Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be. Finding the right realtor for you along with some easy home improvement projects can greatly improve the value of your home. As we work through this list many of these items are simple DIY projects, but hiring out help isn’t out of the question. Consult with your realtor to make a priority list of things that need to be done, and they can often guide you on when it makes sense to do it yourself, or if you can’t do it yourself when it makes sense to hire someone to do that project or it those options are not available when it is time to let the project go. Let’s explore some straightforward steps to increase your home’s value, all are easy to do, but we’ll start with lower-cost suggestions and work our way up.

  1. Declutter and Depersonalize Your Home – While pictures of the last family reunion hanging on your fridge, or your impressive collection of small spoons from your travels may have big meaning for you, they do not have any value to potential buyers. The most important thing you can do is create an environment where your buyer can picture living in your home with their things. Unless you happen upon a fellow thimble collector, it is best to make your home tidy, trendy, and decluttered of your personal items.
  2. Clean Your House Your realtor can only work so much magic with a photo editing program. Clean your house before you do any photography and before showing. You may be surprised to learn how often realtors are left trying to show a house that is simply messy. The house may be in outstanding condition, but if it looks messy it sends subliminal messages to your buyers that you do NOT want them to have.
  3. Stage Your House – Many buyers have spent hours looking online and in person at a wide range of houses and styles. They may also be hopping online or getting design magazines showing them the coolest trends in home decor. Staging your home using warm, inviting, and current techniques can really help your buyers see themselves in your home. While you want your buyers to be able to picture their things in your home, you also want to supply bold ideas that get the buyer excited about the space. Professional stagers are available, talk to your realtor to see if professional staging makes sense, or if they have any suggestions for local talent.
  4. Let There Be Light – Make sure that you are using lighting in your home to your advantage, have windows open, and curtains light and airy. Make sure the lighting in every room is good. use bright bulbs that help your buyer see the space. If you have blind spots due to poor lighting, add lamps. Well-lit spaces create a larger feel to the room.
  5. Curb Appeal – When they roll up to your abode, will they see overgrown bushes and a dilapidated metal shed circa 1984? The curb appeal is the calling card of your home. The first impression thing is real, and this is it. Any realtors will be the first to tell you that a yard that looks like it hasn’t been cared for indicates that the home hasn’t been maintained either. In many cases, this is not the case. Unfortunately, in a home showing you will not be present to tell them how your cord got caught in the lawn mower and that is why it looks like you’re preparing for a haunted house this Halloween. Pull up to your own house from different angles, literally and with a critical eye. Mow the lawn, make sure the mailbox and door look good, and fill in gardens or tough spots with mulch, when necessary. A few well-placed potted plants would be a terrific addition as well.
  6. Minor Updates and Repairs – During my last move I was in awe of all the minor repairs that I had set aside for later. When selling your house, it is time to come to grips with the reality of what you let slide. Don’t stress, it is amazing how quickly you can do minor repairs and in turn, how quickly you can see the immediate rewards of those repairs. If you’re not repainting, do the touch-up, re-stain, or touch up old wood or doors, put on the new light plates, and please fix the faucet that drips once every 57 seconds. Make minor repairs, fill in the nail holes in the walls, and replace the toilet that you need to jiggle the handle exactly right to make it stop running. What became livable naissances to you become red flags for potential buyers.
  7. Update Fixtures – Speaking of minor updates, updating light fixtures, drawer pulls and handles, doorknobs, etc., does a lot to make your home look new and fresh. Updating your bathroom fixtures is a great option. Replacing shower heads, sinks, toilets and the like is a easy way to modernize a home. 
  8. Energy Efficient – In a new era of green energy and higher power bills more and more homebuyers search for energy-efficience in new homes. To up the efficence of your home without tearing the place down, try adding insulation, upgrading appliances, and sealing air leaks letting the outside temperature into the home.
  9. Paint! – Realtors agree that a fresh coat of paint is a fantastic way to freshen up your home. It sends the message that this was your home, but its refreshed and ready for a new household to move in. While paint color trends change, even among what realtors will recommend, do take the time to find out what is current AND neutral.
  10. Deck, Patio and Outdoor Spaces – If you don’t already have one and have the money to spend, adding a deck or patrio will increase the value of your home. If you do, taking time and effort to create a cozy look and feel is time well spent. In a cozy deck area a buyer can imagine spending time in the space you’ve created. Even if you can’t do the full edition of the deck or patio, you know where you like to spend time in your yard; set up a comfortable sitting area with the best wires your yard has to offer.
  11. Update Appliances – I’ve lightly hinted earlier that you may want to update appliances. Appliances are typically heavily used pieces of equipment in our home. They are also notoriously bigger users of energy. The latest appliances can raise the value of your home dramatically. Of course, they also run a pretty penny. Have a dicsusion with your realtor to find out if the cost of replacing the appliances be outweighed by the improvement of your home. If you elect to keep the same appliance, be extra sure it is in working order and deep clean it best you can.

Of course, there are always even more items you could update or add to increase the value of your home. A few not listed above which require more indepth investment are putting new siding on your home, undergoing a major landscaping project, installing new roof, remodelling the kitchen, and fully reinventing your bathrooms. While deciding on changes, keep your realtor informed. Their sales experience will inform you which changes can get you the most bang for your buck. Be honest about your budget and capacity to invest in your home. Happy home selling! 

At House Help MN we understand the importance of a home and how big of a decision it is when it comes to buying or selling, and that not every situation is the same. That is why we follow a strict code of ethics and are transparent with everything we do. With 20 years in the real estate industry, we will walk you through multiple options and help you every step of the way. We will find a solution that is right for you and make the process quick and as easy as possible.

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