There are several things you can do as a homeowner to spruce up your home to help maintain value or even increase your home value. Sometimes in the busy-ness of life we forget about home maintenance. When we decide to sell our home, the mile-long list of things we need to do to get it market-ready can be daunting. If you find yourself in that position, consider doing the less costly fixes first.
Increase Your Home Value – Maintain and Repair
1. Consider First Impressions. Cleaning up the yard and entrance to your home takes little more than muscle and energy. Cut back overgrown shrubs and plantings. Spray or sprinkle some kind of weed-and-feed product (Scotts has always been my fave.) Power-wash sidewalks, walkways, decks, and the outside of house, if needed. You can rent a power-washer for a day and it will make a huge difference. There are also power-washing companies that will take the work off your hands.
If you don’t do anything else, paint the front door and replace an old, worn door handle, and the kickplate if it’s dingy. Plant some inexpensive flowers, in pots if you don’t have a suitable garden area. These curb appeal items can be an easy part of yearly maintenance. Keeping your front entry in good shape can be an easy task throughout the time you own your home, so it can be checked off the list before you even decide to sell.
2. Consider flooring. Look down. If your carpet is not too worn, a simple cleaning will do wonders. If you need to replace carpets, find a mid-grade, neutral color. We’ve always recommended “Tea Stain”, but with today’s decor trends, a light gray is also a good choice. It will appeal to the most people. If your hardwoods are dingy, first try buffing to renew their gleam. If there are too many scratches and dings, you might need to refinish them.
As with all home maintenance, keeping your carpets and floors in good shape will help you get more longevity out of them. The expense of new flooring can be saved if the floors are already in good shape when it’s time to sell. Covering high traffic areas with throw rugs can help with longevity of your floors. One of the best ways to increase your home value is to take care of, and update the large areas, like flooring.
3. Consider lighting. Look up. If your light fixtures are dated, get some new ones at Home Depot or Lowes, or any other big box store. You can find some very nice fixtures for a reasonable cost. Make sure you use the brightest bulbs possible.
Keeping your lighting updated throughout the time you own your home will not only save you a chunk of money when it’s time to sell…you get to enjoy greater energy savings and more stylish fixtures while you live in the home.
Clean and Neutral
4. Paint covers a multitude of sins. And it’s not expensive. Again, select neutral colors, as they have the broadest appeal. Remember, neutrals don’t have to be white and beige. Grey is a very popular neutral shade today. Most buyers need to be able to envision their furniture in your home, and if your colors and style are too much out of their comfort zone, they will usually not stretch their imagination too far. Even if a potential buyer likes bold colors, its still easy for them to “imagine” their favorite colors in your home if you have a palate of neutrals for them to start with.
Most homes take wear and tear with daily living. Decorators recommend painting every 5 to 6 years, just to keep the walls fresh and clean.
5. Get rid of the stuff! Its amazing how much stuff we collect, without even trying. Pare down, thin out, pack away, de-clutter, whatever. Consider renting a storage unit if need-be, people need to see themselves living there, with all of Their Stuff, so give them room to do so.
6. Give your house a good cleaning, even if it means hiring maid service for a single clean. A dirty house is a turn-off to prospective buyers. When you have it all clean, start making the small repairs that you’ve been avoiding. Replace window seals, fix the leaks, grout, etc.
7. Consider Staging. A professional stager will make a big difference. The psychology of space is an important factor, and the stager will help you present your space in the best possible light. [We know a couple of good local Stagers]
Kitchens and Baths Sell Homes
8. Pay attention to Bathrooms and Kitchens. Now we’re talking about more expensive fixes, but you can start small and work your way up over time. Start with small tasks, like cleaning or redoing grout, or caulk.
Replace fixtures one at a time. If you need a new appliance, make sure you replace it with an energy star appliance. Check out Lowes or Best Buy for their “Open Box” sales, the demos that they sell for 30 to 40% off. [We got a great dishwasher that way.]
They are the most expensive to update, so if they require little to no work, buyers tend to be more interested. Cosmetic updates can go a long way, but keep in mind the comparable homes that are on the market. If the norm for your home is granite counters and stainless-steel appliances, (although there are alternatives to stainless-steel appliances), then you will want to be competitive when your home goes on the market.
Keeping up with repairs and maintenance throughout the time you own your home is the best way to increase your home value and be prepared to sell without a lot of last minute, expensive work.
Contact us for recommendations for Stagers, Home Repair, Roofing, Handyman services, HVAC… we have a list of trusted services.
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Chris Highland, Broker eXp Realty Maryland
Cell: 301-401-5119 Broker: 888-860-7369