8 Easy Improvements to Increase Your Home Value Before Selling

The process of selling a home leaves little room for error. Each mistake you make, each detail you overlook—or hope that someone else will miss—can cost you money. You need your agent to be excited about listing your home, and you want buyers’ agents to be just as eager to show it to their clients. Even a hint of deferred maintenance, however, can nudge asking prices down a slippery slope of concessions and reductions.

The good news is that you don’t need to completely remodel your home to sell it for its best possible price. You just need to make sure that what you’re selling is in tip-top form. If you need some pointers, we’re starting outside and working our way through—just like a potential buyer would.

1. Freshen up your home’s landscaping and curb appeal.

When buyers do a drive-by or first pull up to the curb, what will they see? Foundational shrubs, ornamental trees, flower beds and walkways make a quick impression. Stunted or dying bushes can indicate a non-functioning irrigation system or suggest the lack of one. Overgrown greenery or dangling tree limbs suggest that a potential new owner has a lot of work ahead of them.

You may need to replace shrubs that have grown old or misshapen and prune trees and ornamentals as needed. A few fresh flowers planted in a high-impact area or potted flowers or greenery near entrances can go a long way. Make sure that flower beds are free of weeds and debris and that the lawn is manicured. Permanent edging, up-to-date outdoor landscape lighting and an attractive mailbox earn extra points.

2. Catch up on exterior home cleaning and maintenance.

Windows should be sparkling clean not only on the inside but also on the outside. Shutters should be clean and securely fastened. The same goes for doorways. Check roofing, roof edges and any spouting to identify areas that need repair, clearing or cleaning. Peruse everything that’s outside—from handrails and porch railings to door overhangs and crawlspace accesses.

Cleaning can eliminate many questions about moss, mold, mildew and algae on the shady side of a home, for example. However, if any of the house trim is faded, damaged, broken or missing, it’s time to repair it and paint. Likewise, if a concrete driveway or patio has darkened, it might be time to break out the pressure washer and brighten it up. If an outdoor spigot handle has snapped, now is the time to replace it. Make sure no one has any reason to use words like “rot,” “deterioration,” “broken,” “missing” or “needs.”

3. Make entryways inviting and fully functional.

Your home’s entryways are one of the first areas visitors interact with. If locks don’t work as they should, or the doors themselves either won’t open easily or won’t close properly, that can leave a poor first impression for potential homebuyers. Consider that doorways are places where potential buyers spend extra time waiting while a door is unlocked. Make your entryway inviting and easy to operate.

Clean, paint if needed, and make sure that locks and doorways work as intended. If door hardware is worn or out of style, you may want to invest in replacements. It’s a small thing, but be sure to have mats outside and inside thresholds to protect your floors.

4. Prepare your walls to be move-in-ready.

If you’re preparing to sell, it’s time to depersonalize and declutter your spaces so that potential buyers can envision themselves in the space. Walls usually benefit from thorough cleaning, repairs to nail holes or other imperfections, and a fresh coat of paint. Likewise, cleaning and touching up trim like crown molding, chair rails, ornamental panels and baseboards, for example, will make everything look fresh and sharp.

If you’ve been living with strong, dated colors, you may want to consider more neutral or contemporary shades. If you have aging wallpaper, you may want to break out the wallpaper stripper and update the walls with something more current.

5. Fix or update leaky or dated plumbing fixtures.

Aging, damaged or dirty plumbing fixtures can discourage potential buyers. Leaks often translate into rot — which can often lead to extensive repair needs down the line. Old, dated fixtures can reach a point where they don’t look appealing, no matter how much you clean.

Have any leaks fixed. In quality fixtures, it may be as simple as cleaning the ceramic valves. If fixtures are past their prime, however, updating to quality contemporary bath or kitchen fixtures can be well worth the modest investment. Key areas to check include the kitchen sink, dishwasher, laundry sinks, washer inlets and outflows, and bathroom water connections.

6. Give your bath and shower areas a facelift.

No matter how carefully you take care of it, tile can eventually begin to age and fail. Retiling can be an expensive undertaking that’s both labor- and time-intensive. A much simpler and budget-friendly option is to invest in a wall kit like the Bootz NexTile Pro. You can get the sleek, stylish contemporary look that everyone wants in a fraction of the time.

The Bootz NexTile Pro is a shower and bath surround solution made of a silicone-free composite. It comes as a four-piece wall kit that can be installed directly to the wall studs for an airtight finish and breathe new life into a shower or bath alcove. It features realistic wall tile and grout texture that’s easy to keep clean. You even get a generous storage niche that you can personalize with real custom tiles. Bootz also makes bathtubs, shower bases and sinks, so you can update everything if you like and know that it will all work together.
Related: Shop the Bootz NexTile Pro

7. Replace outdated fixtures and lighting.

While vintage is more in style than ever, potential buyers pick up quickly on lighting fixtures and hardware in a home that have gone out of style and will likely never make a return. Updating kitchen cabinet hardware—handles and knobs, for example—can be a real game changer. Then, polish, retouch, repaint or refinish your cabinetry for a more current look.

Lighting is another aspect that can really date a home. Swapping out the nondescript contractor lighting for a few distinctive contemporary lighting fixtures can make a room pop with the light, color and style buyers will appreciate.

8. Pay attention to flooring.

Flooring is cosmetic, but it has more far-reaching effects than most other cosmetic features. Moving in means being able to place furniture and occupy the living spaces, and that’s hard to do if the flooring needs to be refinished, deep-cleaned or replaced. Flooring issues can delay a move-in date or even bring a seemingly solid sale into question if underlying issues are suspected.

While deep cleaning your flooring is important, it may also need professional repairs or replacement. Removing flooring that has reached the end of its lifespan and replacing it with a new, up-to-date alternative can be an influential selling point.

Improving your home to sell doesn’t have to mean a costly remodel. Often, the best return on investment comes from paying attention to what you already have and investing the effort necessary to make sure that it’s the best that it can be. Potential buyers just want to find an appealing, well-cared-for home that they can see themselves living in, and they often want it to be move-in-ready.

If you’re thinking about selling your home, start taking a good look around through a potential buyer’s eyes. Then, check out Coburn Supply Company. Explore our website to find the latest and best innovations for a home, or visit your nearest Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom. We make improving your home easy—whether you’re selling, buying or staying.