With the housing market down, many home owners are holding off on selling and using this time to increase their property value. It’s a smart move, one you might be considering yourself. But where do you start? First, you need to reach out to a home value estimator to get a home appraisal. A home value estimator determines the current value of a property for the potential buyer. Most of the work to determine home value is done during an on-site inspection, where the appraiser will:
- Conduct a room-by-room walk-through to appraise the condition of the interior
- Walk the length of the real estate property for an appraisal of the condition of the exterior
- Appraise the value of any amenities, such as a swimming pool, finished basement, or built-in bar
- Note any health or safety code violations for the appraisal report
- Record the layout of the property, inspect the square footage, and determine whether or not it’s a single-family dwelling
After this walk-through is complete, the appraiser will give you a detailed list of ways to increase your property value. In this blog post, we’re going to save you some time and money and give you insider tips on how to improve your home value before the appraiser comes.
1. Add a Fresh Layer of Paint
No matter how clean you are, your walls accumulate dust and grime over the years that can decrease the value of your home. The exterior paint gets even more beat up as it weathers storms, wind, the heat, and freezing temperatures. So, if you want to boost your property value, repaint your house.
According to leading realty groups, this one small action can increase the value of your home by over $2,000! A fresh coat of paint will hide small scratch marks, paint chips, scuffs, and any other little imperfections your walls may have. This is no small task, but it’ll be so worth it to see the impressed look on your home value estimator’s face.
2. Screen-In Your Front Porch
Having a patio is great when the weather is perfect and the bugs go on vacation. But how often are those things a reality? That’s why adding a screen to your front porch increases your home value. It adds more practical living space to your home, thereby increasing the square footage.
Screening in your porch is expensive, but the return on investment (ROI) is worth it! How much can you expect to get back? Well, the ROI of a screened porch or patio varies based on your location. For instance, the ROI of a porch in colder climates will typically be lower than that of one in a mild climate. On average, you can expect about an 84% ROI for a screened room. So, if your screened porch investment is $20,000, you will see an average return of $16,800.
3. Update Faucet Handles, light fixtures, and Hardware
This next tip proves that a little goes a long way. Like many things in your home, shower heads, faucets, and other hardware get rusty and start to look outdated. Adding new fixtures, faucets, and hardware to your home will attract more interested buyers.
It can also add another 1-3% increase to a home appraisal simply by switching out your old faucet, shower head, light fixtures, and hardware with newer ones. Popular faucet materials include polished brass, nickel, copper, and stainless steel.
Thankfully, switching out old light fixtures, faucets, hardware, and showerheads is one of the cheapest updates you can make to wow your home value estimator.
4. Beautify Your Yard
The first thing people notice when they pull up to your house is your front yard. Is it well kept or is the grass patchy, the walkway overgrown with weeds, the shrubs unruly? If you said yes to any of those things, you need to freshen up your yard.
So many people get bogged down on the interior of their home when getting ready to sell, that they forget how much value a nice outdoor space can add to a home appraisal. By adding the right combination of trees, plants, and lighting, you can increase your property value by 20 percent. Not only that, but some homebuyers will pay more for a home with good landscaping.
Start with basic maintenance like cutting the grass, trimming the hedges, and getting rid of weeds. This alone will go a long way, but if you want to add more value, consider making some upgrades. This can include everything from adding a stone path, planting trees and other mature plants, or adding lighting.
5. Make Minor Repairs
Do you have doors that squeak, cabinets or drawers that slam shut or won’t shut at all? What about your windows, are they painted shut, do all your outlets work, do your faucets leak? Small things like this are quick and easy to fix and can make your home more valuable.
So, go around your house and make a note of all those small things that you’ve gotten used to over the years and be sure to fix them before the home value estimator arrives. Even if it is a small thing and you think the appraiser won’t see it, fix it. They are like blood hounds when it comes to these inspections.
6. Keep Your Home Clean
While this is last on our list, it’s not last in importance. Before the appraiser arrives, be sure your entire home, from the carpet to the tile and the kitchen counters are clean. This is a heavy task for any one family, and often you don’t have the equipment needed, so why not call on the help of professionals?
At PureTech we not only specialize in purifying your carpets, we also clean tile/grout, and upholstery. Our toxin-free, odor-free cleaning solutions dries in minutes and will leave your home look fresh and ready for your home appraisal. Give us a call today to schedule your cleaning!