9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing

Everyone wants to get the maximum dollar for their home when it's time to sell. But not everyone wants to get swamped by a giant renovation project all for the sake of selling. Fortunately, there are easy home improvements you can do that increase the cosmetic appeal of your home and make it more attractive to buyers, leading to more money in the bank for you.

1. Prune and Plant

Your landscaping has a huge effect on your home's curb appeal, and it doesn't cost much to spruce it up. It's also a task you can do yourself to save yourself some extra bucks. Prune back overgrown trees and shrubs, and make sure the lawn is mowed and neat. If your front yard is a bit bare, planting some shrubs and plants can make it look cared for and manicured. Ask your local garden center for some free advice.

2. Freshen Up Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

While renovating the kitchen and bathrooms can bring a large return on your investment, they also are among the most expensive projects to tackle around the home. If you're not planning to overhaul the kitchen and bathrooms entirely, you can still enhance them cosmetically. Remove dated wallpaper and paint the walls a soothing color. Replace mildewed caulk and scrub dirty grout. Change the cabinet pulls for something more modern, and the faucets for something that feels substantial and stylish. Hang a new shower curtain and clean towels, and give everything a thorough cleaning.

3. Clean Your Carpet

Dingy carpet is pretty much certain to turn off potential buyers. If replacing the carpeting isn't an option, at least invest in a thorough deep cleaning.

4. Replace Dated Lighting

Bringing dated light fixtures into this decade can do a lot to make your home seem modern and attractive. Even inexpensive fixtures found at your local home improvement store can be a huge upgrade compared to decades-old monstrosities (unless of course, those monstrosities are trendy again now). Old ceiling fans can be replaced with sleek modern varieties. Consider also adding a statement light fixture to impress potential buyers (it needn't break the bank; just look it). Save on electrician costs by having him/her install several fixtures on one trip for a discount.

5. Doll Up Your Door

Much like the landscaping, your front door is one of the first impressions buyers will get of your home. If it's looking a bit worn out, consider painting it and replacing the hardware. You don't have to spend a lot to get a more contemporary handle and lock, and it will give your home's curb appeal a fresh look.

6. Repair the Little Things

Broken light switch or outlet plates, broken drywall, missing light fixtures, missing trim, rattling fans — none of these seem like a big deal by themselves, but taken all together can make your home seem distressed and really turn off a potential buyer. Consider hiring a handyman to repair a bunch of these little things at once.

7. Paint Walls and Trim

A layer of paint can do wonders to make your home seem newer and more valuable. Like it or not, many potential buyers will focus on scuffed walls, dated paint colors (or bright paint colors), or yellowing trim. Fix any gouges or dings in your walls with some spackle, and paint your home a fresh neutral to keep things bright and appealing. Paint your trim a bright white to make your home seem updated and clean.

Painting the exterior of your home can also be an excellent investment, as curb appeal is a big factor in appealing to potential buyers. Consider doing the job yourself, as painting is one of the easier DIYs you can do around your house.

8. Renew Your Deck

A tired, worn-out old deck can be enlivened with a good power washing and a coat of stain, as long as the wood is still sound. Keeping your deck maintained and in good condition sends the message that the interior of the house is in good shape, too. Add a seating arrangement so potential buyers can picture themselves enjoying the space.

9. Add a Programmable Thermostat

Potential buyers like to see energy-saving upgrades in the home, and installing a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to do this. For a couple hundred dollars, these thermostats can save you money by customizing when to heat or cool your home.

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