Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Point2.
Planning to sell your home? It’s only natural that you’d want to get the best possible price when listing your property.
The good news is that there are plenty of things, big and small, that you can do to see the value of your home increase. So, no matter your budget and time constraints, there’s almost certainly some way to get a great price when selling.
But beware: Many things that seem like they’d boost your listing price can actually cost you thousands of dollars. So, in this guide, we’ll go over both the tried and tested ways to add value to your home and the pitfalls to avoid.
Here are sure-fire ways to add value to your home.
1. Refit the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the main rooms buyers look at when house hunting, so it’s a great place to start adding value to your home.
If yours seems dated or dirty, it will almost certainly bring your house’s value down.
While it’s one of the more expensive renovations on this list, it can really pay off if you get it right.
New countertops and cabinets paired with fresh tiles and modern, energy-efficient appliances are a great place to start and will make your kitchen stand out to buyers.
2. Renovate the Bathroom
Like the kitchen, the bathroom also sees daily use and is another room buyers will focus on when house hunting. Old, worn-out fittings and features are a big turn-off, so at the very least, be sure to fix any leaks.
If your budget allows and the current bathroom decor is somewhat shabby, retiling the walls and floor can really pay off in the long run.
Underfloor heating is another bonus for many buyers, while brand-new features, such as a large walk-in shower, can boost the value of your home.
3. Add a Second Bathroom
Regarding bathrooms, homes with more than one are increasingly appealing to buyers. As such, adding a second bathroom can be a great way to increase your home’s resale value.
Try to avoid overspending on this project, however, as it can soon become costly if the required plumbing doesn’t match well with the existing system.
4. Repurpose Your Attic and Basement
Many attics and basements are simply used for storage, but by transforming them into livable areas, you can add thousands of dollars to your home’s resale value.
From additional bedrooms and home offices to laundry rooms and home cinemas, there are many things you can do with these spaces without having to make any major structural changes.
One of the best things you can do with an attic or basement is to give it a multi-purpose feel.
This way, buyers can envision the space’s true potential without worrying about carrying out a full renovation themselves. And in many cases, they’ll be happy to pay a little extra for that benefit.
5. Improve Energy Efficiency
The more energy-efficient your home is, the better. For prospective buyers, this can mean lower energy bills and a higher level of comfort, two things worth paying extra for when house hunting.
The best way to improve energy efficiency in your home is to ensure it’s well insulated from top to bottom.
Double-glazed windows and doors will also decrease temperature fluctuations, while energy-efficient appliances and lighting systems can considerably reduce electricity bills.
6. Upgrade Your Appliances
Bringing your home into the 21st century is always a great way to improve its resale value.
Smart devices, such as thermostats, fridges and lights, are increasingly popular, but it’s also important to consider safety. Smart carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as well as security cameras, offer peace of mind that many buyers will pay more for.
A fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into your home and is a fairly budget-friendly way to improve its value.
If you’re comfortable with DIY, you can often do it yourself. Before you paint, be sure to seal up any cracks in the walls and ceilings. Go for neutral colors, enabling buyers to envision your house as their future home.
If necessary, it’s also a good idea to give the exterior a coat of paint and allow your home to shine from the moment potential buyers see it, which brings us to the next point.
8. Work on Your Curb Appeal
Often overlooked, curb appeal can play an essential role in selling your home. Many buyers decide very early on whether they like the house they’re viewing, so it’s vital that yours looks appealing before they step through the door.
Besides redecorating the exterior, be sure to maintain your lawn, driveway and paths. Keep the grass trimmed and the flowers vibrant, and fix any cracks in the paving.
Improving your curb appeal is very budget-friendly, but can really see the value of your home soar.
9. Add More Storage Space
The more built-in storage space your home offers, the more highly valued it’s likely to be. Adding extra storage doesn’t have to be expensive either, but you might need to think outside the box and consider the dead spaces in your home.
A cupboard under the stairs is always good, while rolling drawers under the bed can offer plenty of additional space.
But don’t forget to look up, too. The space above a door is a handy spot to put a shelf or even a cabinet, while corner shelves can make the most of an empty area in any room.
10. Give Your Home a Deep Clean
A dirty house is a huge turn-off for many potential buyers, as it hints at neglect. So, giving yours a deep clean before people view it is perhaps the cheapest and easiest way to add value to it. Remove any traces of pets and steam clean carpets and upholstery if required.
If necessary, now is also an excellent time to replace dated or dirty fixtures such as lampshades and door handles.
Finally, be sure to remove any personal belongings in order to create a blank canvas. This way, buyers can better envision the house as their own home.
Now let’s look at things that can devalue your home and cost you money.
Pricing Yourself Out of the Neighborhood
Certain renovations can boost your home’s resale value, but it’s all too easy to go overboard and effectively price yourself out of the market.
Using the highest quality materials and appliances in anything other than the wealthiest neighborhoods can lead to huge losses when it comes to selling.
Assessors value your home against comparable homes in the local market. So, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating a kitchen in an area where homes sell for $250,000 on average can cost you a lot of money.
Generally speaking, it’s best to go for mid-tier materials and appliances.
Unless your roof is in major need of repairs, replacing it won’t do anything to increase your home’s resale value.
It’s an extremely expensive renovation to carry out and is typically considered maintenance rather than an upgrade.
Revamping Electrical, Plumbing & HVAC Systems
Similarly, updating electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems is also considered maintenance. If these systems are indeed outdated or in urgent need of repair, then it’s wise to update them, but bear in mind buyers won’t pay extra for it.
On the other hand, if they’re in good working order, you won’t lose any value by not upgrading them, but you will likely save a lot of cash.
Bad Renovations & Illegal Home Improvements
DIY renovations can be a great way to save a lot of money, but if your skills aren’t up to scratch, you might find that it costs you far more in the long run.
If you make a big mistake, having a contractor come in and fix it will often end in significant expenses. Moreover, a poor finish can put buyers off even if you avoid any major mistakes.
Another issue is neglecting to get the required permits and approvals for your renovations. This can come back to bite you when you sell, so if you do go down the DIY route, be sure to do it legally and ensure you can handle the work.
Most buyers want to move into a turnkey home, so if yours requires maintenance, the price will often plummet as buyers budget for the necessary repair work.
Try to keep on top of maintenance and carry out any necessary repairs before listing.
Bad odors can come from numerous sources, including pets, smoking indoors or poor plumbing systems. Be sure to fix the source of the issue before inviting buyers to visit your home.
If in doubt, have a brutally honest friend or family member give their feedback.