Cheap Ways to Increase Home Value

Green house with lighting

Have you ever judged a neighbor based on the appearance of their home? Of course, you have. We are all human, so you should expect no less from a prospective buyer interested in your home. Many homebuyers may even decide against purchasing your property before stepping out of their cars. Unfortunately, a person's choice to buy a home takes considerably more convincing. Let's go over some seemingly minor details that hopefully won't break the bank.

Increase curb appeal to sell your home

Hire a professional landscaper

Naturally, the easiest method would be to hire a professional landscaper. We are all capable of maintaining our own property, but landscaping is as they say, "Easy to learn, difficult to master." 

Do your own landscaping to sell your home

If you'd prefer to save some money, or simply know what you are doing, then here is a short list of areas to maintain months in advance of listing your home:

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize your lawn.

  • Consistently water your lawn and gardens.

  • Maintain the life of your plants

  • Earn that neat appeal by weeding and mulching.

  • Trim hedges, shrubs, and small trees.

  • Remove unappealing or damaged trees and plants

  • Plant some basic shrubs, flowers, and trees if you have none.

Is it worth it to paint your house before selling?

Absolutely! Even if you haven't been a homeowner for many years, your home will definitely benefit from a new coat of paint. According to Crash of Rhinos Painting and multiple other sources, painting the interior of your home could increase its value by $4000+. Better yet, painting will improve the overall appeal, making you more likely to edge out the close competition. After all, appraisers largely base home values on "comps," or comparable, recent sales in your immediate area. Choosing neutral colors also goes a long way, such as white, off-white, or gray. 

What if I can't afford to paint my walls?

Painting certainly helps a lot, but we completely understand if finances or time is a concern. We suggest looking to professional blogs or Youtube channels to help you clean without causing more damage to your interior walls. 


Renovate your home on a budget:

Renovations are not unlike an endless void. You'll likely never be fully satiated, and wish to do more. Renovating your home may or may not be necessary, but you should certainly create a check-up list to ensure an overall great appeal for visitors. 

Once you create the list, do your best not to personalize your home too much. This will be addressed in the next section of this article, but please keep personalization in mind when purchasing replacement items in your house, condo, or townhouse. 

Check the exterior of your home

While creating that check-up list, take a walk around the exterior of your property. Check the front, back, and garage doors. Look through your windows and evaluate the trim. Inspect your light fixtures and be confident that everything works as it should. There is a very high chance that your home could use some fresh paint. As mentioned above, giving your home a fresh appearance could improve the house's initial appeal and may go a long way during negotiations. If painting your house is out of the question, be sure to at least rent a power washer. They have increased in popularity, so you may even be able to find one at your local supermarket or Walmart. 

Any replacements needed should absolutely match the exterior. Keep this in mind when shopping or painting your exterior doors. Many authorities on the subject may suggest painting your front door a deep or exciting color to make that controversial, decorative statement. This could work well with some buyers, but keep in mind that it could also backfire. As mentioned earlier, not everyone will have unique tastes. More often than not, subtlety is key. The same can be said about mailboxes, light fixtures, and unusual landscaping practices.

What should I replace inside the house?

Begin with the two most important rooms inside, the kitchen and bathrooms. While visiting showings, the children of homebuyers may race to "their" new bedrooms, but parents typically rush to the kitchen or full baths. Energy-efficient appliances are extremely marketable features of any home and are often noted on MLS sheets and by Realtors. After all, new homeowners wish to save wherever possible after making one of the most substantial purchases of their lives. Cabinets and countertops are next in line for the kitchen, but as you may be aware, this list is already getting pretty expensive. It's best to fix problems instead of attempting to remodel your entire kitchen. Make sure your appliances match, if possible. If one of your appliances isn't up to snuff, get it replaced. It doesn't need to be fancy if it works well, looks nice, and is hopefully somewhat efficient. Most folks love seeing that Energy Star label!

Similarly, there is no need to redo all of your bathrooms. Fix cracked floor tiles, and re-caulk your bathtub, sink, and soap holder. Change out your showerheads, sink faucets, toilet seats, and light switch covers if they look grimey or discolored.

Flooring is another major selling point or disappointment for prospective buyers. These days, many people are looking for hardwood floors. Keep in mind that styles change frequently, so do your best to gauge what is popular at the time in your area. If your home is filled with carpet and you can't afford to replace them with hardwood floors, you aren't alone. Rent a carpet cleaner locally and go to town on those dust traps! You may even luck out and discover wood flooring underneath. In that case, you may be able to remove the carpet and refinish those beautiful, neglected house sellers.

Your next point of concern should be textiles. Curtains, drapes, rugs, and even bed comforters. Keep these items in mind when moving on to our last point: Staging and cleanliness.

Small details matter when cleaning your home

Declutter your home like Marie Kondo

In the spirit of the KonMari Method and Netflix's Tidying up with Marie Kondo, decluttering is an essential step before listing your home. Discard, then tidy. In a nutshell, decide what is necessary for your living space, and discard the rest. Even beyond the KonMari method, you may want to discard all personal items other than what is required for basic living. Place the items in storage or store them neatly in containers, shelves, and drawers.

Add life to your home with flowers and basic but decorative textiles. Once again, you may want to consider using neutral colors that wouldn't cause the whole home to give a unique appearance. Aim for pleasant designs, not unique ones. 

Remove personalized items like the photos in your frames. Homebuyers are doing their best to envision their lives in your home. Your family may be beautiful, but a family filled with strangers does not necessarily want to see your past anniversary or camping photos. Instead, remove the frames or try printing out some nice landscapes as inserts. If you wish to keep photos, then use them sparingly. Don't bombard visitors with a 50-photo frame right at the entry. 

If you aren't great at decorating or unfortunately scored a low spatial IQ on that high school test you took over a decade ago, then there's no shame in hiring a professional stager. Compare a brand new home freshly promoted by the developer to a private seller. The differences in appearance are substantial, and the reasons aren't necessarily tied to the condition of the property. Professional stagers are a necessity for many sellers, so keep your mind open and give it some real thought.

Thanks for sticking with us for this long. If this article helped your planning process at all, we would love to read about it in the comments below. Be sure to check the following summarized list to keep everything fresh in your mind. Thanks for reading and good luck with your home!

  • Create a check-up list

  • Increase curb appeal by hiring a professional landscaper

  • Give the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint

  • If finances are an issue, clean your interior walls and powerwash the exterior

  • Maintain matching styles

  • Replace or revamp broken or dated fixtures, appliances, cabinets, flooring, etc.

  • Re-caulk 

  • Energy efficient appliances are best, if possible

  • Deeply clean all areas of the home

  • Declutter and tidy up like Marie Kondo!

  • Bring life to your home, but try not to personalize too much

Posted by Eric Emond on


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