Home Improvements to Help You Sell Your Home

When the time comes to sell your home, you can maximize your selling price and even make the sale happen sooner by doing some things to make you home show better.

Sellers need to determine the cost effectiveness of each planned improvement. One must judge the potential return based upon what they need to do to add value. Not all home improvements add enough value to justify doing them. Ask your real estate agent if you are unsure.

Here are some projects that can add value to your home:

• Paint the interior
• Paint the exterior or pressure wash if the paint is good
• Remove any popcorn ceilings
• Upgrade or paint the garage door and make sure it works nicely
• Fix the driveway
• Trim and groom your landscaping. Fertilize your lawn and foliage.
• Clean in and around the home thoroughly including windows and frames
• New exterior and/or interior lighting
• Replace or thoroughly clean carpet if it is still in good condition
• Remove carpeting and refinish any existing hardwood floors
• Update kitchen – new appliances and/or sink if it’s in bad shape
• Refinish kitchen cabinetry
• Rejuvenate your bathroom
• Do any necessary electrical work to avoid home inspection problems
• Clean your swimming pool and make the water crystal clear
• Stage with attractive furnishings

The list above includes most of the important facets of home preparation for sale. Some of these items may not apply to your situation. Other items may not be deemed cost effective. Only you and your real estate agent can determine what is best in your situation.

First Impressions

Nothing is more important than the first impression and that starts with curb appeal. When a prospective buyer arrives at the house you want them to love what they see upon first look. That means landscaping, driveway, garage door and the home’s exterior.

When they enter the home they should already have a good feeling about what they saw while walking up to the door. You must create an attractive look throughout the home so when they enter they get that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Make it Clean

Your home should be spotless inside and out. Hide all personal items and store them neatly away. Everything should be clean and in place as you might find in a nice hotel room. The kitchen should be spotless with all appliances wiped and shiny and everything put away. The windows should be crystal clear, and you might consider refraining from cooking food that leaves smells in the house for prolonged periods of time.

Be sure to dispose of any odds and ends that you may have stored around the exterior of the house.


Ambiance in the home is important. You might open windows if the weather is nice. Clean your skylights and remove any old curtains that might block light and look unattractive. Replace any old ceiling lighting fixtures. Some are not expensive and will look a lot better than some legacy chandeliers. Remove all eyesores and maybe add a modern ceiling fan. Your agent will know best how to spend money toward a faster sale and better outcome.


Always remember that curb appeal starts with your landscaping and garden and improvements there will benefit you over the long term. Maintain your yard by:
• Watering regularly
• Using fertilizer to make growth vital and colorful
• Brush off cobwebs everywhere
• Rake leaves
• Remove weeds
• Trim trees and foliage

If you don’t have a regular gardener, consider hiring one for the duration of the sale, especially during seasons when leaves are dropping regularly and your grass is growing quickly.

Think green when it comes to your landscaping. Plant low-maintenance landscaping and native drought-tolerant plants. Buyers look for these details.

Uncover Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are very popular now and many homes have them. Often, they were covered up by a prior owner or by you. Tear out that old wall-to-wall carpeting and let the hardwood floors shine through. Sometimes they need refinishing which might look a whole lot nicer than a re-cleaned carpet. Often, in older homes, the hardwood used decades ago is nicer than almost anything you can buy now.

If you don’t know what you have, you can pull up a corner of the existing carpet to determine what is under there and its condition. If you are handy and willing you might do this yourself, but it is not for the faint of heart. The result will surely help the value of your home while helping it sell fast.


There is nothing like fresh paint. It covers dirt, stains and cracks and adds tremendously to the curb appeal. It goes a long way when getting your home ready to sell. It is one of the most cost-effective home improvements and a fresh coat of paint, both inside and out, will add value to your home by providing a clean and updated look. Consider a neutral color so it will appeal to a larger number of buyers.

If your existing paint is in good shape, then you might want to pressure wash the house to make it like new. Pressure washer rentals can be found in most cities and towns.

Update Your Kitchen

Nothing adds more value than an attractive, well-equipped kitchen. This can get pricey so you must use a value equation to determine how to go about this. Upgraded dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators and stoves will increase the value of your home. Stainless steel is very popular now and is a neutral color for potential paint color changes by the buyer.

Electrical Work

Don’t overlook your home’s electrical wiring and outlets when thinking of selling. A healthy home electrical system is crucial in order to pass a home inspection. If you suspect something out of the ordinary, it’s often less expensive, and wiser, to have your own electrician do the work. This will avoid any bad marks on the home inspection that can slow down the sale. Check your appliances, your sprinkler system, doorbell and exterior lights. Fix any non-performing item. Some repairs can be done yourself.


Nice bathrooms are a close second to a nice kitchen in adding value and speeding sales. Buyers adore clean, bright bathrooms.

Outdated, dull and leaky bathroom fixtures can really detract from the overall look, style and feel. A bathroom refresh is often something you may do yourself. But no matter who does it, be sure your bathrooms are as fabulous as you can make them. Change fixtures, knobs and pulls, fix leaky faucets, poor drainage and corroded drains and chrome. Consider re-finishing cabinet doors and fronts as well as re-grouting your shower or installing a tile backsplash. These fixes always add value to your home.

Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Who invented these? Popcorn ceilings are universally disliked. They may not ruin your sale, but they tend to date and devalue a house. You can do it yourself with online videos to watch or have a pro do it.

Caution should be taken if the ceiling contains asbestos. Have a professional take a look before you begin any removal.


Home staging is more and more popular because it can increase the value of your home and help it sell faster. Your agent can help you with this. Your home will be more appealing to a wide range of buyers. A staged home can make a big difference in how much a buyer will offer. Do it yourself or have a professional take care of it. It often pays off in the end.

Removing personal items, rearrange furniture to open up a room, hanging neutral-looking artwork and bring in some flowers.

Your attention to these details will have a great impact in your home’s sale and price. e time of selling your home. If you must move fast, choose time-effective items. If you have a few months, do all you can to maximize your selling price.

Call Mary Beth to learn more. 310-571-1358