Whether you are considering putting your house on the market next spring or even further down the road, there are a litany of home improvement projects that you can complete entirely on your own to add value to your home. If you have a little free time, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and apply a little elbow grease, you will be surprised by how dramatically you can boost your asking price. A well-informed homeowner will also keep a record of all the updates and improvements they make over the course of their ownership, and will be aware of projects that can provide the best return on investment. Usually, sellers can expect a return for home improvement projects at around 64% assuming the home is sold within a year of the projects being completed.
The most obvious and easiest project to begin elevating the value of your home is to start decluttering. Clearing junk and erroneous materials out of your home can add nearly $2,000 to your home’s value in addition to making it exceedingly easier to begin showing your home. In most cases, decluttering shouldn’t cost more than $300, and can bring in a ROI of up to 568%. Deep cleaning and decluttering are the cheapest and easiest ways to keep your home looking it’s best while simultaneously making your life and the prospect of selling your house easier. Decluttering and getting your home in order room by room will also help decrease your stress level in an often anxiety ridden process.
Another cost-effective project home improvement is paint, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Freshly painted walls look clean and updated, which translates to value in the eyes of prospective buyers. Stick to neutral colors to appeal to the greatest number of people. A fresh coat of paint is a quick project that will get things in order, and will also bring a 1%-2% increase in your property value. Painting projects don’t need to end at interior walls either, consider sanding and staining or painting your kitchen cabinets. This project can be time consuming, as it is often advised to take the cabinets off before sanding or repainting, but it is a terrific opportunity to transform the look and feel of a kitchen or bath.
Kitchens are the part of the home that gets the greatest return when updated. While it is often a more expensive undertaking, updating kitchen appliances like the dishwasher, microwave and stove (preferably stainless steel) can increase the value of your home immensely. A full kitchen remodel typically only yields a ROI around fifty cents on the dollar. Essentially, a deep clean, a fresh coat of paint, and installing a new faucet and cabinetry pulls will go a long way towards making your kitchen more desirable in the eyes of prospective buyers. Even though kitchens are the first place sellers consider spending their investment dollars, other projects bring a higher return and improve the look of your home as a whole.
Major home renovations can be risky investments, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make small upgrades to key spaces like your kitchen and baths to impress buyers. If you have long craved the elegance of natural stone in your home, consider a new granite bathroom vanity top, which is an affordable way to get it. You can complete this type of bathroom makeover with a new faucet and mirror for less than $500. Another quick project that can give your bathroom a refresh is to update outdated and boring fixtures. This proves true for the entirety of your home as well, every fixture in your home should have a cohesive style. Replace all the knobs, pulls, switch plates, and light fixture with the same type of material. Brushed nickel is timeless and clean and will help create a desirable style for a broad range of buyers.
Lighting can also make a noticeable difference in older bathrooms. A long row of round bulbs over the mirror will completely brighten up and change the aesthetic of an antiquated bath. Living in the same house for decades, you might be used to replacing lights with the same replacement bulbs you have used since you initially moved in. However, lightbulb technology has come a long way towards being more efficient. If you replace your fixture bulbs with LEDs across your entire house, inside and out, that can be a huge selling point that you can highlight in your listing description when it comes time to sell. Energy efficient upgrades like using LED bulbs or installing Energy Star certified windows can boost a home’s value by 1-3%. You can also brighten up your house without breaking the bank by cleaning skylights and removing outdated curtains that may be blocking natural light.
Homebuyers typically prefer hardwood flooring options over wall-to-wall carpeting. While the idea of removing carpets and refinishing wood floors on your own may seem daunting, this task can be done on a budget with the proper tools and know-how. Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time removing the existing carpet or other floor materials in addition to time preparing the space and installing new flooring. New wood floors or even high-quality vinyl or tile can deliver a significant return on investment and help your home sell faster.
If you’re getting serious about selling your home and want to get the most bang for your buck in regards to home improvement projects, the best thing you can do is talk to a real estate agent and ask them to do a walkthrough of your house. They will have a meticulous eye and be able to point out any areas that need to be addressed before you list. Agents are trained to look at the little details in your home that buyers will notice and comment on. This is the best method to direct your dollars and time towards projects that will pay dividends and make your house sell quicker without wasting any time or effort.