How To Increase The Value Of Your Home Before Selling It

By:    Updated: March 30,2017

When placing their home on the market, homeowners hope for a quick sale and a top dollar price. In order to make that happen, it is important to remember that you won't get a second chance to make a good first impression. The overall appearance of your home when a potential buyer does a walk through can make or break the sale. Here are some simple strategies that you can use to attract buyers and sell your home for top dollar.

Make The Necessary Repairs

Many homeowners make the mistake of trying to sell their home in as-in condition. Unless your home is in pristine condition with everything in working order, this is generally a bad idea. When touring your home, buyers will notice things like out of date wallpaper and old carpets. The more repairs and upgrades that buyers have to make, the less likely they will be to purchase the home. If you do get a buyer to bite, chances are he will not offer top dollar for a home that needs work. Don't be afraid to spend money for necessary repairs. It will help boost your asking price.


Homeowners should also take note of the current condition of other homes in the neighborhood and make sure that their house is up to par with community standards. If you live in a high-end neighborhood where most homes have granite countertops, having laminate in your kitchen could be a deal breaker. However, don't make the mistake of upgrading to granite countertops in a neighborhood in which other homes have laminate because you're not likely to make your money back in the sale. Keep it simple and stick to basic repairs and necessary upgrades.

Update Old Decor

Many homeowners overlook the importance of keeping their home updated. Buyers should be able to visualize themselves living in your home when they walk through it. Replace old, outdated pieces with more modern decor. A young couple looking for a modern starter home may be turned off by your house if it resembles a home from another decade. While that lava lamp that you've had for years may serve as a nostalgic reminder of your college days, it's best to store it away and place a simple, modern lamp in its place. Do the same for wall hangings, curtains and other decor. By keeping your decor simple and modern, you won't distract potential buyers with your personal style, which will make it easier for them to picture their own cherished belongings in the home.

Decrease Clutter

Showing a messy, cluttered home is one of the biggest mistakes made by homeowners. Buyers can be easily distracted from the home's features by piles of clutter that pop up around every turn. Getting rid of that clutter and creating an open and organized home environment can double the selling potential of a home.


Start by doing a walkthrough and clearing off all tables and counters. Throw out old newspapers and magazines or store them away. Pack away knick-knacks and small items and replace them with a simple vase filled with fresh flowers. Maintain a clean and simple appearance throughout the home.


Potential buyers will be looking in every corner of the home, including the closets. Space sells, so having a closet that is well organized is a must. Store unused clothing in storage bins stacked neatly in the garage or donate them. Organize loose items such as ties, shoes and jewelry. The same thing goes for bathroom and kitchen cabinets and pantries. Discard any expired food items and donate any that are nearing their expiration date.


If you have a lot of furniture in your home, clear some of it out to create a more open space. Donate unwanted pieces or have a garage sale. Store furniture in the garage or rent a small storage unit. The more open and de-cluttered the home, the more potential buyers will be able to picture their own furniture in the space.

Keep Home Furnishings Simple And Neutral

That giant deer head hanging over your mantle may be a proud reminder of your first hunting expedition, but it can also be a deal breaker if the potential buyer is an animal lover. Remove the deer head and put a simple, neutral painting in its place. An artistic piece, a nature scene or a family photo will add a personal touch that can be appreciated by all potential buyers, regardless of their personal taste. Rely on natural elements to furnish your home. You can't go wrong with fresh flowers and a strategically placed bowl of fresh fruit.

Do A Heavy Cleaning

When trying to sell your home, it is important to do a good, heavy cleaning prior to showing the house. Potential buyers will be inspecting the house closely, which means simply wiping down the counters and mopping the floors is not enough. Selling your home requires a full-scale cleaning that includes scrubbing the floors and walls, cleaning out air vents and replacing old filters and deep-cleaning the carpets or replacing them altogether. Clean out tile grout and dust ceiling fans and high objects. Also make sure to clean residue off shower doors and get rid of cobwebs.


Pay attention to the odors that may be present in your home. Homes should be free from all odors, including lingering cigarette smoke, leftover cooking odors and pet odors. If you smoke or have pets, chances are that you may have grown accustomed to their scent. Consider having a friend who does not smoke come over and perform a sniff test in every room of the house. This can alert you to odors that you may be overlooking.

Increase Curb Appeal

Don't fall into the trap of overlooking your home's curb appeal. The exterior of your home is the first thing a potential buyer will notice when he pulls up. Make sure garbage pails are stored out of site and all yard toys are cleaned up. Maintain a well-manicured lawn, complete with well-trimmed bushes and, if possible, flowering plants.

Preparing The Most Important Room

When searching for a home to purchase, the number one room that most potential buyers look at is the kitchen. By maintaining a clean, clutter-free, functioning kitchen, you can significantly boost your home's selling potential.


Start by removing all clutter from the counters. Make sure the dishwasher and sink are empty and all of the dishes are put away neatly in the kitchen cabinets. Make room in your cabinets to store everything, including your toaster and blender. Even if you use these items regularly, get in the habit of storing them away rather than leaving them on the counter. Take the appliances out when you are ready to use them and neatly store them away when finished. If you don’t have room in your cabinets to hold everything, store rarely used dishes and cooking gadgets in a storage bin to make room for your appliances. Make sure utensils and cooking tools are neatly stored in drawers. Clean out your junk drawer. Homeowners will be looking in the cabinets and drawers to make sure they are in good condition and spacious enough to fit all of their own kitchen gadgets. Aim to create as much empty space as possible in cabinets and drawers.


Organize your pantry and make sure food is arranged neatly. Stack cans uniformly and arrange other food items in groups. Consider donating excess food or store it in a box in the garage to create more pantry space. Clean out the area under the sink. Put excess sponges, cleaning rags and cleaning materials in storage. Leave only the necessary cleaning detergents and one or two rags. Make sure pipes are not rusty and that there are no signs of water damage. Clean the area thoroughly and don’t forget to wipe up any spills or chemical residue.

Paint Both Inside And Out

The color of the walls can have a powerful impact on the overall appearance of a room. This can work in your favor or against you. Because paint color is a highly personal preference and there is no way to determine the personal style of every potential buyer, it is best to paint the walls a simple, neutral color such as white, cream or beige. White is a good light reflecting color which will make the room look bigger. A simple coat of paint in these colors, though not very vibrant, can make the house look fresh and clean.


Painting the exterior of the home will require more effort. However, it is a quick way to rejuvenate a home that looks old and faded. This can be a good investment for homeowners because it can increase the value of the home. It's best to select a color that matches both the style of your home and that of the other homes in the neighborhood.

Learn To Let Go

Both buying and selling a home can be an emotional experience. The problem for sellers is that they need to learn how to take their emotions out of it and view the process as more of a business transaction. To sell a home quickly and for top dollar, the job of a homeowner is to make potential buyers envision the home as their own. The first step in getting your home ready to sell is to “de-personalize” it. Your sentimental value should not affect the home value. As a homeowner, your house may be priceless, but as a seller, it is just a piece of property. You are not always going to get the value you think it is worth. Don't let your emotions be a deal breaker. Detachment it important, and to be a successful seller you have to be able to place yourself in the shoes of the buyer.


Keep these tips in mind if you are planning on selling your home. They could help you to get a big bump in the selling price of your house.

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