Preparing your home for viewers is important. It will not only ensure your property sells faster but for a higher sale price; potentially adding thousands of pounds to its value
With all of us spending more time at home since covid started and the introduction of remote work. it’s not surprising that so many took to the already competitive housing market to look for a new place. Some of us, though, stayed exactly where we were, remodeling instead to make the most of the homes we know and love.
If you’re looking to sell your home, or make some much-needed improvements, then there are some simple steps you can take to ensure you get the best possible results. From updating your appliances to revamping your garden, these easy home improvement tasks show that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home more desirable, and significantly increase its value.
Here are our top tips to make your home more valuable for sale so it shows well and helps it sell faster and for the highest value possible
Clean and Declutter your Interior
Deep cleaning and decluttering your home can add more than $4,000 to its resale value, on average. Buyers appreciate a clean, pristine home, but if you don’t plan to move, you could benefit from making better use of your space, getting more organized, and having less clutter to stress over.
The biggest, and arguably cheapest, the improvement you can make to your house is to declutter. No one wants to see someone’s belongings strewn around or endless ornaments covering every surface. Have a clear-out and rid your rooms of junk. If you’re keen to keep hold of your personal effects, then move them out of sight so that they can’t be seen by any visitors or put them into storage until you sell the house.
While cleaning and decluttering are inexpensive, these tasks still require a lot of work. You can begin by going through cabinets and closets and starting a donation pile. Clean out drawers and other storage areas of your home as well, making sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need or want.
Spruce it up with fresh paint
Paint is magic, and that’s true whether you’re upgrading the paint inside or outside your home. A fresh coat of paint can make even dated exteriors and interiors look fresh and new, and it’s not that expensive, either.
The front of the house is the first thing a potential buyer will see, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Giving the outside a fresh lick of paint means you’re off on the right foot but also clean your windows, consider investing in some potted plants and hide any rubbish or mess away until the viewings are over.
To switch up the paint in one room, you can expect to spend between $2 and $6 per square foot, HomeAdvisor reports.
Make it more attractive
Curb appeal — how your home looks from the street — is your first chance to make a good impression. Improving curb appeal is a big step you can take to boost your home’s marketability. A home’s exterior needs to make a prospective buyer want to walk through the front door.
Make sure existing landscaping is well-maintained. If your yard seems dull in comparison with your neighbors, consider planting flowers or repainting the front door.
Once the exterior looks good, focus on the kitchen and bathroom. When these two rooms are outdated, they can keep a property from reaching its highest valuation. A new paver patio or outdoor kitchen can also add to your home’s value, and make your property a lot more enjoyable and livable if you don’t plan to sell just yet.
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Make it low-maintenance
Since many home buyers worry about buying a home that will need constant maintenance, replacing a major component before putting it up for sale — like the furnace, water heater, or even the roof — may calm fears of an emergency repair shortly and help get you a higher price.
Improvements that make things easy to clean and maintain may also increase home value. Consider replacing easily stained carpet with hardwood floors or replacing high-maintenance wood siding with vinyl siding.
Fix and clean
Make any minor repairs – holes in walls, broken doorknobs, cracked tiles, torn or threadbare carpets. Many buyers want to move in without making changes, so allow for this.
Clean everything until it sparkles. Get rid of limescale, clean and repair tile grout, wax wooden floors, get rid of odors, and hang up fresh towels. This will make the place more appealing and allow viewers to imagine living there.
Tidy the garden: cut bushes back, clean the patio and furniture of lichen and dirt, and cut the grass. While this doesn’t add much value to your home, it makes it more likely to sell as people visualize themselves using the garden.
Give your kitchen an updated look
The kitchen is the most valuable room in a house. It is worth the most per square foot and can make the difference when buyers are unsure.
Many buyers zero in on the kitchen as the central feature of a home, so if yours is outdated, it can ultimately affect how much you garner from a sale. Likewise, if you aren’t able to utilize your kitchen fully due to layout, space, or other concerns, you won’t be maximizing the space.
Consider refacing your kitchen cabinetry. This is much cheaper than installing new cabinetry and often as effective. Upgrading kitchen countertops are expensive but can add serious value. Declutter the surfaces and just leave a bowl of fruit out. Take out any bulky appliances that you aren’t using. Consider upgrading the plumbing fixtures and white goods, but keep in mind that while that could make your property sell faster, you will be unlikely to recoup their full value.
If updating your entire kitchen is too big of an undertaking, a minor remodel could still have an impact on your home’s value.
Upgrade your Appliances
Everyone loves brand new appliances, so if your home boasts an old heating system, an outdated washing machine, and a grimy refrigerator, you could inadvertently be putting potential buyers off. Invest in high-quality, energy-efficient appliances and you could boost the interest in, and value of, your home. However, be wary of splashing out unnecessarily on pieces that don’t hold their value and keep your expenditure in line with the house itself – designer white goods will always help sell a mansion but you may not recover your costs on a three-bedroom family home…
Light and airy
If you want to show off your home, you need to show it in its best light – literally. Make sure there is plenty of natural light in the property by opening curtains and blinds and giving all the windows a good clean and be sure to improve your light fixtures too. For any evening viewings, turn on ambient lighting to create a warm glow in any social space.
Wall mirrors make a room look much bigger and lighter. Consider putting some up, especially in smaller rooms or hallways. Clean windows inside and out, and replace any broken light bulbs. Making the place feel light and airy makes rooms feel bigger and the property more attractive.
Ensure that you have lamps on in any dark corners.
How to finance home improvements
Whether you plan to sell your home or just want to enjoy it more while you live there, it’s important to consider how you’ll pay for these value-added projects. You can save the cash to pay for home improvements as you go, but there are plenty of financing options that can help you remodel your home sooner rather than later.
If you can’t pay for home improvements in cash, be sure to choose the right method of financing for you.
‘If you need to borrow a small amount of cash for your home improvement plans, you might be able to skip the loan and go with a credit card instead. Many cards have no interest payments on balances for up to 18 months, which can be ideal if you have a smaller-scale project in mind. A credit card can also work well if you’re able to pay your contractor with it.
Putting home renovations on a credit card may be OK as long as you’ll be able to pay off the entire balance in a short amount of time.
Personal loans allow you to borrow a fixed amount of money with a fixed interest rate. These loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put your home or other property up as collateral to get approved. Many personal loan lenders let you borrow as much as $35,000 for home improvements — sometimes more — which you can then repay over time. The rates for a personal loan can vary widely, so be sure to compare options to get the lowest-cost loan for your project.
Home equity loan or line of credit:
These second mortgages turn your home’s equity into easily accessible funds. Home equity loans payout in a lump sum while home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs, are a line of financing you can borrow against over time. Both home equity loans and HELOCs have interest rates, fees, monthly payments, and tax advantages to consider.
If you have built equity in your home and you’re looking to do a major renovation, a cash-out refinance could provide you with the funds you need while getting you a lower rate on your current mortgage. The refinancing process is just as paperwork-heavy as taking out a mortgage, however, and there are closing costs to consider. If you go this route, take the time to shop around for the best refinance rates so you maximize your savings.