If you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, you may be looking for ways to increase its value, especially in today’s competitive market. The downside is that we all know how much most home renovations and upgrades can cost. It’s a big reason why so many homeowners put off spending that kind of money.

To add insult to injury, expensive upgrades (such as adding a swimming pool), offer no guarantee that a homeowner may even see a return on his or her investment. While at the same time, updating certain aspects of any home may improve its chances of getting sold faster.

Fortunately, there are relatively simple and cheap ways to increase a home’s value without breaking the bank. Before diving into those tips, however, let me make a suggestion: Get a home inspection done first.

With a professional home inspection, you’ll be able to identify any and all issues that exist within your home. There are often hidden problems that can be remedied quickly and inexpensively so they don’t become a headache later. An experienced and knowledgeable home inspector can help you identify these issues and much more.

Ok so now without further ado, here are seven easy and cheap ways to increase your home’s value, and often in just a matter of days.

#1. Tidy Up The Front Yard

A well-kept yard is a happy yard…

The first thing that any potential buyer will see upon arriving at your home will usually be the front yard. If it’s teeming with weeds, leaves, unkempt bushes, and and untamed lawn, chances are that an opportunity to make a solid first impression will be thoroughly wasted.

A simple lawn mowing session alone can do wonders to improve any home’s curb appeal. Investing in a few potted plants and placing them strategically around the yard can’t hurt either. Just be sure to get plants that are native to your region and climate so they’re easy to maintain. Research shows that basic landscaping practices can help increase a home’s value well into the double-digit percentage range. That’s not too shabby an ROI what amounts to a weekend of work, and investing in some pots and plants, am I right?

#2. De-Clutter Your Home

Surely, some of that stuff can go…

No home’s value is ever helped by an interior looks like something out of a nightmare episode of “Hoarders”. The more a home has that “ready-to-move-in” appeal, the more value, real and perceived, it will have. Keep in mind that you’ll likely be competing with newly-built homes in your local area or neighborhood. You’re going to want to meet the competition in the “RTMI” department as much as humanly possible.

A great way to give your home a truly welcoming feel is by getting rid of any clutter and junk that’s just plain taking up valuable space. If you have any personal belongings that you want to keep but don’t necessarily need to display in the hallways or living areas of the home, put them somewhere out of the way. Stick them in a closet, basement, or even a storage space,at least while you’re trying to prepare your home for sale.

There’s little doubt that removing unwanted and unsightly clutter will open up your home’s spaces, enhance the livability factor, and even make your rooms look more accommodating. It also makes it easier for potential home buyers to imagine how their own stuff and furniture will look in the house. Rest assured that all of those factors will have an effect on your home’s bottom line.

#3. Give The Home A Thorough Deep-Cleaning

One of life’s eternal questions…

If you haven’t given your home a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning and deodorizing, then rest assured of one thing. A good time to do it is when you’re trying to increase its value. You’ll be amazed at what a simple pressure washing of your driveway and home’s exterior can do to brighten your home and make it more appealing. Thorough dusting, vacuuming, floor mopping, and steam-cleaning of all carpets and drapes will also go a long way.

If you don’t have the time or desire to do a serious once-over on your home, consider hiring a professional cleaning crew. Rest assured that doing so will pay for itself many times over when it comes to selling time.

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#4. Improve The Home’s Lighting

You can give rooms an entirely different look and aesthetic by simply changing the lighting fixtures. Improve the lighting in areas that are dim when even all of the lights are on. Brighten hallways and corridors with enough light to accent the home. Also be sure to focus on using energy-efficient lights, such as LEDs.

The savings on energy bills alone is something else that can directly translate to increased home value. Also keep in mind that adding more energy-efficient lighting to the home’s exterior can also improve the home’s curb value, which also adds to the bottom online.

#5. Make Sure That The Home’s Interiors and Exteriors Look Sharp

A little paint goes a long way…

Understand that you don’t have to repaint your entire house, which can be expensive, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Select certain key areas in your home that can benefit from a new coat of paint. For example, if you have a room with dark or outdated paint color on the walls, or a room with old, ratty wallpaper, those are rooms that can definitely benefit from new paint. Painting one wall in a room with an accent color can do wonders.

Whenever possible, choose neutral colors such as beige, white, cream, or light grey. These colors will appeal to a wide range of potential buyers, and won’t overly annoy the ones who have other color preferences.

For the exterior, fix and touch-up areas where any paint is peeling, or if there are any visual imperfections such as mold stains, etc. If you have a sun-facing exterior wall that’s showing some fading or wear, match the color and give it a new coat. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make. Repainting window frames, the roof trim, and any other areas that could use an updating will also go a long way.

It’s been proven time and time again that painting/repainting is indeed a quick and inexpensive way to increase a home’s value. Any homeowner can reasonably expect anywhere from a 2 to 5% increase in value, just by following these simple tips.

#6. Update or Replace The Front Door

Yeah, it might be time…

Making a memorable first impression is the key to a welcoming home. And what do potential buyers first see when they step up to your house? That’s right, the front door. If it’s old, outdated, banged up, or has any unsightly flaws, rest assured that it costs points when it comes to home value. In most cases, the most cost-effective bet will be to replace the door with a new one. However, certain doors can benefit from a refinishing job that will give it a new lease on life. It just dependes on the type and relative condition of the old door.

EXTRA TIP: Consider also replacing any outer screen doors as well as garage doors if they’re not looking up-to-date. They will also enhance your home’s value to the point where they should at least pay for themselves at the sale.

If the door(s) themselves look fine but can still use an updating, consider changing out the fixtures and hardware such as the doorknob or handle. This will especially make a difference in older and classic-style doors. These small changes will help make even the oldest door look “new” and go a long way in making that critical first impression.

#7. Spruce Up The Kitchen

Believe it or not, getting your kitchen out of the 70s era can be done without replacing the appliances, changing the flooring, or upgrading the cabinets/countertops. Instead, focus on the smaller-yet-essential things. A good place to start is by replacing the sink’s faucet. Then, check out the cabinets. From there, check the walls, tile, and window frames, among other things.

Oftentimes, you can get away with updating just the cabinet doors and hardware to give the kitchen a whole new look. It’s far less expensive than replacing the entire cabinets. If necessary, update the refrigerator or stove since many home buyers are looking for homes where they won’t have to invest a lot into the kitchen. That means enhanced home value for you.

Also, a good thing to do would be to ensure the pantry and cupboards are well-organized and not overloaded. It helps showcase the kitchen in a better light to prospective home buyers.

Wrap Up

Understand that you don’t have to make major or expensive updates to your home to increase its value. By just implementing these few simple and cheap tips will help get your home looking more attractive in the marketplace. Rest assured that whatever time and money you invest in taking care of these issues will go a long way on closing day.

But don’t just stop with these tips. Look for other cheap and easy ways to improve your home as you go along. Your home inspection report should give some good insights on doing that, so you can get your home up to the best potential value in no time at all, and for less money than you may think.

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