How to Increase the Value of Your Home Before You Sell it

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Home renovations are on the rise, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, with people choosing to stay in their home longer rather than selling in a depressed market. Others who must move and want to get the most value out of their homes consider remodeling as a way to increase the selling price. Whether you’re redecorating or remodeling, use caution and practicality when deciding which home makeovers add the most value to your bottom line.

Start packing. Declutter every room and store all tabletop souvenirs and trinkets. Remove collections. Put framed photographs away to allow a buyer to envision his family in your home. Repair torn upholstery and replace sofa pillows with fresh, new models. Clean every room and eliminate all odors, especially if you have animals.

Consider your home and its neighborhood before deciding to remodel. Understand the neighborhood trends and what people are looking for. Add a bathroom if your typical neighborhood home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and yours has one bath. Replace bathroom mirrors if they’re starting to show their age, or consider framing them with ceiling molding and adding new lighting for a fresh look.

Stage interior areas that are being used as storage -- an attic or a basement for instance -- to show additional uses for your square footage. Remove extra furniture to open up the space in your home. Consider removing a wall to create an open living plan for your kitchen, dining area and living room, especially if your home is small.

Clean the carpeting, replace it or remove it and add alternative flooring, depending on your climate and local tastes. Allow sunshine to pour through the windows to avoid a dark-looking home. Repaint rooms that have dark walls and freshen other rooms with a new coat of neutral paint. Install decorative light fixtures that you agree to leave behind.

Update an older kitchen. Save money by buying appliances that are refurbished or out of the box -- as long as they don’t show dents or scratches. Repaint the walls and hang new window coverings. Decide on how much you want to spend on the update before you consider replacing the countertops, as it’s not necessary to install granite or marble; however, stone is impressive and does attract attention from buyers. Investigate a tile or composite counter top to save on cost. Reface the cabinetry and add new hardware.

Repaint and repair the exterior of your home. Scrape away any peeling paint, especially on the eaves; re-hang gutters that are falling, sand damaged window sills and polish all the glass. Paint or replace the front door to provide a welcoming feeling to your home.

Landscape the yard and power wash the driveway and paths. Add flower boxes underneath windows and along the front. Repair any cement damage; remove rusty patio furniture and throw away old wooden chairs and tables. Put large pots with flowers where appropriate.


  • Keep all refurbishing neutral in color. Get a licensed home inspector's report and repair the damage he's found. Offer the report to potential buyers, indicating what you've done to improve your home.