When you watch home renovation shows on HGTV, you’ll hear hosts claim all sorts of things add value to the home’s price. Paint colors, kitchen remodels, tile detail in the bathroom — any of these things add value, they say.
The fact is that there are no cheap, low-cost ways to really add value to a home. Real value comes from adding square footage or making improvements to the home’s structure, such as a new roof or new windows. As the most recent data from Remodeling shows us, many of these home improvements will pay for most of themselves, but not all.
That being said, there’s a big difference between adding value to a home and making the home more attractive to buyers or potential renters. By making some minor, inexpensive changes to your home, you might sell it faster, which could still save you money if you’ve already purchased another home. Depending on the market, buyers might get into a bidding war, which would certainly increase your sell price, but that’s not a guarantee.
If you want to up your chances of selling your home or finding a good renter quickly, here are six low-cost improvements to make before potential buyers come through for showings.
Paint the non-neutral-colored walls white
No, painting the walls will not raise the value of your property, but it might encourage buyers to make an offer. It’s a given that no matter how nice your home is, buyers will always want to renovate, so make it easier for them to envision themselves and their style in your space by painting the walls white.
This really applies only to rooms that have a non-neutral color on the walls. If most of your walls are already white, beige or some other more neutral color, skip it.
Scrub the house from top to bottom
No buyer is going to be impressed by a dirty home — and they certainly won’t want to bid for it. Now is the time to clean every surface — fan blades, the space behind the stove and refrigerator, under the bed, behind the toilet — and keep it spotless until the house is sold.
Improve your curb appeal
The exterior of your home will be the first thing that buyers see when they arrive, so you want to make a great first impression. If your yard is unkept or the siding is looking a bit dingy, then it’s time to improve your curb appeal.
You don’t have to plant a whole garden, but you should mow the lawn, replace old mulch in any flower beds and schedule a pressure washing service for your house and driveway, if they need it. You should also tend to the plants you do have in your yard and consider adding annuals to flower beds or just in flower pots on the porch. Bushes and trees should be trimmed if needed. You can find annuals, a type of flower that dies at the end of the season and does not regrow, at your local garden center. They’re easy to care for and they’ll make your home look more welcoming and inviting.
Replace old hardware
It’s true that investing in a whole kitchen remodel will not necessarily increase the value of your home — but you can make minor adjustments to help an older kitchen look a little newer. If the cabinets still look good, just change out the hardware for something new and maybe more modern. You can also switch out the hardware in your bathroom to give it a fresh look.
Put in new light bulbs
There’s no sense in replacing old lighting fixtures, unless they’re not working properly or they’re a fire hazard. Your buyer will want to put in his or her own fixtures, so it’s not worth spending the extra money on something that may be replaced quickly anyway. While you’re at it, replace — or at least clean — any light switches that look dirty or outdated. When possible, install a dimmer switch.
Instead, double check all fixtures and replace any light bulbs that have gone out. It’s a small change, but you’d be surprised how much difference a little light can make.
Paint the front door
When your home stands out for the right reasons, it will stick with buyers long after they’ve toured your home. Painting the front door can set your home apart from the others on the block and give it a more charming look. Choose a color that fits with the rest of the house and doesn’t clash with other plants in the garden.
With just a few minor changes, you can get your home ready to welcome a new buyer or renter without breaking the bank. Need some more help getting your home renter ready? Contact the professionals at Atlas Lane, and we’ll help you get your home move-in ready.