During a home appraisal, an expert looks for unique characteristics that set your property apart from others in the market. In spite of the average price of properties in your neighborhood, there are several things you can do to get more money from your house:
1. Go Green
Invest in heating or cooling systems that save energy and qualify your home for tax credits. Any positive contribution to the environment—even adding plants—is a green decision. Shrink energy bills by installing a solar water heater or buying a pellet stove. While some appraisers might not recognize it, energy savers can make a house more desirable and therefore increase its value.
2. Add an extra room
An extension to the property—or changing the layout of a house—opens up space. Adding a spare bedroom instantly increases the value of a home. Before adding an extra room, however, assess the needs of your potential buyers to see what they like most. While three-bedroom houses are appealing to people with multiple kids, adding a sixth bedroom won’t necessarily increase the value of a five-bedroom house. For large houses, it would be more valuable to convert a bedroom into a den or entertainment space, depending on regional preference.
3. Change the flooring
Old carpets and rugs decrease the price of a house. Buy new carpeting and have it professionally laid for a cohesive finish. If the home has features tiling, be sure to replace any broken tiles and give them a good polish. There are many flooring options, so consider the preferences of potential buyers before making adjustments. According to real estate experts, if you invest $600-$900 on the flooring, the return in value could reach $2000.
It may seem frivolous, but home lighting can have a high impact on real estate listings. Modern home buyers appreciate a space that utilizes natural light to add to the comfort of a room. Sun tubes, skylights and dimmer switches are just a few ways to improve lighting.
If adding a new room is too expensive, consider renovating a few existing ones. The kitchen is the heart of any home and a great place to start. Change floor tiles to something more attractive and easy to maintain. You can also replace existing countertops with marble or granite to add sophistication. For the bathroom, repaint tile to modernize the look, or purchase a new vanity to add a touch of luxury. Instead of overhead lights, try wall mounts to add warmth.
6. Improve curb appeal
Buyers judge a home right from the driveway. This is your cue to landscape and spruce up the front door the best you can. Remove leaves from the yard, cut the grass and water the flowers to bring more life outdoors. Arrange the patio chairs and buy a new umbrella to create a cool relaxation space. An awning over the front door is ideal for shielding people from the rain while fumbling for keys, and ensure that the doorbell works. If you have a very small yard, consider a wraparound deck. It serves as an extension of the living space and nicely dresses up the outdoors. The material used on a deck contributes to the price of the property.
Simple things like landscaping, changing the flooring and basic renovations go a long way in increasing the value of a home. It is a lot of work, making it a good idea to hire a professional. Consider hiring a home stager, who can help decorate and spruce up a home not only to increase its market value but also decrease the waiting time on listings.