Top 5 Cheap & Easy Ways to Increase Your Home's Value

The realities of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 have complicated many things, including what is important to each of us over the next several months as we all do our part to help flatten the curve.  You may have considered selling your home this spring, but have decided to delay during this time of uncertainty.  If you are planning to sell your home at a later time, we have put together a list of  5 cheap and easy ways you can increase your home value to help you get ahead of the game!    These tips are based on research done across North America and have proven to be effective for any market. 
And the best part is they can all be done while responsibly social-distancing at home. 

1)  Declutter -   COST $0   - Potential Value Increase - 2-3%

 One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. The added bonus is that you’ll have that much less packing to do when your home sells.   And it can be a fun trip down memory lane as you store your personal treasures.  If you need help, we offer home staging advice to help maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.    

2) Curb Appeal - Cost $0 - $10,000 - Potential Value Increase 2-5%

First impressions are the lasting ones. Having your home look appealing and inviting from the outside creates a lasting impression to buyers that this is the right home for them.  The front yard is usually the first view a potential buyer has when shopping for a new home. In a slower housing market this impression can be what intrigues or attracts a buyer to look at a home. Creating curb appeal and can make or break the sale of a home. Many buyers have difficulty visualizing the potential of a home’s landscape. Providing a well maintained yard can create comfort for the potential buyer as they view the interior and exterior elements of a home.   And the added bonus is this is great way to enjoy the warmer weather and get some exercise at the same time!  

3) Paint - $500 - $10,000 (based on hiring a professional)

If you’re planning to list your home on the market, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase its value is also one of the simplest: paint.  According to surveys, new interior paint offers a 107% return on your investment. Neutral colours like beiges, tans, golds, grays and “greige”—a blend of gray and beige offer the best return since they make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there because the paint goes with just about anything. Many buyers also don’t want to shell out extra cash to paint after closing but are willing to pay a higher price during the sale for the ease of not having to paint when they move in. 

4) Small Details Matter - $50 - $1500

Updating your light switches, door handles, lighting and cupboard knobs and pulls will help create a fresh modern feel throughout the home and can have a big impact on buyers. These details will show the home is well taken care of.  Ensure all your lighting is in working order.  Replace burnt out bulbs and ensure your light switches all function.  Trading out that tired dated chandelier for a modern light pendant can help improve the space.   Let as much natural light into your home as possible.  Washing the windows and taking down heavy drapes can dramatically improve the feel of the size of the home and creates a welcoming environment.

5) Focus on the Kitchen - $100 - $5000  - Potential Value increase - 2-5%

The kitchen is usually the heart of the home and more than any other room, is what sells the home.  However, given the uncertainty in the market right now, we don’t recommend you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars.  Focusing on the minor repairs that can lead to serious second thoughts for buyers—fixing that leaky faucet, the loose light fixture, or the burn mark on the countertop will be some of the best investments you can make.  A gentle spruce-up goes a long way:  updating the cabinet hardware, putting in modern fixtures and lighting will give the space a clean, fresh look.  If the kitchen is badly outdated, consider painting your cupboard doors a fresh light white or soft grey.  If your appliances are still in good working condition, a deep clean can go a long way to maintain their value in a buyers mind. 

If you need to sell your home now, there are still people looking!  However, we recognize this will not be business as usual.  We are dedicated to practicing real estate in a socially responsible manner in strict adherence to the provincial health office’s orders. Our number one priority is to take the necessary precautions to ensure the health and well-being of our sellers and buyers.   

We are hosting an online Home Seller Seminar on Monday April 20, where our panel of experts will provide advice on how you can navigate through these challenging times and sell your home in the time you want and for the price you want to get.