The trick to earning more money for your time and labor when selling a home is a multi-step process. It requires finding a way to increase home value without spending exorbitant amounts on material and labor costs. Those expenses eat into profits and can negate the point of upgrading or updating an abode before it hits the market.
Fortunately, there are proven (and affordable) ways to spruce up your house so you can ask for a selling price that is thousands or tens of thousands of dollars higher than what you thought your home could sell for.
Are you already into DIY home improvements? Even better. Here are five proven ways to raise the final selling price of your home.
That old motto about beauty only being skin-deep is true for homes too. Whether indoors or outside, paint is the "skin" of your home, and it is often the first part of your abode to show the signs of age.
If your current home value is not where it should be or where you would like it to be, your first course of action should be to evaluate the quality and color of your home's paint.
The lifespan of interior or exterior paint depends on several factors, such as the quality of the original paint, how it was applied, and environmental factors.
Consider repainting your home if your paint is:
- Otherwise damaged
Are there times when a perfectly good coat of paint still needs to be replaced? Absolutely. Buyers will have strong opinions on what colors they like or do not like.
No one person is the final authority on which colors work better than others, but seasoned real estate agents can provide solid advice here. If you are rearing to start the process on your own, consider these tips.
- Look to magazines and reputable homebuying publications for inspiration
- Avoid or minimize the use of unconventional colors like neon, green, or dark gray
- Stick with earthy or neutral tones when possible
- Develop an overall color scheme for your home so the rooms are aesthetically cohesive
2. Life's a Garden
As with all of these tips, the idea behind sprucing up your lawn and garden is to "wow" potential homebuyers. You do not want your asking price to seem at odds with the appearance of your home.
The first step is to honestly evaluate the state of your lawn. Homeowners may not be the best judge of the appearance of the outside of your home.
The solution? Get a second opinion. Consider asking a neighbor for feedback.
Once you have a better understanding of what your lawn may be lacking, the work typically falls into these categories:
- Cleaning up brush and debris
- Watering, fertilizing, and doing whatever you need to bring the remaining vegetation back to life
- Visiting the local nursery to buy fully grown plants and/or flowers
- Carefully planting those flowers and shrubs
- Replacing old mulch with fresh mulch
To further increase your home value, you may need to add pavestones, outdoor lighting, and other garden accessories.
Consider painting your outdoor pots. You can even use extra leftover paint from your interior and exterior paint jobs. This simple step can add a nice pop to your outdoor spaces.
Again, ask your neighbors or an experienced real estate agent for advice.
3. Consider Updating Home Decor and Finishes
Does your home still have (gulp) popcorn ceilings? Shag carpet, dated chandeliers, and period-specific furnishings like linoleum countertops can leave potential homebuyers rolling their eyes at your asking price.
So what is "in" when it comes to home decor?
- Stainless steel appliances
- High-quality marble or granite countertops
- Integrated kitchen hardware
- Eco-friendly fireplaces (that do not burn wood)
- Kitchen islands that double as eating spaces
- Blending antiques with modern
So what is out? Your best bet for keeping up with interior design do's and don'ts is to follow popular and established magazines or publications.
If potentially costly upgrades have you wringing your hands, consider some cheap and simple upgrades that can transform your home with minimal upfront costs.
For example, brass doorknobs can appear dated. Brushed nickel or a similar metal can leave your house appearing more modern, or at least not as old-fashioned.
Is your bathroom mirror just a mounted mirror? Use decorative molding or a painting frame to upgrade your mirror and to "reframe" how people see your house in general.
Incandescent lightbulbs can leave your house appearing yellowish—a real potential buyer turnoff. Consider buying LED lights that will boost the appearance of your interior and increase your home's energy efficiency.
Once you have updated your home's appearance, show it off. Putting together a show-stopping real estate video is a great way to show off your new curb appeal (and increased potential home value).
4. How Energy Efficient Is Your Home?
Home energy efficiency is huge these days. Potential buyers will weigh energy efficiency heavily when considering accepting your asking price.
The reason is simple. Energy costs are a significant cost for homeowners, and many homebuyers want to know that they are not contributing to pollution and other problems that result from wasteful heating and cooling systems.
The average U.S. household spends around $117 per month on electricity, and much of that cost goes toward heating and cooling. That is an average expense, per year, of $1,404. Large households can require several times that cost!
Experienced realtors are asked this question all the time: How can I increase my home's energy efficiency?
The answer is surprisingly simple and affordable.
- Check your home or cracks and poorly sealed doors
- Upgrade your lightbulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs
- Replace your air filters
- Turn off your computers (and other electronic devices) when not in use
- Set your thermostat for optimal efficiency (78F in the summer and 68F in the winter)
- Use your ceiling fan during hot summer months
- Consider replacing single-pane windows with energy efficiency alternatives
- Remember that lights account for roughly 12% of electricity costs
- Dress warmly during the winter instead of relying on the heater
By taking these simple steps, you can show a potent buyer that you are serious about energy efficiency issues and the environment.
5. It's All About the Kitchen and Bathrooms
Not all rooms are created equal. The kitchen is the proverbial gathering area for families, so it is no surprise that potential buyers will heavily weigh the appearance of your dining area.
Bathrooms are anything but communal, but we do spend a significant amount of time each day in these restrooms. So there is an inherent intimacy associated with restrooms.
This is not to say that realtors will fuss over kitchens and bathrooms to the expense of, say, the living room or bedrooms. The advice here is simply to be mindful of what potential buyers will be looking for.
Tips for an Impressive Kitchen
Back to basics. Does your kitchen have linoleum flooring? Have you considered integrated hardware, i.e., faucets and other hardware that seamlessly blends with countertops?
Remember, you do not have to upgrade everything in the kitchen, but an investment of a few thousand dollars could literally pay dividends, especially for buyers who are kitchen-minded.
Remember, personal touches matter too. A clean and sparse house may be easier to sell, but that does not mean that crayon-scribbled drawing on the fridge and other reminders that (yes, people live here) cannot add a welcome, personal touch that might appeal to buyers.
What Every Bathroom Should (and Shouldn't) Have
First and foremost, spotlessly clean your bathrooms so that they are visibly clean and completely odorless.
Lighting should be your second top priority. No one wants to imagine starting their day brushing their teeth in a dimly lit room. Bathrooms should be a welcome refuge from the outside world.
Add candles or incense. And consider spending a few extra bucks on luxury soap so potential buyers know that you value your alone time, because the new owners probably do too.
Contact Hommati for More Tips to Increase Home Value
Hommati's real estate market provides homebuyers with access to VR home tours, virtual staging, aerial videos, and other resources that help individuals search for and buy homes. Our approach is visual-based, so potential buyers can virtually place themselves inside a house that is currently on the market.
Let Hommati be your first and last resource for finding a real estate agent, new home, or outlet to market your house that's for sale. Contact us today to learn how we can make buying or selling your home easier and more effective.