- Make repairs. Fix everything you can: burned out light bulbs, a switch that doesn’t work, a piece of wood that has become detached at one end, a broken clock on an appliance. Everything you can.
- Replace fixtures. If they are in poor condition, permanently dirty, scratched up, broken, replace them. This is a big sign to buyers that the house has been neglected (“what else is wrong?”)
- Paint – Both inside and outside the house. Use neutral colors, but certainly not “apartment navajo white.” Colors that are contemporary and not distracting.
- Landscaping – curb appeal is huge. Many times this determines whether someone will want to see the inside of the house. Or whether they would be proud to have others drive up and see it if it were theirs. Make sure trees and shrubs are neat and trimmed nicely. Remove all dead growth. Replace plants that do not enhance the look.
- Curb appeal – Make sure there is no rubbish anywhere (trash, dead leaf piles, etc.). Also, any dead branches, Scraggly ends and over growth should be trimmed.
- Clean home – Clean the entire house. Get rid of all cobwebs, dirt, dust and junk.
- Tidy home – The less, the better. All the stuff that is piled up, even in the garage, do something with it. Unless you have to absolutely have it, sell it (garage sale, eBay, etc.), donate it to charity (if usable), give it to friends, recycle it or lastly throw it out. Clutter kills sales and decreases value. It prevents buyers from picturing it as their home and how nice it could be. The added benefit is that once it’s gone, you don’t have to move it or deal with it later.
There are many online articles about increasing the value of your home. The above remarks are among the most common, which I have taken from experience, so that’s no surprise, but there are other ideas. Here are some additional ideas in an article I’ve linked to in QuickenLoans. If the walls have cracks running up and down them, or if the carpet is in bad condition, fixing or replacing such things will not do anything to enhance the value of the home, but will protect it, as these items are expected to be in good or very good condition. It’s the same if you fix a broken air conditioner. Now it works – it should work! Then there are projects that can cost a lot and not add any significant value to the home. Adding a 5th bedroom or 4th bathroom to an average-sized house may be what is needed for your household, but will rarely add enough value to cover the cost. And most times when the home is enlarged well beyond what is somewhat close to the rest of the neighborhood, the value will not be able to grow to the same extent. It’s hard to have a million dollar home in a neighborhood of $400,000 homes.
The following link is an article that goes into more detail, titled “6 Things You Think Add Value To Your Home – But Really Don’t,” from SF Gate.