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How to increase the value of your property before selling

How to increase the value of your property before selling

Whether you have an investment property to sell or you plan to sell your primary residence, you want to make sure that you get the best sales price. There are certain things you can do that won’t cost an arm and a leg to make your home more saleable, while there are also more costly and extensive renovations you can implement to increase your property’s value. Here is a list of medium- to high-cost improvements, as well as cheaper options below, to increase your home’s value.


Medium to high-cost improvements to increase your the value of your property

  1. Change the flooring

Flooring can make a huge difference when it comes to updating a home and although personal preference does play a role, hardwood, wood laminate and tiles are a popular alternative to carpets. Another benefit is that these are better for allergy sufferers. According to the Mayo Clinic, ‘Hard-surface flooring such as vinyl, tile or wood is much easier to keep free of dust mites, pollen, pet dander and other allergens.’ 


A tip is to keep the type of flooring uniform throughout the house or have a maximum of two types of flooring, anything more than that can make the house look disjointed and interfere with the flow from room to room.


  1. Update or renovate the kitchen

It’s cheaper to update a kitchen by replacing light fittings and handles on your kitchen cupboards, or even the cupboard doors and updating the tiles on the backsplash and surrounding areas. If you need to gut your kitchen and do a full renovation this will cost a lot more and you may not recover the full value of your investment if you sell straight away.


  1. Update or renovate the bathroom


To update a bathroom you could change the toilet, sink or bathtub to more modern versions. Smaller changes could include updating the cabinets and light fittings and fittings like bath rails. Gutting a bathroom, replacing the tiles and redoing plumbing will be a bigger investment and although you won’t be likely to make back what you’ve spent, it can make your home more appealing to buyers.


  1. Add architectural detail


If you are planning to paint the interior anyway, consider adding crown moulding. ‘When it’s done right, crown molding helps lift the space, drawing your eye up to make the ceiling feel higher,’ says architect James Dixon who specializes in renovating country houses and restoring Manhattan apartments. ‘It’s a lovely bit of detail that can bring out the faded grandeur in an old house while also hiding all sorts of sins—even distracting the eye from cobwebs or peeling paint.’

Adding architectural detail to the outside of your home could include accentuating existing walls with new stone cladding, a white color wash on red brick, or adding wood or metal paneling.

  1. Add Energy Efficiency

    A great way to make your home more energy efficient is to install solar panels on your roof. Currently, the California’s federal government is offering a rebate system which will come to an end on 1 January 2023.

According to solar installation company Solar Tech, ‘the federal government will be offering:

  • The tax credit amount is 26% for solar PV systems put into service between 01/01/2020 and 12/31/2020.

  • Systems put into service between 01/01/2021 and 12/31/2021 will be eligible for a 22% solar tax credit.

  • Systems put into service between 01/01/2022 and 12/31/2022 will be eligible for a 10% solar tax credit.

  • After 01/01/2023, the solar tax credit will no longer be available for residential solar installations.’

The good news is that ‘the California tax credit for solar does not have a maximum limit. You can still claim the full 26% California solar tax credit without having to worry about a limit. Whether your solar panel system — installation included — costs you $10,000 or $1,000,000,’ according to Solar Tech.


Other ways to make your home more energy efficient is to replace incandescent lights.

Not only do incandescent bulbs use considerably more energy than light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) but The State of California has implemented energy efficiency rules, which were adopted by the California Energy Commission in November 2019. 


According to an article in Smart Cities Dive, these rules have placed a sales ban on incandescent and halogen light bulbs ‘in favor of more efficient LED ones. The state now requires that new bulbs sold emit at least 45 lumens of light for each watt of electricity burned.’


  1. Add Technology 

There’s a growing interest in integrating smart home components, and according to Forbes the smart home device market is set to grow ‘to $174 billion by 2025’. 


Homeowners want various smart devices to work together automatically and in research published by Alarm.com, 88 percent of people polled said that they’d want a single app to control all devices. The same percentage also said that ‘smart home products should remind them when they forget important things’.


Consider browsing the internet or visiting an electronics store to see if you can find a good deal that will help upgrade your house using smart technology. If you’re not sure where to get started, here’s a helpful smart home guide for beginners.


  1. Update the siding

There are a number of options when it comes to updating the siding to modernize the look of your house, including wood, vinyl and cement. If you want the added benefit of lowering your heating and cooling bills, consider adding extra insulation if you decide on the vinyl option.


  1. Add extra floor space

Bigger homes sell for more and extra space is always appealing. Sometimes a small change like knocking out a few walls will open up the space to make the area feel bigger, without actually adding any extra square footage. However, you may want to enclose a patio so that the extended living area can be used all year around, or even consider adding an extra room or bathroom.


Adding an extra room  or bathroom will cost you more than what it will add to the resale value if you  sell immediately. However, if you plan ahead and can make use of that extra space while living in the property for a number of years, it can appreciate enough to make up for the loss and give you a return on the initial investment. 

Low-Cost tips to increase the value of your property

1. Clean

This is an obvious tip, however, you’d be surprised at how comfortable you may have become in your own home, which means that you may not notice mould on the walkways or sidings or even in the shower. Make sure that you take a critical look at every room and do a thorough cleaning both inside and out, including windows. If you feel the job is too much for you to handle, break it down into sections to tackle or consider hiring a professional cleaning service.


2. Paint


Painting has often been described as the cheapest and most effective way to make your home more saleable and although just cleaning and painting your home won’t have a dramatic effect on its value, all of the little things you do to make your home more appealing do count to increase its perceived value. 


Make sure that you are aware of the trends by browsing through current magazines, consulting an interior designer or a realtor who is aware of what’s popular on the market. Just because a color of paint appeals to you doesn’t mean that it will appeal to a large market, so always get a few professional opinions before going ahead.


3. Increase the curb appeal


A buyer’s first impression is often set by the exterior and what can be seen from the roadside and this can influence emotions in either a negative or positive way. Make sure that your hedges have been trimmed, your lawn is neat and consider adding colorful flowers in your garden, a welcome mat at the front door or a water feature.


4. Stage your home


Staging your home increases its perceived value and according to financial guru Dave Ramsay,  ‘sellers’ agents said staging a home increased the dollar value offered by buyers 1–5%.’ Professional home staging service Custom Home Staging and Design, indicates that the amount could be up to 6% more than on an unstaged home.


5. Replace or fix small issues

If there is a dripping tap, a leak in the plumbing, light bulbs that need to be replaced or if the air conditioner is making an unusual sound, solve these problems. Other items to look into replacing or fixing could include: ancient water heaters or broken roof tiles.


However you decide you would like to proceed, consult a realtor, or other professional, who understands which renovations or updates are likely to increase the value of your home and which will be an over-investment on your part.