8 Tips to Add Value to Your Home Before Selling

Evelyn Long

Jan 13, 2023


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Buying a home is a life achievement to be celebrated, as well as an investment in your financial future. 

Homeowners who make monthly mortgage payments can help boost their home equity, which is the balance remaining on your mortgage subtracted from the home’s market value. However, it takes time to accrue home equity on your property. 

To increase the value of your home quickly, you can make several upgrades at little cost. This is particularly helpful if you’re looking to sell your house soon and want to make a considerable return on investment (ROI). 

Whether you’re looking for quick and easy ways to make changes or are willing to spend some money on more extensive renovations, here are eight tips to add value to your home before you put it on the market. 

1. Finish Your Unfinished Rooms for More Square Footage

Want to know about one of the very best ways to add value to your home? If you have a basement, loft or other unfinished room, you may want to hire a contractor to complete it for you. 

There’s a lot of potential in building out an unfinished area, allowing you to increase your home’s square footage and its value. 

Although basements, in particular, are not considered liveable space, a finished basement has about a 70% ROI, making it a smart project to take on. In fact, many buyers desire a home that has that additional room to sprawl out.

The average cost for a basement renovation ranges from $11,000 to $30,000, depending on the square footage, materials and design. If you intend to add another bedroom, bathroom, laundry room or kitchen to the space, expenses can skyrocket above $63,000 easily. 

Regardless of the scope of your basement project, it would be best if you aimed to spend less than 10% of what your home’s worth, or else you risk losing that money when you go to sell.

2. Visually Enhance Your Home’s Square Footage

If you don’t have the budget to finish your basement or attic, there are little things you can do to enhance the square footage of your livable space visually. 

While you may not choose to add square footage, making your home feel and look larger goes a long way. Swap out heavy drapes for white, sheer window treatments and draw the shades to let in natural sunlight — a surefire way to open a room up.

Staging each area with less bulky furniture and adding a mirror to reflect more light into the space is another option.

Free your rooms of clutter by purchasing affordable shelving for greater organization and store away items that you rarely use or don’t need. While you and your family may treasure them, the more things you have lying around, the more cramped the space will feel to potential buyers.

3. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

Another budget-friendly way to improve your market value is by applying a fresh coat of paint. An analysis conducted by Zillow found you can increase your home’s value by over $6,000 when you paint your front door, kitchen cabinets, bathrooms and walls. 

However, the colors you choose are important. According to the Zillow report, certain shades attract the most buyers and may boost your home resale by the following amounts:

  • Bathrooms painted a light blue or periwinkle grey: $2,786
  • Tuxedo cabinets —white or light cabinetry on top and dark on the bottom — in the kitchen: $1,547
  • Living rooms painted light taupe or tan: $2,793
  • Front doors painted black or smoky charcoal: $6,271

Likewise, the report found that red kitchens, brown or oat-colored dining rooms and yellow exteriors decreased home values by thousands of dollars. 

4. Update Your Kitchen and Bathroom

Even the most minor upgrades to your kitchen and bathroom can significantly improve your home’s marketability. 

If you decide to hire a contractor for a full-blown renovation, research today’s trends to determine what will deliver the greatest ROI.

For example, according to the 2021 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, cabinet and pantry upgrades, additional storage, contrasting colors, extended backsplashes, high-tech faucets and neutral tones are the most popular renovations for kitchens. 

If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money on redoing entire rooms in your house, even updating the wallpaper, repainting your bathroom vanity, upgrading the tile floor and switching out the hardware for something more modern can make a huge impact.

5. Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Older homes built between the 1930s and 1990s usually had stucco ceilings, also known as popcorn ceilings. It’s a dated look that most homeowners and buyers prefer updated.

If your home still has stucco ceilings, you’ll increase your home value by tapering them smooth before selling. 

It’s not too tricky to remove popcorn ceilings yourself; however, you’ll want to hire an expert to inspect them for asbestos prior. Before the 1980s, asbestos was often used in the stucco formula. 

As you prepare to remove your popcorn ceilings, you’ll need a garden sprayer, putty knife, plenty of drop cloths, painter’s tape, a ladder and goggles. It’s also highly recommended you have a dusk mask to protect yourself.

Work in small sections and use the garden sprayer to dampen the popcorn ceiling without soaking it. Water makes removal a bit easier. Then, gently scrape it away with the knife. When you finish, sand your ceiling and apply a coat of paint. 

6. Replace Carpeting and Rugs

If your carpeting is well-maintained and clean, you should put your money towards fixing other parts of your home first. Some older buyers may even prefer a house with carpeting. However, you should most certainly replace a stained, dirty rug before selling — especially if you want to increase your home value.

Before you begin ripping out every inch of carpet in your house, consider how buyers will see it when they walk in. Would it gross them out? Would they feel comfortable walking barefoot or allowing a baby to play on the floor? If not, then hardwood flooring is where you’ll want to invest your money for upgrades. 

According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report, approximately 16% of realtors suggest adding hardwood flooring to improve your house’s marketability. Another 27% of realtors recommend refinishing existing hardwood floors, as well. Prior studies have also shown that 54% of potential buyers are willing to spend extra for a house with hardwood.  

If you’re looking to sell your home quickly, swapping out carpets for hardwood flooring can help. 

7. Replace Old Roofs

There are many reasons why updating your roof increases your home value. For starters, it allows you to cut cooling costs, enhances your curb appeal, and potential buyers know it’s one less thing to worry about later on.

A new roof can increase your home value by nearly $12,000, putting this project ahead of all others when it comes to adding value. Additionally, there is a 62.9% ROI on new roof installations. 

Keep in mind that a new roof will prevent any setbacks during inspections. Any roof that has wear, tear or even leaks can quickly kill the sale of your home. While roof installations can be expensive, they may be worth it in the end. 

8. Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal

The front exterior of your home and the surrounding yard serve as a first impression for potential buyers. You’ll want them to feel excited to be there and hopefully find the home of their dreams. 

There are several ways you can enhance your curb appeal and increase your home value, such as the following:

  • Rake leaves, pull weeds and mow your lawn
  • Resod patchy areas of grass
  • Upgrade your garden beds with new flowers, plants and mulch
  • Paint the exterior of your home, as well as the front door
  • Replace the hardware on our door
  • Update the roof
  • Install window boxes with flowers
  • Add seating to front porches
  • Replace gutters
  • Add accent trim or paint your shutters
  • Add a walkway or new driveway

Make sure you pick out native plants for your garden so they’ll thrive wherever you live. Native gardening helps you and your potential buyers save money, conserve water for irrigation and enhance the scenery.

Add Value to Your Home With Updates Worth Making

Responsible homeowners take pride in their homes, whether they plan to stay awhile or intend to sell in the foreseeable future. Updating rooms or your property’s exteriors over time can significantly increase your home resale value. Of course, you’ll be able to enjoy the changes for as long as you’re living there, as well. Add value to your home, starting today!

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