So, you’ve decided to put your home on the market, but you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure it sells for the highest price. You’ve probably decided that it’s a good idea to make a few improvements before you put it up, but you’re not sure what your best options are in terms of saving money. Obviously you’re going to sell it, so you don’t want to sink a lot of money into it if you’re not going to be able to reap the benefits, but there are a few renovations you can do that will go a long way in increasing the value of your home, and making it more palatable for a wide range of buyers. Here’s our top tips on a few renovations and tweaks you can make that are guaranteed to pay off:

Open Floor Plans

Today, it’s all about open floor plans. Now, we don’t know if you watch “Fixer Upper” like we do, but if you do, you’ve seen Chip and Joanna knock down more than a few walls on demo day. Everyone likes to have an open space in their living areas. If you have a non-structural wall that’s making your home feel cramped, knock it down. It’s much easier to attract buyers who feel the home is move-in ready, and when most people are looking for that open floor plan, you may as well go and make it available to them. You’ll be more likely to sell the home, and you’ll get your money back from the increased home value.

Landscaping

If potential buyers can’t see your house, they won’t buy it. If you have trees that haven’t been pruned in a while, or that are obstructing the view of the home, it’s a good idea to trim them back and make sure they’re out of the way. A little landscaping can go a long way, especially if you take out troublesome trees and cut down branches that could fall and cause damage to the home. The first thing people think of is what they’ll have to do to get the house ready for their own family, and if you remove some of those steps they’ll be more eager to buy your home. Landscaping and pruning are easy, and relatively cheap ways to get your house ready for buyers.

Lighting

No one wants to buy a home they can’t see. If you have areas of your home that are dim or don’t get enough light, it’s a good idea to put in some lighting solutions. For entryways, which can be difficult to bring light to, we suggest a sun tube. It’s a smaller version of a skylight that lets natural light from the roof into that originally dark area. You might also consider recessed lighting in other hard to reach areas, as they are unobtrusive and easy to install, but give you much needed light to show off your home, well, in its best light. If you don’t already have dimmers, those are a great way to entice buyers too, since they can easily create a mood.

Energy Efficient

Another great way to add value to your home is to make it more energy efficient. A new HVAC system, or energy efficient appliances like washers and dryers, will catch buyers’ eyes immediately. More and more informed buyers are asking about the utilities because that is an important part of day-to-day life, and you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg just for air conditioning or washing your clothes. Most people’s worst fear is buying a home that has outdated or broken heating and cooling systems, so if you can show them that your system is new, and energy efficient, they’re likely to snap it up.

Flooring

Ugly flooring is a quick way to deter buyers. If you’ve got carpeting that’s old and shaggy, or maybe an outdated color, you might replace it, rip it up, or at least get it professionally cleaned. We encourage homeowners who have wood floors to leave those be. Most home buyers these days will appreciate wood flooring since it’s so durable and it looks great even when it’s a bit weathered. If you plan on ripping up carpeting, we recommend you install real wood or engineered wood flooring, since it is so popular.

Kitchens

The single, most favored room in any home is a kitchen. It’s the heart of most homes, and it’s often the first thing buyers want to see. If you can do anything to your kitchen, do this. While we don’t advocate a complete renovation in all cases, if you plan on being in your home for a while before you sell, a kitchen renovation will really up your home value. But if that’s not in the budget or your time frame, just do a couple of the updates. Matching appliances promote continuity, and make sure all cabinets and cupboards look like they’ve been well taken care of.

Add a Room

In some cases, all it takes to turn a 3 bedroom house into a 4 bedroom house is a closet. If you have a home with a den, you might consider turning that into another room by just installing a closet. Or, if you’re looking for a larger scale renovation and you have the space, you could just add on another room. Some additions are more cost effective than others, but if you stick to your budget, another room or bathroom is sure to increase home value.

Entry

Your home’s entrance, meaning the front door, the front step, however people enter your home, is the first thing buyers will see. Make sure it’s cleaned up and current. If your front door is aging, replace it or consider repainting it. If the walkway is cracked, fix it up. Even minor issues can be fixed quickly and easily, and will go a long way to making your home seem like the perfect choice for your buyers.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms take a lot of wear and tear. There’s lots of moisture, which can encourage mold growth, and break other things down quickly. If you’re looking to increase your home value, putting a little TLC into your bathrooms is a great way to do it. And you don’t have to do a complete remodel either. In many cases you can freshen the room up with just some new grout and caulk. Make sure you keep up on cleaning too. Even if you’re not selling right away, the more you clean, the less chance there is for stubborn buildup and grime. If you do decide to do a bigger remodel on the bathroom, a shower with body sprays will get you an 85% return. Heated floor are also a very luxurious option that can up your home value in no time.

General Upkeep

The absolute best thing you can do to sell your house is to make sure it’s well maintained. Anything you’ve been meaning to get to, like that broken step, or the crack in the wall, should be addressed quickly. You don’t want buyers to walk in and say “what’s that?” Plus, when you keep up on maintenance, you’re less likely to run into bigger problems like mold or water damage. Make sure everything is shipshape before you have an open house.

While there’s always renovations you could do to your home, if you’re planning on selling this isn’t the time to do a complete overhaul. Instead, make a few simple adjustments, and maybe one bigger renovation, that are sure to attract buyers. After all, you’re not renovating for you anyway. It’s easy to get carried away and keep adding and adding, but just focus on the little things, like making sure your home is spotless, landscaping is attractive, and everything looks well put-together for the open house. If you follow the tips above, your home is sure to be picture perfect!

If you’ve decided that one of the options above might work for you, say you need a new front door, want a wall knocked out, or are considering an interior renovation, the experts at True Value Home Pro can help you with your project. We’re a full service home improvement contractor, which means we can tackle anything you need done. If you’re looking to increase your home’s value with a renovation or addition, True Value should be your first call!