7 Small Things That Can Have a Big Impact on Your Home’s Value

published Sep 22, 2019
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Credit: Tamara Gavin

Finishing your basement, remodeling your kitchen, giving your bathroom a major makeover. These are all heavy-hitting renovation projects that—fingers crossed—end up increasing the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

But what if you want to up the value of your home within the constraints of a tight budget or on a short timeline? Or, what if you want to find a small project that delivers a nice ROI so you can feel like you’re living large in your starter home

Here, real estate experts share 7 small tasks that will increase your home value. Once you finish these relatively quick-and-easy projects, you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t tackle them sooner!

Make the home smarter

Smart home features especially appeal to younger buyers, but they are becoming increasingly popular across all demographics, says Ramazan Seker, a realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Add a smart doorbell, thermostats that can be controlled remotely, smart door locks, and cameras,” Seker suggests. Most of this can be done by the homeowner and for just a few hundred dollars, he says.

Plus, if you plan on staying in your home, smart technology can save you money by ensuring the heating and cooling are working at the appropriate hours, points out Daniela Andreevska, marketing director at Mashvisor, a real estate data analytics company.

Replace the burner pans

“These cost a few dollars and the brand new shiny burner pan makes the whole stove look fresh again,” says Melissa Terzis,  a Realtor with RLAH Real Estate in Washington, D.C.

Replace your light switches

Switch plates, sockets, and light switches get a lot of use over time and tend to look grungy at the time of sale, says New York City-based real estate agent George Case of Warburg Realty: “Replacing them is quick, cheap, and easy and it goes a long way.”

Credit: Abe Martinez

Get a new address plaque

Rain, sun damage, and time can all make your existing address plaque look tired, explains Dave Hymen, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Regal in San Diego, California.  “As a result, this lowers curb appeal and can even creates challenges for potential buyers trying to locate the property,” he says. A simple replacement will draw attention to your front door and improve a buyer’s first impression.

Credit: Liz Calka

Give details a fresh coat of paint

One quick, easy way to increase the value of your home is fresh paint, says Maria Dininger, a real estate agent with Talk to Tucker Realtors in Indianapolis, Indiana. But if you’re not up for an entire rigmarole, just focus on painting the baseboards and crown moldings, suggests Avi Plonka, owner of Solid Arc Construction in Toronto. 

Credit: Minette Hand

Replace your bulbs with LEDS

Light and airy houses sell better, says Robert Taylor, a Sacramento-area house rehabber. He suggests replacing your old light bulbs with new LEDs.

“Not only are they brighter, but they turn on instantly and don’t take time to warm up like the older CFLs.” Taylor says.

You might also want to remove your window screens and store them in your garage or storage area. “This will let more light in the house giving it a warmer feel,” he says.

Focus on fixtures

Start by swapping out light fixtures for more modern ones (we’re coming for you, old fluorescent light boxes), suggests Mystique Rumps, a real estate broker in Palatine, Illinois. You can also update drawer and cabinet handles and change out faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms, she says. 

Inside look all spiffy? Take a look outward. Here, 9 ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, according to real estate experts.

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