Would you like to know how much money to spend on a home to maximize it's value when it comes time to sell?
Here is what you need to know.
I am always amazed when home sellers tell me how much money an agent told them they should spend to sell their home.
Being somewhat of a "math geek," I'm always wanting to calculate risk versus reward or return on investment when I look to spend money on a home.
So today, I have listed 13 different things you can do for less than $9 that will add thousands of dollars in value when you decide to sell your home.
How To Spend Money On Your Home (Wisely)
It is easy to get caught up in improving your home for a sale, but do you really want to risk thousands of dollars in the hopes of getting (thousands of dollars)?
Sure, in some uncommon instances it might make a lot of sense to improve a home, but more often than not a homeowner will be wiser making a price adjustment versus investing capital in the hopes of getting it back at a sale.
With that advise squarely stated and on the table, I still have a list of things you can do for cheap that will yield a positive ROI (return on investment) when it comes to selling your home.
13 Ways To Improve Your Home's Value
(Originally written for "Your Home Seller" in May, 1987 by Peggy Tupper)
- Get into your car and drive around the block. Drive towards your home just like a potential buyer would. Notice your first impressions of the house? Is the landscaping well groomed? How about the driveway and curb? Can you easily see the architecture of the home, or is it blocked by trees and bushes. Notice your roof? Is it in good condition? Make a list of items that need attention. Think about mulching, trimming, and edging. Curb appeal is even more important in the internet age than it was in the past, as many will choose/un-choose your home by the way it looks online (which is the frontal view including the yard, right?).
- Paint your front door and mailbox. Polish your door and entry hardware. An impeccable entry implies a well-maintained home (get the buyers' subconscious loving your home even before they enter).
- Make sure your doorbell is functional. When small details are overlooked, the implication is that the big things might not work either.
- Wash or thoroughly clean wood, aluminum and vinyl sided homes. You can hire a contractor to pressure wash an entire house for about $200. Pressure washing can remove dirt, grime, peeling paint, and mildew. But you can do the same work yourself by borrowing a washer from a friend and not spending any money.
- Rake leaves, trim shrubbery and trees, cut the lawn, and plant a few new, fresh flowers. Put down fresh mulch or peat moss around shrubs and flower beds.
- Sweep and hose off the walkways and driveways. Pressure wash if necessary.
- Clean the gutters and extend downspouts to prevent flooding or basement water seepage.
- Organize the garage. Get rid of clutter by either putting it in boxes, or pack ahead of time and rent a storage locker for your garage belongings. Make sure you wash your car.
- Check the locks of your home – both entry, back entry, and garage. Locks can give a first impression of a home that needs maintenance. And they’re the first thing a buyer sees. A small dab of graphite or WD-40 will make them work like new.
- Clean oil stains from your driveway and garage. This is best achieved by using poultice with Portland cement. Scrub with a detergent and rinse. Clean rust stains beneath rails with the commercial product, Zud.
- Clean up any litter in the yard or walkways. Remove any leaves in the yard or walkways.
- Touch-up the paint on the exterior of the home. In some cases it pays to repaint the entire exterior if it hasn't received a coat of paint in years (not a $29 solution, but if the paint is significantly worn, it will be necessary). Hardwood trim on the exterior of the home can make or break its appearance. Make sure it looks clean.
- Look for any cracks in exterior plaster or stucco, and make sure they’re fixed and repainted to match exterior paint.
I hope this list has provided you with an understanding of how much money to spend on a home when you want to get it sold. It is good general advice and you should weigh all future advice about what you "should" do versus what I've recommended. If you would like a professional analysis of your home for the purpose of selling, please drop me a note to schedule a time for us to preview your home.