5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

Sell your house faster and for a better price with these five expert tips.

Are you getting ready to sell your home? Do you want to get it sold quickly, and for the price you want?

Did you know that most buyers form their first impression of your home within minutes of first seeing it? Years ago sellers would list their homes for sale in “as is” condition. In today’s market, that no longer works. Today you need to make the best possible first impression to get the sale you want – and you only get one chance to make a great first impression.

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, here are 5 great tips to help you sell it fast and get what you asked for–or maybe even more!

1. Deep Clean

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Buyers want to see a fresh, clean home – a dirty home will turn buyers off.

  • Kitchens sell homes. Give special attention to countertops, grout lines, appliances, and cabinets, inside and out. Clean the refrigerator and pantry, and hide any trash cans.
  • Clean floors until they shine, and clear away pet areas. Dust all surfaces, including those above your line of sight. Don’t forget the ceiling fans!
  • Make bathrooms look good and smell fresh. Scrub toilets, and clean shower doors. Invest in fresh bedding, linens, and towels. Odors will turn off buyers. Refresh the space with room deodorizers, but don’t use heavy scents.
  • Clean corners, doorways, and window frames. Don’t forget the garage!
  • Clear out closets, and store what you’re not using. A half-filled closet looks much larger than one that is stuffed.

2. Add Curb Appeal

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When buyers drive up to your home, you want them to be excited to come in!

  • Invest in professional landscaping. Make sure the lawn is mown, re-seed where the grass looks thin, and trim hedges, trees, and anything that blocks the view to your home. Add colorful flowers along pathways and by the front entry.
  • Power wash the outside of your home, including paths and driveways. Wash windows to make them sparkle and let in light, and clean gutters and walkways.
  • Give your front porch a makeover. Add a bench or chair and a decorative touch. Don’t forget the mailbox! Give it a touch of paint, and be sure it’s standing up straight.
  • Park cars in the garage–or even better, out of the way entirely.

3. Fix What’s Broken

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You want buyers to focus on the best features of your home, and not on problems from deferred maintenance. This is the time to do those ‘fix-it’ projects that you’ve been putting off. It may cost a bit up front, but it will pay off in the long term.

  • Walk through your home with a fresh eye to see if there are obvious maintenance issues. Fix the things you can yourself, and hire a handyman for larger projects. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color will go a long way!
  • Small details add up. Replace worn, dated hardware and knobs with new pieces that suit the style of the home. Replace worn switch plates and old heating and air conditioning registers with new ones that are clean and uncracked.
  • Lighting makes all the difference. Replace old bulbs with higher wattage, full spectrum light bulbs. Open curtains to let in natural light.
  • If the weather allows, open the windows for fresh air.

4. Stage It!

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Home staging is one of the best steps you can take when preparing to list your home. Statistically, a staged home will sell 80% faster, and for 10% more than an un-staged home! The cost of staging is one of the best returns on investment a seller can make over any other improvements. If you can afford to, hire a professional stager. You will be surprised at the difference they can make for a small investment. A stager will:

  • Showcase the best features in your home, placing furniture to define focal points and maximize the space.
  • De-clutter to help create a feeling of spaciousness.
  • De-personalize the home so that potential buyers can envision themselves in your home, rather than focusing on the things you own
  • Highlight the best features of your home–a beautiful kitchen, a stunning view, a great fireplace, or whatever it is about your home that makes it special.
  • Organize furniture placement so that it helps to create visual space and good flow, and define rooms, so that buyers can see how each room in your home can be used.

5. Invest in Professional Photos

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Today’s buyers are more likely to see your home for the first time on the internet. Great professional photos will make your listing stand out over similar homes, and encourage potential buyers to come see your home.

Once you get your home looking its best, be sure to keep it “show ready” for a quick sale. Put out some fresh flowers, and you’re ready to go!

All photos courtesy of Graciela Rutkowski Interiors

Is your home ready to sell? Would you use any of these home selling tips?

Judith Burzell

Judith Burzell

Contributor, Porch.com. Judith Burzell is the owner of Homescapes-SD, a home staging company that operates in the San Diego area. She has had 18 years of experience in home staging, redesign, and remodeling. Judith was recently awarded the 2015 Real Estate Staging Industry Award - Top Ten Home Stager of the Year in the United States.

Did you love the post? Tell us about it in the comments below!

  • Florence Dinobi

    Loved the post
    The tips are really helpful

  • Dusty

    Excellent ideas, and although I am aware of many of these, it’s a great reminder. Hoping to sell our Villa home sometime this year and downsize.

    • Hi Dusty,

      Thank you for your feedback! Good luck on the sale of your Villa home!

  • valeriekeener

    Very well done. Couldn’t have said it better!

    • Valerie,

      Thank you so much for your feedback! I love being part of the team that helps sellers get their home sold!

  • Mary Habres

    Home staging is no longer an option for home sellers. It’s a must in order to get top dollar and sell a home faster. Judith, thanks for summarizing what a home owner needs to do to successfully sell a home.

    • Mary,

      That is so true in today’s market. Home staging has become one of the best things a homeowner can do to help get their home sold quickly & for the best price. Statistically, staging is one of the best returns on investment a seller can make when preparing their home to sell. Thank you for your feedback!

      • Dusty

        Thanks Judith; as we are hoping to sell our home this year, your ideas and expertise will be of value to us during the process. Enjoy your day.

  • chuck

    Do you keep the staged
    Furniture ?

  • Jacqui Adams

    Hi Chuck! Usually, the way home staging works is that the stager rents the furniture on your behalf, and then returns it for you. Unless they’re using some of your own pieces, I don’t think you ever keep the furniture. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Hi Chuck,

    Some companies do rent the furniture they bring out to stage (& that generally isn’t available for purchase) – other stagers own their inventory. The companies that own their own inventory will sometimes make the furniture available for purchase. There are also some times when the stager will make purchases on behalf of the seller that’s used for staging, & the seller will keep what’s bought. Most stagers will work with a seller to create a staging package that works best for them. Thank you for your comment!

  • Florence,

    Thank you for your comment & feedback. More and more people are taking a second look at what they can do to get the best sale for their home when they are getting ready to put it on the market.

  • Sarah Wake Davies

    Great post Judith…congratulations on being published.

  • Sean Paul

    Reselling is similar to the same day you get married.Well dressed up house sell much faster than average house.The face value or curb approach, kitchens and washrooms are the hottest features.Learn more at http://www.Flipping4Profit.ca

  • Leonia

    Your home must be priced competitively from the very beginning. If you are determined to sell your home within a matter of days, then, depending on market conditions, you may need to price it below market. If you are in a buyers’ market with plenty of homes for sale, your price may need to be aggressively below market to get buyers’ attention. If you are in a sellers’ market in which buyers are competing for properties, you could price it just below market value in an attempt to generate multiple offers. Be aware that this may not happen, so you need to be ready to accept an offer even if buyers don’t bid the price up.

    Brian Linnekens

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