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10 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value
By Shannon Chaix

To help you sort things out, here are the top 10 do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, according to the HomeGain 2012 National Home Improvement Survey Results. These projects can help you increase the value of your home. In some cases, the Return on Investment (ROI) is over 400%.

1. Clean & De-Clutter (Return on Investment (ROI): 403%, according to HomeGain)

Less means more when it comes to the value of your home. Getting rid of clutter can drastically increase the appearance and value of your home when you’re trying to sell. De-cluttering has the greatest ROI at 403% according to the survey.

2. Lighten & Brighten (ROI: 299%)

Basically, this involves making your home brighter and lighter. Cleaning your windows, opening the curtains and blinds, and keeping things away from the windows can have a dramatic effect on how people perceive your home. If it’s dark and gloomy, most potential buyers won’t feel welcome or excited about your home.

3. Repair Electrical & Plumbing (ROI: 293%)

Leaky faucets, burnt-out light bulbs, and broken switches cause potential buyers to pause and wonder about what’s going on inside the home. A potential buyer doesn’t know that a bulb is burnt out; instead, they’ll think a light that doesn’t work is a sign that the wiring throughout the whole house is bad. Likewise, a leaky faucet just says “this house wasn’t maintained” to any potential buyer. However, these small fixes can reap big rewards in getting the most money for your home.

4. Landscaping (ROI: 215%)

Indeed, curb appeal matters. If your home looks poorly maintained on the outside, some buyers may not even want to see the inside. In the summer, be sure to keep the grass mowed and shrubs pruned. In the winter, make sure walkways and driveways are clear of snow. And a little bit of landscaping can go a long way to making your home more attractive on the outside (the part that makes the first impression to potential buyers).

5. Staging (ROI: 196%)

Staging, or decorating your home to sell it – not live in it – can also help increase the value of your home when you’re selling. Staging doesn’t need to be a big deal, that costs thousands of dollars, and rented furniture and decorations. With a little help, staging your home to show potential buyers how it could be, can really help them feel more comfortable (if not impressed) with your home.

6. Clean or Replace Carpets (ROI: 160%)

Nobody likes carpet stains or a mauve- colored shag thicker than the Amazon jungle. If your carpets don’t look clean (or smell clean) chances are buyers will think it’s a big mess. This is especially true for carpeting that covers a large area.

7. Repair Floors (ROI: 110%)

And just like carpets, wood, tile, vinyl, or other flooring should be in top shape. Again, even though just one tile may have a crack or a chip, since it’s part of the whole floor, some potential buyers may think the whole floor needs replacing. A few flooring fixes can drastically help improve the perceived value of your home.

8. Paint Interior Walls (ROI: 107%)

Beyond touch-ups, painting the inside walls can help lighten and brighten your home, and increase its overall value. Updating more “personal” colors to currently popular ones also helps tremendously. While you may love the alternating yellow and green stripes in your kitchen, many potential buyers may not be able to “see beyond” it and notice the room at all.

9. Update Kitchen & Bathroom (ROI: 66%)

If necessary, updating your kitchen and bathroom can also help. Updating older sinks and faucets, repairing the back-splashes, and other simple updates can make your kitchen and bathroom seem more modern and fresh.

10. Paint Exterior (ROI: 55%)

Lastly, painting the exterior can be a huge task. But if you have the right tools, experience, and skill, it can really help increase the attractiveness of your home. Quite simply, the nicer it looks on the outside, the more likely you can get more for your home. Again, choose popular colors and schemes. If you’re the only one who loves the colors you’ve picked out, chances are it may be a long time before the “right buyer” who appreciates your color choice comes along.

Get Help…

If you need help choosing which project to tackle first, or just need advice, you can contact me anytime. I’ll be glad to help you prioritize, plan, and coordinate projects to help you sell your home faster and with better chances of getting the best price.

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About the Author

Shannon Chaix, Trails West Real Estate
Bills Rd
Lakeside, MT 59922

If you would like to re-print this article, please contact the author.
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