Inexpensive Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Doing small things to help boost your home’s value is worthwhile at any time, but particularly when preparing for sale. There are many, many ways to increase your home’s value with little .

First: clean up your yard. This sounds obvious, but according to home investor Steve Burges[1], it’s something hundreds of owners don’t bother to do, leaving buyers with the impression that the house is a dump. Keeping your house in tip-top shape makes it an advertisement in itself, and you may find when you want to sell there is a line of people already waiting.

When it comes to redecorating, house dressing and landscaping, estate agents and others may attempt to pressure you into hiring professionals. Be wary. You can do a lot of this yourself, or at least have a handyman in to do the bigger jobs and follow their lead on the smaller ones.

Put yourself in the place of the buyer. What would make your home attractive to the average person? What do you want them to feel as they walk in the door? Making little changes to what someone sees will increase your home’s value with little expense. Renovations, however, are an expensive move that may not increase the price as much as you think. Think about why you’re making the change, and how this improves the house. Think like a buyer – would you pay $10,000 more for an extra room?

Give the property a fresh lick of paint. This is on the pricier end of the scale for small things to do, but it is incredible how much difference fresh paint can make to the appearance – and therefore perceived value – of a property. You can save money when painting by making use of what’s there: if the ceilings don’t look too grotty, giving them a wash with sugar soap instead of a repaint. Only repaint a few months before sale for best effect.

Remove clutter. Buyers get more enthusiastic about buying a house when they can imagine themselves living in it, and this is impossible for them to do when you are very obviously living in it. This doesn’t mean that you have to move out, but remove as much clutter as you can (put it in the shed if you have to), keep personal touches small, keep your linen as clean as possible, and do your best to remove the ‘lived in’ smells.

When preparing your home for sale, attend as many open inspections, auctions and other related events as you can to get an idea of what you’re up against. If your neighbours have had their gardens freshly landscaped, it will reflect badly on your property to have a sloppy garden; if they haven’t, then getting someone in to give your garden a quick tidy is all you need to give you an edge. Looking also at properties slightly above and slightly below your range can be an immense help, too, and give you an idea of what to avoid – decorating your interiors at a level that will make your home look pricey may up its value a little, but it may also scare off potential buyers in your range.

[1] Author of ‘101 Cost-Effective Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home.’


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