You may think your home is priceless, but buyers and Realtors® in your area have a more realistic view. Realtors® want to show off homes with the best value, while home buyers want to know that they’re making a good investment.
If you want to profit (or at least break even) when selling your home, you need to prove that its value has increased since you bought it.
There are many factors that increase home value. The national housing market, the local economy, and changes in the community can all make your home more or less valuable. Unfortunately, these factors are out of your control.
Fortunately, there are elements you do have control over.
Check out these seven ways to increase home value before listing your home.
1. Identify Ways to Cut Energy Costs
Homebuyers don’t just look at the physical structure of a home; they also consider the effort and additional costs that come with the home. Some home buyers might not want a large lawn or high HOA fees. One such concern that most homebuyers have is the energy bill.
You can increase home value by offering a lower monthly bill than other houses in your area. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to your energy company. They may be able to provide a free energy audit that can give you insight into your biggest energy waste. They may recommend replacing an old water heater or improving your insulation to lower your energy bills and make your home more appealing.
2. Upgrade Old Appliances
Upgrading old appliances can increase home value while lowering energy costs. You may find that the best way to become more energy efficient is to throw out your old washer or oven that doesn’t meet modern Energy Star standards.
Appliances are often negotiated with the house. Buyers are willing to pay more if the appliances come with the house, especially if they are new appliances with exciting, modern features.
3. Fix Minor Breaks and Problems
You likely have dozens of minor breaks, cracks, and problems that you live with every day. Maybe the window screen is ripped in one bedroom or a few rails in the banister are loose. These are minor problems, but they add up. No one wants to think about the work they have to do to make their new house livable.
Setting aside a day (or a few weekends) to fix these dozen little problems can increase home value by making your home just as perfect as you think it is.
4. Find Ways to Increase Perceived Square Footage
Increasing the actual square footage of your home isn’t cheap, but you can take a few steps to make your home seem bigger, more open, and more appealing to buyers.
A few tricks to widen your space include:
- Decluttering. Removing boxes, accessories, and bulky furniture can open a room. You may want to rent a storage space in the short run while you sell your home.
- Replacing curtains with vertical blinds that you can leave open. A sunny room feels like a bigger room.
- Installing mirrors. A single mirror can give a room depth and make it seem bigger.
- Repainting. Lightening rooms gives them the impression of more space, so find a white or beige that works for the house.
If homebuyers think your house is bigger than it is, they may be more aggressive with their bids, increasing the profit you make on your house.
5. Look for Hot New Trends
If you want to appeal to buyers with a few strategic upgrades, then start watching HGTV or reading home decor blogs to see what is hot and what is not.
A few years ago, installing an outdoor pizza oven was all the rage. Before that, everyone thought infinity pools were the epitome of luxury.
Identify a few trends either nationally or in your area and use them to guide your home improvement. You can sell your home faster, even if the trend doesn’t last more than a few years.
6. Hire an Expert to Help You Increase Home Value
Ask a Realtor® or interior designer to come to your home and consult on what you can do to improve it. Some Realtors® might do this as a courtesy, while others charge a small fee.
An objective third party can see ways to increase home value that you might be unaware of. Plus, these professionals look at houses all day — they know what investments and designs sell.
7. Find the Right Realtor® to Sell Your Home
When it’s time to sell your house, find a Realtor® who specializes in your type of real estate and area. They can appropriately put a value on your home and even make suggestions for additional improvements to sell faster and for more money.