Do These Things to Add Value Back to Your Home

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Beautiful urban house with for sale sign(shutterstock / Billion Photos)

If you’re considering selling your home, you probably want to get the highest possible resale value. According to May 2022 Redfin data, home prices are up 14.8% compared to the previous year and are selling for a median price of around $430,000. While home prices often ebb and flow through the year, data indicates 2022 is likely a good time to sell a home.

If you want top dollar for your house, take advantage of these home improvement tips and tricks to get you the best possible return on your investment and get the best resale value on your home.

Upgrade kitchen and bathroom cabinets and counters

You don’t necessarily have to do an entire kitchen remodel to add value to your home. In many cases, all it takes is adding a new countertop, refinishing cabinets and maybe adding a new backsplash. According to Angie’s List, fully remodeling an average-sized kitchen costs between $25,000 and $40,000, and remodeling a bathroom costs between $6,152 and $15,246 (with a national average cost of $10,788). "You can save money by focusing on the main areas that matter most," said Adam Smith of HardMoneyLenders.io. "Think of areas that may have been used the most and show the most wear, like floors and countertops."

Granite countertops typically cost between $2,000 and $4,500, according to HomeAdvisor. You can get your cabinets professionally refaced for as much as $15,000 or repaint cabinets using a cabinet refinishing kit that costs around $75. You’ll likely get the highest ROI (or return on investment) for minor upgrades like under cabinet lighting because some buyers want to avoid paying a premium for someone else’s expensive design. However, many buyers will pay for a nicely updated kitchen with affordable finishes.

Change out switches, knobs, fixtures and plates

Small details such as light-switch covers, door knobs and bathroom light fixtures can make a big difference in your home. Updating your bathroom mirror, adding new lighting and changing the light switch plates can make an old bathroom look new. Many buyers want a clean and attractive space they can instantly move into, yet they also might want to put their touches on the home later. Small upgrades tell a buyer you took care of their new home.

Paint interior and exterior walls

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Hand painting wall in apartment(shutterstock / Oleksandr Berezko)

Scuff marks and wall blemishes can be a major turn-off for buyers when searching for a home. Most buyers also don’t want large, personalized murals, bright colors, tacky wallpaper or anything on the interior walls or exterior that serves your particular tastes. Painting your interior and exterior a neutral color can help buyers picture themselves in your home with their own decor and family photos. A 2019 survey by Homelight found that the estimated cost of painting a home’s exterior was around $2,800, but that same paint job increases a home’s value by nearly $4,300 (or roughly a 50% increase).

Clean, clean and clean some more

Just cleaning and decluttering can make a home more attractive to buyers because it looks like it is well-maintained. If you extensively clean your home from top to bottom (including appliances), you’ll likely have a much better chance of selling your home for top dollar.

Update your home’s exterior

You’ve probably heard the term “curb appeal.” A home with good curb appeal makes you think it looks nice inside because it looks amazing on the outside. A home with bad curb appeal is the opposite—it might make a person think the home looks bad inside based on how it looks outside. According to a study by Michigan State University, good curb appeal can up your home’s value by as much as 5%-11%.

Change out flooring and carpets

In most states, when you get a home inspection, carpet conditions are one criterion the inspector examines. If your home has stained or old carpets, you might be thinking, “The new owner can take care of this.” However, this might not be the best course of action. Home Depot reports that carpet typically costs between $1 and $4 per square foot and roughly $0.60 for padding. Basic new carpeting in a moderately-sized home may cost around $1,500 to $3,000. If you go with a big-box retailer like Lowes or Home Depot, it may include the installation fee in that cost. It’s often a good idea to take care of fixes like flooring and carpeting before you begin showing your home. Having new carpeting and flooring can attract buyers while saving you money during the escrow process because the buyer will have fewer reasons to ask for discounts.

Make minor repairs

If you have a dripping pipe under the sink, leaky section of roof, a shower that doesn’t have much water pressure or a floor plank that doesn’t quite stay down, fix these issues before placing your home on the market. That way you can answer any inspection questions truthfully without saying there are any unresolved issues with your home.

Add a chandelier

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Crystal chandelier(shutterstock / GOLFX)

Adding a simple dining room or entryway chandelier can make a huge difference in a home’s attractiveness to buyers. You may only have to spend a few hundred bucks in investment money. Adding a chandelier tells buyers the home has upgrades. Before buying a chandelier, however, consider the decor of other homes in the area so your home fits in with the other houses surrounding you. Try not to go too far outside the box, or it might backfire. If you live in a neighborhood where all of the homes are traditional, buyers will likely expect to see traditional home decor when they visit your property. If you add an ultra-modern chandelier, this could change the landscape and make prospective buyers unhappy.

Add smart and energy-efficient upgrades

If most of the other homes in your neighborhood have energy-efficient lighting, security systems, solar panels, or any other smart or energy-efficient features, it’s a good idea to update your home with those features as well. Installing an efficient or smart hvac system or air conditioning units in particularly hot climates could serve the home sale well too.

If most homes in your neighborhood have any specific features, buyers may expect those features when shopping for homes in your area.

Stage your home

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Canadian House in Montreal's Suburb(shutterstock / Piixel Thing)

Staging is the best way to make your house appear magazine-ready, allowing for a non personalized, buyer-friendly design where buyers can imagine themselves living. According to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of buyers’ agents said staging made it easier to picture a home as their future home. Therefore, staging your home might allow you to get more money for your property.

Add a home warranty

Sellers can add a home warranty for around $500 or $600, providing additional peace of mind for a prospective buyer. Depending on the policy, home warranties may cover repairs to your roof, new roof installation, HVAC protection, extended appliance warranties and more. The seller or agent can easily purchase the warranty during the sales process and transfer it to the buyer at closing. Companies such as Choice Home Warranty offer seller warranties, which can add value to your home and may help you sell it faster.

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