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Thinking of selling? These 4 simple hacks could increase your home value before it hits the market

Most homeowners want top dollar when it’s time to sell, but major projects might be out of the budget. There's good news: with a little time and effort, you could boost your home’s value without breaking the bank.

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Jean Folger

9/20/2022 · 3 min read

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Key takeaways

  • You could increase your home’s value with easy, budget-friendly home improvement projects.

  • A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to try and boost value. 

  • Cleaning and decluttering help make a good first impression and can make your home look bigger, brighter, and more attractive.

Major renovations like a kitchen remodel can add substantial value to your home, but they usually take a lot of time and money. The good news is that there are simple, budget-friendly ways to improve your home before it hits the market. Depending on your skill level, you can do the projects yourself to save money — or hire a pro to save time. 

1. Clean and declutter

There are many good reasons to clean and declutter your home before it goes on the market. For starters, it can make an excellent first impression and can indicate to potential buyers that you’ve taken good care of the home. 

Also, a spotless, clutter-free house looks brighter, more spacious, and more inviting, making it easier for potential buyers to imagine living in the home. And, the more you declutter, the easier it is to keep your home tidy for showings and open houses (and the easier it will be to move out when the time comes). 

2. Give your house a fresh coat of paint

A fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective way to spruce up your home and potentially boost its sales price. This is especially true if your paint is showing signs of wear or if there are any unusual or outdated color schemes in the house. Light, neutral colors can make rooms look newer, bigger, and brighter — and they provide prospective buyers with a blank slate to visualize themselves living there. 

On the outside, a freshly painted exterior can add to the home’s curb appeal and make it look well cared for.  

3. Enhance your curb appeal

Potential buyers will likely see the outside of your home first, either through an online listing or a drive-by. A good first impression could increase the odds they’ll want a closer look. In addition to a fresh coat of paint, here are some ideas to boost your curb appeal:

  • Pressure wash siding, gutters, walkways, driveways, patios, decks, and fences.

  • Patch and seal the driveway.

  • Illuminate the driveway and pathways.

  • Upgrade the garage door.

  • Paint the front door to add a pop of color.

  • Replace the mailbox.

  • Plant a tree or garden.

  • Add window boxes or container plants.

  • Install window shutters.

  • Update the exterior light fixtures.

  • Create an inviting seating area.

4. Improve the lighting

The right lighting can enhance your home’s features and make it feel more spacious and inviting. To let in natural light, wash the windows, clean the screens, trim any overgrown greenery, and open (or remove) the curtains and blinds. Consider incorporating ambient, accent, or task lighting to make the home feel cozy and adequately lit for specific purposes (for example, under-cabinet lighting for kitchen work surfaces). Be sure all light bulbs work, and consider replacing outdated fixtures with trendy styles to make your home feel contemporary.   

This content is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

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Jean FolgerAuthor

Jean Folger is a researcher, editor, and writer with more than 15 years experience, specializing in real estate and personal finance. Her goal is to help people make better financial decisions, so they have more money and time to spend on the things that matter most. ​In the past, she has been a real estate broker, an English teacher, and a trip leader for an adventure travel company.

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Jena GreeneEditor

Jena Greene is the Managing Editor at Opendoor. She covers real estate, personal finance, money management, and market best practices. Jena is passionate about empowering people to find their dream homes and making the home-buying process a delightful one.