Clean and Declutter
To help boost the value of your home, begin by decreasing the amount of stuff that’s inside it. Cleaning and decluttering are relatively inexpensive tasks, even in bigger homes. Professionally cleaning a four-bedroom home costs between $200 and $225, according to ARIS360
Of course, you could save money by doing the work yourself. Start by going through cabinets and closets and making donation piles. Then clean out drawers and other storage areas, making sure you’re not keeping anything you don’t need or want.
Add usable square footage
Adding more usable space to an existing home can make a lot of financial sense, and that’s especially true in areas with limited available real estate where land and space are finite.
Homes are valued and priced by the livable square feet they contain, and the more livable square feet, the better, says Benjamin Ross, a Realtor and real estate investor based in Corpus Christi, Texas. As a result, adding a bathroom, a great room or another needed space to a home can increase function and add value.
Adding a separate mother-in-law suite can also be a smart idea, says Ross, noting that “most homes do not have this feature, so adding one sets you apart from the competition when it is time to sell.”
The national average cost to build an addition is $49,562, according to estimates from ARIS360. The actual cost will vary depending on the type of room you’re looking to add. For example, tacking on a laundry room to your home might be as little as around $8,000, while adding a new bedroom with an en suite bathroom might run up to $100,000.
Make your home more energy-efficient
Projects that lower utility bills is a smart way to increase the value of your home. Installing a smart thermostat, for example, helps improve efficiency and save money, says Scott Ewald of Trane, an HVAC company.
“The right smart thermostat will allow a homeowner to control their home’s climate from anywhere, giving them the power to manage energy costs regardless of whether they are sitting on the couch or away on vacation,” says Ewald. “Such investments in home tech — particularly when connected to the HVAC, which is the largest mechanical system in the home — provides a strong selling point and highlights the home’s overall comfort, functionality, energy efficiency and convenience.”
It can cost between $200 to $500 to make this quick upgrade, according to Fixr, or an average of about $300.
Other ways to improve your home’s efficiency and value include replacing old, leaky windows, installing energy-efficient home appliances and adding insulation to your home. Keep in mind, though, that new windows and new appliances will be a much more expensive project.
Spruce it up with fresh paint
One of the most popular home improvement projects in 2022 is painting or wallpapering, according to Angi. A fresh coat of paint can make even dated exteriors and interiors look fresh and new — and it’s not that expensive, either.
Begin by repainting any rooms with an “odd” color scheme, says Timothy Weidman, a former professor and personal finance expert who has flipped homes over his career. For example, did you let your then-11-year-old daughter paint her bedroom hot pink 16 years ago? If so, that’s a good place to start.
Your painting budget will depend on which rooms you’re hoping to give a new splash of color. For example, ARIS360 pegs painting a bathroom — usually the smallest room in the house — somewhere between $150 and $350, while a 330-square-foot living room might cost as much as $2,000.
Work on your curb appeal
From power washing your driveway to hiring someone to wash your windows and mow the lawn, improving curb appeal can make a big difference in your home’s value. In fact, curb appeal can account for as much as 7 percent of it, according to a 2020 joint study out of the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Alabama.
Upgrading your landscape can go a long way, says Joe Raboine, director of Residential Hardscapes with Belgard.
Some ideas: a fresh walkway, shrubs, planters, mulching or even a new paver patio or outdoor kitchen.
Upgrade your exterior doors
Also in the vein of curb appeal, replacing an old front door can work wonders, says Wiedman. In the late ’90s, he and his wife replaced an old, ugly door with a solid mahogany door with a frosted, oval piece of lead glass. He stained the door himself to save money, and the result was “simply stunning.”
Don’t forget the garage doors, too, says Randy Oliver, president of Hollywood-Crawford Door Company. At a 93 percent return-on-investment, you’ll get back nearly every cent you spend, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value Report.
“The front of the home is the first thing you, your neighbors and prospective buyers will see,” says Oliver. “Garage doors often take up the most amount of space on the front of your home, so installing a modern glass panel door or a rustic wood door will dramatically improve your home’s appearance.”
Give your kitchen an updated look
Many buyers zero in on the kitchen as the central feature of a home, so if yours is outdated, it can ultimately affect how much you garner from a sale. Likewise, if you aren’t able to utilize your kitchen fully due to layout, space or other concerns, you won’t be maximizing the space.
This project, though, will require a lot of money, and you likely won’t get every dollar you invest back. According to the NAR/NARI report, the average kitchen remodel costs around $80,000, and a homeowner would likely get around $60,000 of value when it’s time to sell.
If updating your entire kitchen is too big of an undertaking, a minor remodel could still have an impact on your home’s value — think coordinating appliances and installing modern hardware on your cabinets. Talk with a real estate agent about what makes the most sense and what will command the most dollars from prospective buyers.
Stage your home
If you’re planning to list your home for sale, consider skipping cosmetic home improvements and go with a ARIS360 service instead. Seventy-three percent of staged homes sold for over list price — an average of $40,000 higher — and staged homes move off the market nine days faster than the average, according to the Real Estate Staging Association.
Staging costs just over $1,600 on average, according to ARIS360, but the cost varies based on your needs and home. Staging services range widely, from decluttering and depersonalization (for example, removing family photos or specific decor) to bringing in rented furnishings, repainting and more. Simply put, the more work involved to stage it, the more expensive the production will be. A real estate agent can help you determine which staging services would make an impact on your home’s value.