When we meet with clients who are preparing to sell, one thing we often discuss is what updates—if any—will help improve the value of their home. While some homeowners opt for larger upgrades—like bathroom and kitchen renovations—there are also many ways to improve your home’s value on a budget. Whether you are getting ready to sell or simply want to add a little value to your current home, these are our top tips for budget-friendly home improvements.
Declutter, Organize, and Deep Clean
This tip is essential if you are preparing to sell your home. First impressions are important, and presenting potential buyers with a clean, organized space can affect the final offer. By decluttering and organizing your home—from your garage to your closets—buyers are less likely to get distracted by your things and can better envision how their belongings will fit into the space.
Decluttering looks different for everyone. From methods like Konmari to the basic “one-year rule” (if you haven’t used it in a year, get rid of it), so go with your gut on this one. Consider donating any excess home goods and clothes to a local charity as you minimize the amount of clutter in your home.
If selling is on the horizon, then boxing up and storing items you don’t use on a regular basis will help you get a head start on packing and allow you the space to organize the items you use daily.
Deep cleaning is also key to improving your home’s value and appearance. Now is the time to steam clean your carpets, dust ceiling fans, and finally clean all those pesky nooks and crannies that tend to get ignored. While those things can often go unnoticed, attentive home buyers will be aware of how clean and fresh your space looks the moment they walk through the door.
Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting is one of the most affordable ways to improve your home value (and your walls)! We highly recommend choosing neutral colors that will brighten and expand the appearance of each room in your home.
Refreshing the paint and/or color on the exterior of your home can also provide a boost in home value and dramatically improve curb appeal. According to Consumer Reports, while updating paint on your interior walls has the potential to increase value 1-3%, exterior updates can have a 2-5% impact on home value.
If you need advice choosing which walls to paint and which colors will work best in your space, we can provide insight into the latest home trends and look at what colors have been popular among buyers in your area. We can also recommend the keen eye of our professional stager. Our free, in-home consultations help set you up for success when it comes to increasing the value of your home.
Tackle Your Landscaping
If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty, landscaping is a great budget-friendly way to make your home more inviting. Now is the time to remove those untamed bushes, trim your shrubbery and trees, and even add some new life to your flower bed.
And top of your landscaping list? Mow the lawn. Even just this simple act can make your yard and home look well cared for.
Selling your home in spring and summer means your landscaping efforts will be in full view of potential buyers. Now is the season to plant new bulbs, bushes, and trees, lay fresh mulch and make sure your flower beds stay weed-free.
If you are looking ahead and plan on selling in a few years, it is still a great time to make these improvements to your home. By focusing on landscaping now, you are giving your plants and trees a chance to mature, adding to the long term value of your home.
Focus on Curb Appeal
Aside from landscaping and keeping your yard mowed and trimmed, there are several other ways to boost the curb appeal (and value) of your home.
- Power wash your home’s siding, driveway, and sidewalk, including any paths or walkways in your yard. The fresh concrete or stonework will do wonders to make your space look clean and inviting.
- Update paint on trim and shutters. If you choose not to repaint your home, then we recommend putting a fresh coat on the exterior accents.
- Paint the front door. Sometimes the simplest update can be the thing that grabs a buyer’s attention. Such is the case with the front door. We can recommend popular color choices for your home and area!
- Repair or repaint the fence. If your yard has a fence, now’s the time to freshen the paint or stain, and also repair any damaged rails or posts.
Update the Kitchen
Kitchen updates can easily go from budget-friendly to way over budget, but there are some easy solutions that add value and appeal to your home.
Depending on your resources, expertise, and feelings about DIY, all of these updates can be done on a budget and can also be contracted out to professionals. We’ll leave that part up to you!
- Paint your cabinets: If a complete overhaul of a dated kitchen isn’t possible (or needed) sometimes a fresh coat of paint completely changes the feel of your space.
- Update hardware: This simple fix can really change the way buyers view your kitchen (and bathroom as well). Choose something neutral that goes with your new colors or enhances your current cabinets.
- New countertops: This one can add up quickly, but new countertops—especially popular options such as quartz and granite—add a great deal of value to your home.
- Updated appliances: If budget isn’t an issue, updating your appliances to stainless steel is a great way to increase buyer interest and value. For a more budget-friendly option, swap out the old stove for one that matches your more updated fridge.
Kitchens are the heart of the home and even the slightest changes, such as storing unused appliances and cleaning cupboard surfaces, can make a huge difference in how a buyer perceives your home.
Install New Light Fixtures
If you’ve been eyeing that dated bathroom light fixture, it’s probably time to change it out. Updated lighting in common areas or bedrooms is often a simple fix that makes a huge difference. Not only do new fixtures improve the lighting in your home, but they also improve the appearance of your interior spaces.
Updating your lighting doesn’t need to include that chandelier you’ve always loved (although it does improve home value!), but can be as simple as adding more modern fixtures and bulbs in place of any outdated or damaged lighting.
Get Professional Advice
Improving your home value on a budget takes work, but the return on your time and investment is well worth it! You can never go wrong by spending time and money cleaning, decluttering, painting, and landscaping to get quick, visible results, and added value.
If you aren’t sure what your home needs in order to get the best value, a great place to start is by speaking with a professional. We work with sellers to help improve both exterior and interior spaces in preparation for listing. We will also gladly consult with you on ways to update your space, even if you likely won’t sell your home for another 2 to 3 years. It’s never too early to start adding value to your home!