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10 Simple Steps to Add Value to Your Home

Exterior view of wood-paneled house

Selling a house is an exciting and stressful time. While you want to make sure that you’re getting top dollar for your home, sometimes the little details can slip through the cracks. Before you start, take some time to chat with a realtor in your area to get some advice about what will put your home in the lead for prospective buyers. 

What is the value of my house?

In 2022, the average price for homes sold in the US is $348,079, but this is different by state. In Hawaii, the average 1,309 sq. ft. home will run you $848,926 while in Iowa you’ll spend on average $183,418 for 1,550 sq. ft. The value of your home will vary based on factors like your state, city, age of your home, number of bedrooms, amenities, and so on.

When finding the value of your home, it’s best to talk to a professional, like an assessor or lender. There are plenty of resources online that will help you get an idea, but someone like a realtor will help you get a proper valuation.

10 simple steps to add value to your home

Whether your property value is higher or lower than you expected, there are several ways that you can increase the value of your home for potential buyers. It’s just as important to know what not to fix in your home before selling when adding value. Remember to focus on the presentation and on helping the buyer to see themselves living in that space.

1. Clean and declutter

When your potential buyers enter your home, you want them to focus on the home and not on the clutter. Decluttering your home means sorting through what you need and what you don’t, putting things away, clearing surfaces and opening spaces. Take time to clean and declutter your home, especially in the rooms that carry the most value: bathrooms and kitchen. 

2. Spruce up your front door

The front door is the first thing that visitors, and buyers, see and it sets up expectations for your home. A dirty, warped door makes a person think of a damaged home, while a freshly painted one is a sign you cared for the property.

If you need to, replace the front door or power wash the old one to get rid of those years of dirt and grime. Don’t forget about freshening those doorknobs and house numbers, too.

3. Make minor repairs

If your home has a lot of minor issues like knicks in the door frame or a broken door handle, potential buyers will notice. And much like clutter, all those small issues will distract your buyer from paying attention to what matters.

Make a list of superficial defects and tackle them one by one. Look out for:

  • Peeling paint
  • Dirty walls, door frames, and light switches
  • Dripping taps or running toilets
  • Squeaky or groaning stairs, doors, and floors
  • Mold or discoloration in silicone or grout in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Limescale build-up in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Issues with poorly fitting laminate flooring

4. Freshen your paint

Repainting helps freshen any room, and it’s relatively inexpensive to do so. Remember to choose a neutral palette as this will appeal to the most buyers.

 Modern kitchen with large windows facing outside

5. Keep it bright and warm

It’s worthwhile to pay attention to when potential buyers are coming to your property. That way, you can set the central air temperature and leave lights on to welcome them and to show your property in the right light. Setting the air right means showing that the system works well and providing the right lighting makes it feel more like they’re coming home and less like they’re fumbling in the dark for light switches. 

6. Don’t forget about your yard

Your front yard is a wonderful opportunity to add some curb appeal. You don’t need a green thumb to place a few pot plants and neaten up the path to your front door.

Take advantage of your backyard too. Keep it neat and well-kept by trimming hedges, neatening borders, and mowing the lawn. If you can, try to extend your livable space by adding a patio or deck.

7. Make space for parking

In some cities, being able to park close to your front door is worth its weight in gold. If you have the space, create a place to park, as this is a surefire way to increase your home value.

8. Be smart

Smart homes are increasingly popular, so making your home a smart one can help increase property value. Look into ways to smarten up your house by adding smart light switches, upgrading your thermostat, and increasing your internet speed. This will appeal to new buyers as it shows you’ve stayed up to date with the upkeep of your house.

9. Focus on the kitchen…

Your kitchen is one of the biggest selling aspects of your house, so take some time to really focus on it. Not all of us can afford a complete kitchen renovation, but most of us can touch up counters, replace door handles, or repaint cabinets on a small budget. Invest in the right lightbulbs to give a fresh, white light to the room and clean surfaces until they’re spotless.

10. … and the bathrooms

Everyday wear and tear in bathrooms lead to a buildup of limescale, stained grout, and water stains in the toilet boil. Invest some time and energy into removing that limescale, re-grouting between tiles, repainting cabinets and putting elbow grease into any discolorations. You can also upgrade to new accessories like towel bars, a toilet roll holder, and light fixtures. Even a new shower curtain makes a difference.

Tackling bigger projects

If you have the time and the money, it’s worthwhile to consider adding an extension or conversion to your home. You could convert your loft, add a three-season room, or home office. Adding square footage to your home is one of the most effective ways to add value, and you’ll almost always see a return on your investment. 

Be careful with your choices

It’s easy to get caught up in the redesigning of a home. This leads us to add too much of our personal taste into the colors and fixtures we choose. You might fancy a scarlet accent wall in your living room, but not everyone does (and that color can be a pain to paint over). Do some research and go with more neutral options that will appeal to the most potential buyers.

It’s important to know what not worth fixing when selling your home. Don’t invest in replacing old appliances or replacing windows as those are some of the tasks that won’t add as much value as you think they will.

Don’t underestimate the current value of your home

With all this talk of what your home needs, it’s easy to forget about what it has. Draw potential buyers’ attention to unique features. In some states, having a swimming pool is a great feature so you’ll want to spruce that up and have the pumps serviced. In other colder states, a large, heated garage can be a selling point, too.