How to Increase Your Home's Value on a budget

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Real Estate

How to Increase Your Home's Value on a Budget Prior to Listing it for Sale

When looking to increase the value in your home there are several, budget friendly ways to accomplish this.  It doesn't have to cost a fortune to update your home and reflect the kind of space that appeals to potential buyers.  In fact, there are many things you can do right now that are either free or low cost and easy to implement.  What are these steps?  Let's take a look at the top five ways to freshen the look and feel of your home while not spending a bundle to do so.

1). Start with decluttering your home.  This is one of the best ways to help your home look it's very best while also preparing it for professional photography as well as the potential buyers you are trying to attract.  Give yourself a few weeks for this job alone, especially if you have young children, pets or a large household.  This project also helps prepare your mindset to that of a business owner and not of a homeowner.  What I mean by that is when you start to look at your home with the eyes of a business owner, the decluttering and small changes you need to make will become less personal knowing it will bring you a higher price.  Once you get over that initial hesitation to start packing personal mementos, photos, refrigerator art and more, your own thought process about selling and moving starts to change.  You will become faster at putting things away or in boxes stored in your garage, POD or storage unit and that will make your home feel larger and cleaner to buyers. 

Focus on the kitchen cabinets, countertops, pantry, family room entertainment center, surfaces of accent tables, dining room table, shelves, clothing closets, bathroom countertops, linen closets and of course the bedrooms. If you are using your garage to store the items you are removing then just stack them neatly.  Buyers understand you are moving and packing.  They just need to see the size of the garage to estimate if their vehicles and items will fit.  To make your clothing closets feel larger and show buyers how much space you have, thin your closet down a bit.  Take out seasonal clothing that is not needed at the moment and pack them away.  Try organizing the clothing by color and using pretty boxes to store accessories.  Buyers love a large closet so arrange it in a way that shows the space well and make it attractive!

2). Next you will want to make sure all doors, trim and walls have no scuff marks, scrapes or dirt on them.  If the paint is bold and taste specific, consider repainting with a neutral color.  You can get lots of great ideas on the most requested interior paint colors from your local paint shop.  You can also view colors online at places such as or  If you already have a nice neutral interior wall paint you can sometimes simply use a sponge to wash the dirt or scuff marks off.  If you know the paint color purchase a can for the touch ups.  Your home will not only look cleaner and newer, but it will also cover old smells and odors that you didn't realize your home had.  Nothing quite like that new home smell!  Ceilings should be a flat white or flat off white.

3). Check your hardware and cabinet pulls throughout your home.  Do they feel dated?  Are they a bit out of style and aging your home?  Hardware is one of the easiest ways to update a home without breaking the bank.  Hardware is like the jewelry of your home!  So, what can you do on a limited budget?  Well, hardware and pulls come in all price ranges so not to fret.  There are a few approaches you can take depending on your individual budget.  Obviously if you can afford to replace dated hardware throughout the home and have them coordinate then do so.  Again, there are lots of fresh ideas online, but make sure you don't select anything too trendy or style specific.  Try and choose contemporary or transitional when selling your home.  It will appeal to more people and suit most homes just fine.  Save the style specific hardware for the home you are going to be living in.  The hardware does not necessarily have to be the same metal, but they need to work together.  The same with the lighting in the room.  The second approach you can take is to select a few spaces that you want to update and make sure those spaces have great hardware.  Start with the kitchen then move on to the master bathroom and secondary bathrooms as your budget affords.  Door handles and locks are also great pieces to update.  There are so many beautiful styles to choose from and having new ones will be appreciated by buyers!

4). Another fabulous way to add value to your home prior to listing it for sale is to pay attention to the exterior.  Curb appeal is so important and cannot be ignored.  Your home's exterior can either excite a potential buyer with the thoughts of what may be inside or completely turn them off before they even step foot inside.  One of the easiest ways to make a great first impression is to simply have no dead plants or trees in your yard.  A lot of us like to have herbs and annuals and potted plants outside our homes.  If you have long forgotten about them and they look sickly or are dead, it is best to remove them all together.  If you still want to nurse them back to health, move them to an area that is away from sight and contain them in one space.  Add fresh mulch to all your garden beds; my favorite is the chocolate brown color as it looks the most natural.  If new mulch isn't in the budget, just make sure there are no weeds or rocks or faded garden art hanging around.  Ideally, adding a little color to your front yard is desirable so if you can plant fresh annuals or a potted plant with color then it will go far and for little money.  Keep your yard clear of equipment, toys, or worn garden art.  Hire someone to pressure wash your home, driveway, back patio and roof if needed.  You will be amazed at how bright your home will look after a good pressure wash.  You can also rent a pressure washer at Home Depot or Lowes.  

5) Lastly, a deep cleaning of your home will do wonders in making it feel well cared for, maintained and attractive to buyers.  Everyone loves a space that smells great and is free of dust and dirt.  Buyers get the feeling of well cared for home when they see that you have put the effort into keeping it clean.  If you can, have your tile floors deep cleaned and carpets steam cleaned if needed.  If you have stainless steel appliances you can purchase special cleaners that will remove any fingerprints and bring back the shine.  Clean ovens, microwave and cook tops so no crumbs or food stains remain.  Wash all windows inside and out.  It is amazing how much clean windows make your home look so bright and new.  Keep your walkway to the front door swept and front door clean.

There are lots of wonderful things you can do to bring up the value of your home.  They don't all have to costs a fortune.  For more ways to help increase your property value you can reach out at or visit me at


Project (average cost recouped, national) according to Realtor Magazine:


Minor kitchen remodel (88%)

Bathroom remodel (85%)

Major kitchen remodel (81%)

Family room addition (80%)

Deck addition (77%)

Master suite (75%)

Attic bedroom (74%)

Siding replacement (73%)

Window replacement (69%)

Home office (55%)