Tips & Tricks

7 Ways to Increase a Home’s Value

Bob Fuoto

The first thing a homeowner and real estate agent do before listing a home is to ensure that basic things have been maintained – things like making sure all major appliances are in good working order and repainting with neutral colors.  Sometimes, just good maintenance doesn’t give a home the “wow” factor.  Luckily, there are other things you can do to increase the home’s value.  This list includes things that are relatively inexpensive, but will turn a home into a buyer magnet.

1. Create Open Space

Buyers today are looking for open floorplans.  If you have non-load-bearing walls separating the kitchen, dining room and living room, consider removing them.  It will go a long way toward making the home look more contemporary and it will attract more buyers.

Another thing to consider is the kitchen island.  Kitchen islands are in high demand, but if an island makes the kitchen look crowded, it’s not a selling point.  If the kitchen is large and there is enough storage without the island, consider removing it or using a movable island.

2.  Create More Space

An outdated finished basement won’t add much value to the home.  It’s worth the cost to update the space with new paint and lighting.  Outdoor decks also give a home more living space.  If the home doesn’t have a deck, or if the deck isn’t in good condition, consider adding a deck with outdoor living spaces to bring the outdoors inside.

3.  Let There be Light

Lighting makes a big difference in how a home shows.  Rooms with dark corners look smaller and aren’t welcoming.  Replace outdated lighting fixtures with contemporary designs that optimize the optimize the home’s appeal.  In addition, adding indirect lighting such as can lights in the ceiling can bring those dark corners into the light. 

If you want to get even more ambitious, consider adding a solar tube.  Solar tubes are also called sun tubes.  They’re much less expensive to install than a skylight, but they still provide the warm, indirect natural light that makes a room much more inviting.

4.  Update the Kitchen

The kitchen is still the heart of a home.  Research has found that a modern, updated kitchen is very high on the list of homebuyer’s must-haves.  The good news is that you can make a big impact on the kitchen’s appeal without starting from scratch.  Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Replace the hardware – you’ll be surprised the difference it makes.
  2. Update the back-splash, immediately giving the kitchen a contemporary feel.
  3. Replace old appliances with new stainless-steel appliances.
  4. Install new quartz counter-tops.  Quartz has a modern look, but doesn’t require as much maintenance as higher-priced alternatives like marble.

5.  Update the Bathrooms

Bathrooms rank just under kitchens in terms of buyer interest.  The moneymakers in the bathrooms start with updating faucets and hardware.  For a more modern look, change frosted glass tub enclosures to clear glass, and be sure to install safety rails if they’re missing.  Most importantly, if there is a separate shower, update it to a walk-in shower with a frameless shower enclosure.

6.  Freshen the Exterior

An overgrown front or backyard is a quick way to lose potential buyers.  Tame any overgrown landscaping, and be sure to trim or remove anything that is blocking natural light from reaching the windows.

Replace the roof if it’s nearing the end of its useful life.  New homeowners don’t want to look forward to a major project before they move in.  A new coat of paint on the exterior will make the house look fresh and well maintained.  Keep in mind that the front door is the first thing buyers will see as they approach the house.  Replace the door if necessary, or at a minimum, give it a fresh coat of paint.

7.  Make the Home Energy Efficient

Energy efficiency is an important issue for many homebuyers.  It’s not necessary to install a solar power system to make an impression on buyers.  However, if your heating and cooling system is older and inefficient, consider replacing it with a system that will offer significant energy savings.

Homebuyers are often concerned about the R value for a home’s insulation because they know it will make a big difference in heating and cooling costs.  If your home’s insulation isn’t up to modern standards, consider upgrading it.

In order to sell a home quickly and for top dollar, the homeowner and real estate agent need to work together to ensure that the home comes on the market in top condition.  These tips for increasing a home’s value will help meet that goal.

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