5 Ways to Increase Your Home's Value This Weekend

You have invested a lot of money, time, and love into your home, so of course, you want to get the most out of it when the time comes to move on. And while a major kitchen renovation or a roomy addition would both certainly increase the value of your home, there are also some simple and quick projects that real estate experts recommend you tackle to get the biggest bang for your buck.

1. Add Curb Appeal

Next time you pull up to your house, try to see it with fresh eyes. Is the house hidden behind overgrown bushes? Is the driveway in need of a good powerwash? Is the siding in disrepair? A tidy landscape and a well-maintained exterior make a great first impression on a potential buyer. The National Association of Realtors estimates that many landscape upgrades render between 100 percent and 400 percent cost recovery. A bit of mulch, some plants, and a new front door might make all the difference!

2. Improve Efficiency

Energy efficient homes appeal to every type of buyer. Energy prices seem to continually increase, and more people express concern about eco-friendliness. When a buyer can imagine the energy savings associated with the features of your home, they might be willing to pay a bit more for the house. Consumer Reports suggests looking at upgrades like adding a new water heater, switching to Energy Star windows, or installing LED lighting. Bonus: Even if you do not plan to sell right away, you will reap the savings of these upgrades until you do.

3. Get Smart

Smart homes are not just for movies and sci-fi anymore. In a world where millennials, retirees, and everyone in between rely on their smartphones and devices every day, it is no surprise that people want their homes to integrate with their favorite technologies as well. Step up your home automation game--whether with programmable thermostats, wireless locks, online security systems, auto-sensing lights, or the endless other home tech options--and give prospective buyers a "wow" experience they will appreciate.

4. Make Space

Homes that feel large and spacious tend to seem more valuable. Even without adding any square footage, consider how you can open up your space and create a better flow in your floorplan. This can be as simple as removing excess furniture, or it can be as extreme as knocking down walls. For example, if your kitchen is feeling a bit cramped, you might think about widening a doorway or creating a pass-through wall. Or, if those options are not feasible, simply removing large pieces like a kitchen island or china cabinet might be a good solution to create the illusion of spaciousness.

5. Freshen Up

If you have lived in your home for a while, you have probably organized and decorated in a way that works specifically for you. But if you are looking to sell at a maximum price, you will need to let go of your personal style preferences and embrace those of a potential buyer. Buyers need to envision themselves (and their belongings) living in the space. You can help them catch this vision by eliminating clutter, simplifying decor and design choices, and opting for cohesive, neutral color schemes. Brokers say that a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in selling a home. A few cans of paint will not break the bank, but fresh, neutral walls will definitely help buyers see the full value of your home.

The real estate market is always shifting, but staying on top of home maintenance and implementing these five easy upgrades should keep your house in tip-top shape and ready to sell for top dollar whenever you are ready to move on to your next home.


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