This is a special guest post from Alexa Collins at HomeLight.
Watch any episode of HGTV’s House Hunters and every house the real estate agent shows the buyer is impeccably clean. The hedges are trimmed, countertops scrubbed, bathroom sinks gleaming. Even if the buyers choose a different place, each home is TV worthy–and in some cases the buyers fall in love with more than one.
In order to get your home up to House Hunters standard, you may think a $10,000 kitchen remodel or other large scale renovation is in order. There’s no reason to spend so much cash on a big renovation, especially since, according to Cost vs. Value’s most recent renovation report, your home will look great but you won’t make back the money you spent.
We put together a list of low cost, easy updates you can make to your home so that it stands out as worthy of a House Hunters TV spot. Before you start on the updates, make sure to run your home through an online home value estimator or talk with your real estate agent to get an idea of how much your home is worth before you begin. Then you will be able to see just how much you improved the value of your home with these simple (but effective) tasks.
Low Cost Interior Upgrades That Increase Property Value
- Refinish the Kitchen Cabinets
Your kitchen cabinets are the backdrop (and focal point) of the entire kitchen space. A little bit of work (and a small amount of money) can update and freshen the entire space. First, take a solution of hot water and Murphy Oil Soap. Scrub the cabinets inside and out with this solution.
If the cabinets are painted, you’ll want to sand them down and give them a fresh coat of a clean, bright white in a satin finish. If the cabinets are a natural wood, making them shine with a product like Howard Feed-In-Wax is less work for you and has just as big of an impact on the space.
When you’ve finished your cabinet rehab, make sure to tighten the hinges and switch out any mismatched knobs and drawer pulls.
- Give Everything a Deep Clean
Your home should be as clean as a five star hotel room is before you come to stay. You might be skeptical of what a good clean can do but think about that same hotel room after you spend a night there. The maid comes in, tidies up, and the room looks drastically different with a fresh bathroom, made bed, and vacuumed rug.
You’ll want to scrub every surface, mop, dust, and vacuum all floors. Any cleaning jobs that you overlook on a weekly basis and save for the ever-so-often times be sure to take care of. This may include dusting the blades of you ceiling fan, taking apart the stove to clean under the grates, or replacing an old shower curtain.
You’d be surprised at how much a deep clean can brighten and bring fresh life to your space. Be sure to give your home a serious scrub before contemplating any mid to large scale renovation projects.
Low Cost Exterior Upgrades That Increase Property Value
- Increase Your Lawn’s Curb Appeal A study by the National Association of Realtors found that seeding your lawn has a 417% return on the money you put into it. Top real estate agents agree that a green, freshly mowed lawn is one of the best updates you can make to your property. The exterior of the house is the first space buyers will see when they walk up, so having a great lawn can seriously impact the way a buyer reacts to your home from minute one. A green lawn also photographs well and with so many buyers house hunting online, you need to make a good impression on the internet too.
- Pressure Wash the House Exterior
The house exterior needs to look fresh and clean, and many buyers make the mistake of spending thousands on a new paint job before they list. If you don’t have peeling paint or rotted siding, a good power wash is all you need to freshen the exterior. You can call in the professionals for this project or do it yourself. Pressure washers run around $150 on the low end. Buying your own machine is a good call since you can use it to clean up your driveway and walkways as well.
Now that you’ve cleaned, refreshed the kitchen, and improved your curb appeal you’re ready to sell! Don’t forget to check out your home’s value before you begin to see how your hard work impacted its value.