The 9 Most Cost-Effective Improvements You Can Make Before Selling Your House


If you’re selling your house soon, take some time now to get it ready to get the best price. Although you may need to address some fundamental repair issues first, these simple, cost-effective improvements can increase your home’s appeal in prospective buyers’ eyes and set the tone for a quicker and more lucrative sale.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes before listing your home for sale. This means looking at your space to see what can be enhanced or cleared out. Most of the time, simple, affordable repairs can go a long way.

That said, here are the nine most cost-effective improvements you can make before selling your home.

1. Landscape Your Yard

A buyer’s first impression of your property is its outside. Many buyers are seeking low-maintenance front yard curb appeal, even though a patchy or overgrown yard can be a significant turnoff.

Remove anything dead and cut back anything overgrown. You can also re-sod or plant grass seeds to ensure the lawn is green and refreshed. Moreover, edging can help define spaces, so consider doing that.

While a plain lawn can look attractive, adding a few shrubs and perennials will make your home much more inviting. And the best thing is you can do this yourself – there’s no need for costly professional landscaping.

Follow the planting instructions, and keep it watered and mowed. An effective garden rake can tidy up the borders, and a well-placed knife can edge your area like an expert.

Buy a few bright annual flowers at a garden shop to add some colors. Then, please choose whether you will plant them directly into the landscape or add them to pots.

2. Paint the Walls

Many home sellers choose to paint the wall as this is the lowest cost improvement with the highest return rate. The entire property may benefit from a great coat of neutral paint, and prospective buyers adore recently painted walls..

The lighting and other aspects of the property, such as the flooring and cabinetry, may make choosing paint colours challenging. This is why it would be a good idea to ask an expert for colour ideas.

If hiring a professional is out of your budget, consider neutral colors like beige, cream, or grey. This way, potential buyers can easily imagine their ideal home as neutral colors act like canvas.

3. Update Your Bathroom

A bathroom that looks old can age a home. However, with an update here and there, it can be as good as new. For example, you can change countertops as they offer a great return on investment.

You can also get new tiling, new cabinets, frameless glass doors, or new fixtures for the tub and sinks. See what needs to be improved the most and start from there. Just remember that minimalism and neutral colors do wonder.

4. Enhance Your Flooring

Painting, repairing flooring, or replacing carpets can refresh the entire house. If you have several rooms with different floors, you may want to invest in new flooring for all rooms to create a seamless feel.

Buyers usually prefer wood or even faux-wood floors. But if you can’t afford this investment, new carpeting is the next best thing. Again, try to go as neutral as possible.

5. Update Lighting

Replacing lighting throughout a home is one of the most cost-effective updates you can do regarding appearance. While you look at ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, and pendant lighting, remember to keep colors consistent with your house’s hardware.

For instance, you can mix metals like bushel nickel with chrome or copper and oiled bronze, but refrain from mixing gold and silver.

6. Replace Outdated Window Treatments

Torn window shades, dreary draperies, and bent mini-blinds won’t help you sell your house faster. You’ll want to replace them with white mini-blinds or simple wood blinds – you can never go wrong with classics. And this simple fix can refresh your house in just two days.

7. Upgrade Your Kitchen

Many prospective buyers prioritize the kitchen over other rooms. That’s why it’s essential to make it as appealing as possible. And that doesn’t have to be expensive – a few low-cost cosmetic upgrades can go a long way and encourage buyers to purchase your home for a higher price.

While a complete kitchen renovation sounds excellent, it can be costly without generating significant returns. But with just a few dollars, you can do some of the following upgrades and get the best resale value.

  • Paint: Kitchen cabinets, baseboards, trim, entryway, and molding often require a fresh coat of paint. Remember that blue kitchens deliver excellent results, so keep that in mind when choosing a paint color.
  • Replace old appliances: You can make your kitchen look fresher and more functional by replacing dated dishwashers, humidifiers, microwave ovens, and air-conditioners.
  • Clean the countertops: Scan your countertops for cracks, gout issues, nicks, etc. and do what you need to fix them. For example, you can sand and oil them to eliminate the butcher block. But if you need to replace them, consider granite, as many potential buyers like such countertops.

8. Declutter

Hiding your home’s good features behind piles of clutter will make it harder for potential buyers to picture themselves living there, which can postpone the sale. So, remove anything you won’t be using for the next several months and send it to a storage facility, such as:

  • Seasonal clothing,
  • Old toys,
  • Holiday decorations
  • Sports equipment.

Also, remove furniture that looks less-than-perfect or makes a room feel crowded.

9. Install Closet Systems

Crowded closets stuffed with clothes and household items make it look like there isn’t enough storage space. To solve this issue, go through closets and store anything you don’t need. Once empty, install a closet system and refill it with just enough stuff, so it looks organized but not stuffed.

Little Goes a Long Way

These cost-effective home improvements can immediately change the buyer’s perception of your house and increase its value. And the best part is that none of them are as expensive as complete renovations.

Nevertheless, you may still need to look at your home’s basic needs and check if all the big things are working well. This is vital because buyers have expectations, including buying a well-maintained and safe property. For example, if you’re kitchen remodeling, but your roof leaks, you need to fix the roof before tackling minor cosmetic updates.

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