7 proven ways to add value to your home

How much is your home worth?  Well, whatever answer you come up with can be increased when you add value through strategic improvement projects.  If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market – or if it already is on the market – here are seven ways to get the most out of it when you close the sale.

1. Make open spaces

More and more high-end-home buyers are looking for living spaces that don’t cramp their style.  That means open floor plans that create roomy areas rather than cubicles.  There are probably many inventive ways you can make more open space by strategically removing walls in the main living areas.  Consult with a contractor before removing a structural wall – one that is instrumental in holding up the ceiling.

2. Turn your yard into a masterpiece

Few things can lower the perceived value of a home quicker than unkempt grounds.  Make a checklist and fix what needs fixing.  Pay attention to the lawn, shrubbery, trees, rock beds, flower beds, ivy, hedges and other areas that can become eyesores if left unattended for too long.

3. Lighting

You can easily enhance the appeal of your home – and therefore its value – with attractive lighting.  From skylights and sun tubes to well-placed track lighting and dimmer switches throughout the house, an elegantly lit living space makes people feel comfortable and at-home.  Contact a home lighting professional and learn about your options.

4. General maintenance

You might have gotten used to that leaky tub faucet or the porch light that flickers on and off or the oven door that doesn’t fully close, but these and other maintenance neglects are signs to potential buyers that the home is not well cared for.  Go through the house, making note of everything that doesn’t work the way it was designed to.  Then fix with quality parts and materials – and skilled labor, when necessary.

5. Think green

If it’s time to replace a heating or air-conditioning system, replace them with new, eco-friendly systems and save up to 40% on energy costs.  A solar-powered water heater can save as much as 80% compared to gas-powered or electric versions.  From lighting systems to appliances, anywhere you can install energy-saving versions, you’ll create a significant increase in the overall value of your home.

6. Exterior targets

What does your front door look like?  If it’s not beautiful, replace it, because it’s a huge first-impression-maker.  Does your house need painting?  Paint it.  Repair broken fences, overhangs and rain gutters.  If you have a deck, ensure that it’s in excellent shape.  If you don’t have a deck, consider having one installed.  Decks typically return dollar-for-dollar in value, plus they’re big eye-catchers.

7. Flooring

Most any real estate pro you talk to will tell you how quality flooring can increase the perceived value of your home and help speed up the sale.  New, lush carpeting or tile or a beautifully refinished wood floor will instantly add luxury to any home.  Buyers love to see beauty under their feet, but they’re turned off by ratty, stained carpets and dull hardwood floors.

If you follow these and other commonsense tips in preparing your home for sale, you’ll be making big strides toward a higher fair listing price and more quickly convert buyers into believers.

Interested in buying or selling real estate in Silicon Valley?  Explore the possibilities.