Let me start by busting a myth. Some people think that selling quickly means selling for less money, and that is simply not true.
The truth is that your best chance of maximizing your return on your home doesn’t come from playing hardball during the selling process; it comes before your house even goes on the market, and it depends heavily on home improvements.
Now, you don’t need to completely renovate your home or re-imagine your decor — there is certainly such a thing as going too far. You just need to tend to some key features.
So without further ado, here’s a list of 5 improvements that will definitely increase the value of any home:
- Manage Curbside Appeal
- Finish Your Basement
- Expand the Floor Plan
- Paint a Neutral Palette
- Put in Energy-Efficient Appliances
When your looks well-maintained on the outside, it suggests that it’s well-maintained on the inside. So add fresh mulch out front, trim the hedges, and make sure the landscaping is done. Then touch up your exterior paint. If you’re on a budget, you don’t have to repaint your whole house and make it look like new — just touch up any flaking or chips, or pressure wash the exterior to remove dirt and mold. You also can paint just the front door and trim. Bonus tip: A front door in a bold color like buttery yellow, powder blue, or forest green makes the entrance pop against a neutral exterior.
If you’ve had a basement renovation project you’ve been kicking around for a while, now is the time to finish it. People like to see finished basements. It gives the sense that they’re not buying a “fixer-upper.” According to an NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) survey, a finished basement can add up to $40,000 or $50,000 to the asking price.
Buyers usually favor designs that are either completely open or partially open around the living room, dining room, or kitchen. Knocking down the right wall can greatly increase the value of your home. However, I highly recommend consulting a realtor before you put it into practice, and of course, finding a well-reviewed, fully-licensed contractor.
You want potential buyers to be able to imagine their belongings in the space, which is why I recommend light, neutral colors. They make an excellent palette because they match with a wider variety of colors and aren’t distracting. If you already have neutral wall colors, painting your trim, molding, and windows with a washable and durable satin or gloss finish is a low-cost renovation that produces a dramatic change. Bonus-tip: try a combination of white walls with black trim for an upscale look that’s a little bolder but still accessible.
Install appliances with the Energy Star symbol, the federal certification that symbolizes reduced energy use without sacrificing performance. Appliances like these are highly desirable. If you can make the case to potential home-buyers that the home they are considering is efficient enough to produce lower-cost energy bills, you have a better chance at closing with a higher asking price.
With this list of handy home improvements, you’ll be ready to put your house on the market with an asking price you’ll love — and you can be confident it will sell quickly. If you want to really maximize your home’s value, you need to work with a real estate expert who can guide you through the process. I can help! Call 301.208.2288 or send an email to