s value.
2. Add trim
Every buyer loves a wow factor, but what do you do if your home has none? Add trim or crown molding! This small project can add some serious value and garner a few ooohs and ahhhs while you’re at it. And although you may think that adding trim or crown molding is a major investment, it may actually be cheaper than you think. According to Homewyse.com, 200 feet of trim can actually cost as low as $179 (plus paint and the cost of a nail gun) if you do the work yourself. It is also a surprisingly simple task. Simply buy the trim at your local hardware store and have them cut it to the sizes that you need (or cut it yourself), paint it, and attach it with a nail gun. If you’re considering adding trim but can’t afford to do all of your rooms, focus on the main rooms such as the family room, dining room and kitchen. Professionals also recommend painting the molding in a contrasting color to help it stand apart.
3. Upgrade fixtures
Outlet covers, faucets, curtain rods, light fixtures, ceiling fans, cabinet knobs and door handles are just some of the small fixtures around your house that can make a big impact. And although these items can add up quickly, experts recommend spending a few dollars here and there swapping out the old for the new. I recently replaced all of the old, yellowing outlet covers in my home with new white satin plates at a cost of about $3 apiece, or about $60 for the entire house! Most buyers tend to note all of the brass doorknobs and out-of-date fixtures that they will need to replace, leaving many of them a bit squirmish about putting an offer on a house if that list is too long.
4. Make over your cabinets
We all know that the kitchen is the big moneymaker in any house, and peeling, dirty or just outdated cabinets can be a major detriment to your home’s value. However, there’s no need to splash out thousands of dollars to replace those cabinets when you can simply paint them! Before you begin, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware and clean the cabinets thoroughly. Next, sand the cabinets using a piece of sandpaper, and then you’re ready to prime and paint! Although the color that you choose is largely dependent on the rest of your kitchen, many real estate experts recommend white cabinets, as they are neutral and never go out of style.
5. Clean your floors
As a mom with a house full of kids and pets, I know just how grungy and gross floors can get. Unfortunately, this is one of the easiest ways to turn off a potential buyer or have them bring in a lower offer. Instead of having buyers cringe at the site (or smell) of your floors, consider having a carpet cleaning company come out and work their magic! Many of these companies also clean hard floors and grout in addition to carpets. Worried about the price? Check daily deal sites each morning, as carpet cleaning services are often listed on Groupon and Living Social. In fact, I recently snagged a Groupon to have 5 rooms steam-cleaned for $99!
6. Spend some time in the yard
Having unruly bushes and crazy-looking weeds is another easy way to turn off potential buyers and to bring down the value of your home. Although no one (at least no one that I know!) enjoys yard work, spending a weekend working on the yard can be a big boost for your home’s value. In addition to simply tending unkempt foliage, consider adding a new pop of color with flowers, sprucing up your beds with new mulch, and even adding a piece of yard art or a garden decoration. These small, inexpensive improvements can make a big difference to your potential buyers. In fact, according to RealEstate.com, a well-landscaped yard can not only add up to 14% of your home’s resale value but can cut your time on the market by as much as six weeks!
7. Pressure wash
One of the first things that prospective buyers see when they pull up to your home is the driveway and exterior of the house—and we all know that the first impression can be a lasting one! Since most of us see the front of our house every day, we fail to notice all of the dirt and grime, but look closely and you’ll probably be surprised at what you find! To make a good first impression, pressure wash your driveway and sidewalk. A pressure washer can be purchased for as low as $100 at home improvement stores, and many of them rent out these machines for about $50 a day. Just be sure that you read the instructions carefully and don’t pressure wash anything that can’t stand up to its force!