5 ways to boost home value without remodeling

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Google “ways to boost home value” and you’ll quickly find millions of articles about remodeling projects that should increase your home’s value.

But what if you don’t need—or simply don’t want—to do any remodeling, but still want to boost your home’s value?

There are plenty of ways to give your home a little extra oomph in the price department, particularly if you are preparing to sell, without digging deep into your wallet.

1. Create more space

When first touring homes with my husband, we saw two homes with nearly identical square footage, yet the first one seemed much bigger than the second. The excessive decoration and oversized furniture made the second home seem almost half its size.

While many serious buyers are savvy enough to realize that extra space is hiding inside your massive armoire, a cluttered and stuffed home can turn off buyers early in the process when they’re flipping through hundreds of home photos and seeing a dozen homes in a day. Without that foot traffic, your asking price will slip.

Limit bulky furniture in smaller spaces, and take out furniture you purchased that has since been proven unnecessary. Minimize décor, especially along any horizontal surfaces, so the buyer’s eyes are drawn to the house, not your stuff. It should also go without saying, make sure your home looks clean and organized.

2. Get an eye for staging

Just like decluttering your space can make it seem bigger, a few staging tricks can make it seem better cared for, nicer and more modern. Take home stager tips and apply them to your home at any time.

For example, if you are preparing to paint the walls, keep them neutral and focus on adding changeable color through accessories. Pick a focal point, such as a stunning painting or a coffee table with intricately-carved designs and build around that. Designate a theme or common element, whether it’s a color scheme, pattern or design, and thread it throughout a room.

3. Add curb appeal

This step doesn’t have to involve replacing siding or repaving the driveway; simply pruning your bushes, planting a few perennials and cleaning up your lawn can go a long way. This works similar to number one: The more appealing your home is on first glance, the more foot traffic, the more potential for offers, the better chance you have of selling your house at or above asking price. It’s that simple.

4. Touch up the little things

Fix up nicks in the wall; make sure paint lines look clean and even; fix that sticky drawer. Any little fix that makes your home operate smoothly is a wise investment of both time and money.

Savvy buyers frequently walk around a house and compile notes on all the little things that are wrong and factor those into the offer. Plus, they may assume the rest of the house isn’t up to snuff either, so stay on top of basic maintenance as well. You want buyers to see that you have taken care of the place, so they feel they’re getting a bigger bang for their buck.

5. Reinvent a room

Sure, you could finish your basement or convert your attic into a bedroom, but that would be expensive. Instead, consider simply reimagining a pre-existing space. According to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, one in five Millennials would prefer “home office” be used when describing the dining room because that’s how they would actually use it. This isn’t going to be true of all buyers, but it’s a good lesson in how turning away from traditional space designations can turn buyers onto your home.

If you don’t have a home office, make one in a space that’s starting to see cobwebs. Even finding an armoire with a fold-out desk or converting a large shelving unit or closet into a desk can create an office space and make buyers feel that not only is this home more spacious, it’s more functional.

By simply rethinking how your home looks and how you use it, you can increase your home’s value when you sell without spending the big bucks.

 


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About Ilyce Glink

Author of 13 books, including the bestselling 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask. Writer of the nationally syndicated column, “Real Estate Matters.” Top-rated radio host in Atlanta. Writer for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Managing editor of the Equifax Personal Finance Blog.
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