5 Easy Improvements To Add Value Before Selling

When selling a home, the goal is to make it look ready to move into. A place that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living their day to day lives. This is the real key, painting a pretty picture for the buyer of what their life could be like if they were in the home. 

Although there is no specific calculation that can spit out the answer, dressing things up, presenting the best version of a home, and getting people to fall-in-love will create competition and drive up the price. Here's some tips and advice on preparing a home for sale to maximize return and get the highest possible price.


If a home hasn't been painted in a while, or otherwise looks dull and beat up, paint will make it shine better than most other things you can do. It's like washing a car before you sell it. You could only do this one thing and instantly create added value. Painting the exterior is a probably only necessary if the color is very dull/faded, an uncommon color, etc.

Create purpose for all spaces

This is more important with vacant homes, but applies to all. If a home is vacant, staging helps to provide an image of what it would be like to live there. Homes that are empty also feel dull and furnishings can breathe life into them. If you've been into an empty home, you know what I mean.

Some rooms or areas of a home may not have a clear purpose and not all people are creative enough to envision how they would use it. Sometimes large rooms in front of an entryway feel awkward and lack definition, but with furniture you can create a grand dining area. Or, a seating layout that works perfect for a living room and some furnishings that shield you from the front door.

*add lamps where lighting is lacking, such as rooms without overhead light fixtures. A dark room is an automatic turnoff. 

Move out furniture to make the room feel bigger

Even though it's not clutter to you and has a real purpose for daily living, only leave behind necessary furnishings. The room will feel bigger and better highlight the actual features of the home. A table by the door that is perfect for you to drop things, though crowds the entryway? Move it out. Or swap with something smaller from another place in the house.

Clear off surfaces (i.e. countertops)

Address maintenance

Homes that have been maintained make a buyer feel better about the place. Like it hasn't been neglected. Suppose you've got a lot of interested buyers, and since your home looks so well cared for, they are willing to even waive the appraisal. Cleaning inside AND out falls into this category as well....and a deep, thorough cleaning at that.


There's no reason to go overboard here, but fresh mulch in nicely edged beds make the outside of a home show so much better and is like icing on a cake. It's the first impression when you drive up that sets the tone. It's actually not even necessary to do every flower bed, but perhaps just the ones in the front, or directly around the house. This is a minimal cost and adds to the overall look and tone, which drives up the attraction.

BONUS: Don't upgrade windows

Buyers should check windows and take into account their age and how they operate. I always pay attention to this for my clients. But, the truth is, if all things are equal between 2 homes, a person will spend very little extra, if any, on the one with new windows. On the flip side, if the windows are non-operational, and fall into the category above, then it's something to consider.

Some of these may seem obvious, but of the homes I see, I'd say 75% of the owners have addressed none, to very few of these. It's not difficult to make your home shine, create value, and get better than a dollar for dollar return on your improvements. 

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