5 Easy-to-Overlook Things That Can Increase the Value of Your Home

published Oct 23, 2019
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Credit: Sarah Crowley/Apartment Therapy

If you were to put your home on the market tomorrow, how much would it be worth? While you hear that real estate is all about “location, location, location,” supply and demand also plays a crucial factor. The more appealing a home is on the market to the majority of buyers, the higher price it may fetch (though there’s a limit). And of course, this is all relative to the neighborhood in which a home’s located, but, in general, prepping your home to make a positive first impression is a good thing to keep in mind if you don’t want to leave anything on the closing table. That’s why it’s so important to do the obvious things, like cut excessive clutter inside the home and clean up your yard before you list to present a clean and organized home.

“It’s these small things that show pride of ownership,” says Dana Bull, a real estate agent with Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “Buyers feel more confident in a transaction and can be more likely to pay a premium if they believe the home has been properly managed and maintained by the seller.”

Interested in which other less-expected attributes of your house could increase its worth? Here, five things Bull and other real estate experts recommend investing a bit of TLC in:

Super-clean crevices

“Buyers notice everything. I’ve had clients ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over a basement floor so clean you could eat off it,” says Bull. “Even little details matter, like clean grout, tidy closets, and a swept basement floor. Yes, I’ve had buyers get hung up over shoddy tile work and I definitely can’t blame them!”

According to Sarah Maguire, a real estate agent with Compass in Boston, potential buyers love snooping around the bathroom to see how ancient the grout and tiling is. 

“There’s no need for a full bathroom renovation,” says Maguire, who suggests cleaning or replacing grout and caulking in the bathroom.

Updated lighting

It’s also what prospective buyers see when they look up that affects value. Maguire suggests replacing old ceiling fans or ceiling light fixtures. 

“If you want to do a little more work, recessed lighting gives any space a bright, modern touch,” says Maguire.

A parking space

Jay Rooney, also a real estate agent with Compass, says one of the things that drives up your home’s value isn’t even inside the property.

“If you do not have one already, rent or invest in a parking space near your home,” says Rooney. ”It may sound silly, but nowadays homes without designated parking spots can make or break it for buyers.”

The smell

Other agents I asked said it’s your home’s influence on potential buyers’ noses that could have an unexpected influence.

“The smell! Make sure your home has a pleasant smell, but don’t keep candles or air fresheners in sight,” says the Donahue Maley Burns Team. “You don’t want potential home buyers to think you’re covering something up.”

Professional listing photos

Bull also says how your home is presented online and in promotional materials can make a real difference, which is why having the space professionally photographed instantly ups its value.

“When it comes to listing your home, the way it is presented online makes a huge difference,” says Bull. “You can’t skimp on high quality photography which captures a home with the proper lighting and angles.”

Now that you know what details can grow your home’s value, know what can limit it: Here, 6 costly upgrades that can hurt you in the end.

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