Buying & Selling

Strategic Steps and Quick Tips: Adding Value to Your Home Before Listing

Selling your home is a significant decision that involves careful planning and consideration. To maximize your property’s appeal and increase its market value, you don’t have to spend a ton of money (or time). 

There are plenty of quick and inexpensive ways to subtly enhance your property and improve the reception (and offers) you get from would-be buyers. Here are some of the best tips we know for adding value to your home before listing it on the market:

#1. Curb Appeal Matters

First impressions really do matter – and the exterior of your home sets the tone for what potential buyers expect from the inside. If your flower beds have gotten a little overgrown and the trim on your house is somewhat weathered, those are two quick fixes. You can also give your front door a fresh coat of paint, put up new house numbers and replace that old mailbox. If your siding has gotten dirty from the street traffic, consider having it power-cleaned before listing your home.

#2. Deep Clean and Declutter

This is a simple, powerful way to make a home more appealing to potential buyers, and it’s often overlooked. A clean, clutter-free home looks more inviting – and buyers often subconsciously connect a clean home with a well-maintained home. Before you list the property, deep clean every room, including those overlooked areas like baseboards and light fixtures. 

Then, strip your home of as much of your personality as possible. Get rid of personal photos, excess furniture and most of your trinkets and decorative items. That makes it easier for buyers to focus on the home and see themselves in the space.

#3. Paint Everything Neutral

There’s nothing wrong with putting some color on the walls – but bold paint can be a turn-off for a lot of potential buyers. Unless they’re in love with the color and their furniture matches, they just see that as something they’d have to “fix.” A fresh coat of paint in neutral colors can make your home look clean and move-in-ready.

#4. Do Minor Kitchen Upgrades

It is cost-prohibitive to redo the whole kitchen right before you sell – but there are small changes you can make that will be impactful. Consider painting the cabinets and replacing the hardware. Update that old, dated backsplash and swap out your countertop. Adding recessed lighting and making sure that the tiles on the floor are in good shape are two other relatively inexpensive modifications that could pay off at closing time. These changes can give your kitchen a fresh and modern look without breaking the bank.

#5. Revamp the Bathroom

Like kitchens, bathrooms can greatly influence someone’s decision to buy. Replace worn-out or outdated fixtures, update the lighting, and consider a fresh coat of paint. Simple changes like new towels, a stylish shower curtain, or a decorative mirror can add a touch of luxury without a major investment.

#6. Adjust Your Lighting

Natural light can make a space feel more open and inviting. Clean your windows, remove any heavy curtains and consider adding mirrors in narrow spaces strategically to reflect light around your home. When you’re done, take a look at your lamps and lights and make sure to replace any burnt-out bulbs.

#7. Address Minor Repairs

Do you have a “honey-do” list that’s gone by the wayside over time? Get it out, grab the toolbox and get started. Fixing small issues – whether it’s a tiny crack in the plaster in a child’s room or a broken light switch – before you list your home can prevent potential buyers from using those small flaws to negotiate you down from your asking price. After you clean and declutter, walk through your home as if you were a potential buyer to look for leaky faucets, squeaky doors and creaky cabinet doors. These small details may seem insignificant but can make a big difference in the overall impression of your property.

#8. Invest in Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Want to appeal to the environmentally conscious buyer or those who are focused on long-term savings? Consider upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and installing a programmable thermostat to make your home more energy efficient. If you really want to impress potential buyers, install a home charging port for an electric vehicle in your garage. Some studies say that alone can add as much as 13% to your home’s value.

#9. Highlight Smart Home Features

The “Internet of Things” has made smart homes more attractive than ever among buyers. When you’re installing that new thermostat, make sure it can be adjusted remotely and make sure any new lighting you add is also programmable. Adding a security system and automated outdoor lighting in the front and back can also make your home stand out.

#10. Create a Functional Home Office Space

Given the rise in remote work and the increasing importance of home offices, consider transforming an underutilized space into a functional home office. This can be achieved with minimal investment by adding a desk, a comfortable chair and adequate lighting to a mudroom, walk-in pantry or some other spot. Even if you never actually used the space that way, you can show buyers that there is plenty of room for a dedicated workspace.

#11. Enhance Your Storage Solutions

There’s no such thing as “too much storage” in a house. Evaluate your current storage solutions and consider adding or improving them. This could involve installing built-in shelves in strategic spots, expanding too-small closets or adding cabinets in bathrooms, laundry rooms and other spaces.

Nobody wants to pour a ton of money into a house that they’re planning to sell – but you can still enhance your home’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers by making a few strategic changes.