By Mike Putnam
No matter what the real estate industry is doing as a whole, you want to get the most value out of your home when you sell. While you can’t control the housing market, you do have control over maximizing your property’s worth. Here are five ways you can get more money out of your home.
1. Get a Home Inspection
Don’t wait for the buyer to request a home inspection after you’re under contract. Hire an inspector before you list your home to find out about any problems. It only costs a few hundred dollars, and you would have time to fix any issues that could lower your property value. You can ask your trusted real estate agent to recommend someone.
Many hidden problems can lead to serious damage, which will result in a lower price for your home. Hidden water leaks, pest infestations and electrical problems should all be checked out and dealt with before you put your home on the market.
2. Paint the Walls
It sounds too good to be true, but adding a new coat of paint to the walls of your home can enhance the value. Paint makes a room feel fresh and new, and buyers are willing to pay more for real estate that doesn’t require any work.
Select neutrals for your walls to appeal to a larger audience. If you have brightly colored walls, make sure you paint over them to improve the way your home shows to buyers.
3. Improve Energy Efficiency
Buyers like the idea of saving money over the long-term, so they will pay more for a house that is energy efficient. You can find ways to do this regardless of your budget. Install new appliances that require less energy to run. Replace old windows with new ones that are better sealed to prevent air leaks.
You can ask for an audit of your home from your local utility company to find out where you can make improvements. They will show you areas that need to be repaired, enabling you to make changes before you list your property.
4. Work on Curb Appeal
Landscaping can improve your home’s value. This is another area where you can make changes regardless of your budget. Start with trimming overgrown bushes and trees. Clean up your lawn and re-sod any patchy areas. Add interest by planting flowers, shrubs and other greenery.
If you don’t consider yourself a creative person, hire a landscaper to design your outdoor area. They can select plants that are low maintenance and enhance your space.
5. Update the Bathroom and Kitchen
It’s often been said that the kitchen sells a home. A bathroom is also a high priority for most buyers who expect an updated space. Whether you can afford to do a major remodel or only have the budget for a few small changes, these two areas are where you should place your focus.
Even something as minor as updating the hardware on your cabinets can yield positive results. If you can’t afford to replace your cabinets, purchase new doors or paint your current ones. If you’re working with a limited budget, focus on the areas that will get the most attention. This includes the lighting, faucets, countertops and cabinets. A coat of paint will make the rooms look and feel brand new as well.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to increase the value of your home. Focus instead on spending what you can afford wisely. When you make the right changes, you will find buyers who are willing to pay more for your home, and that is key in any real estate market.