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How to add value to your home and increase your selling price by up to 35%

How to add value to your home: A man paints blue wooden shutters on a white house
(Image credit: Getty)

With a little bit of knowledge around how to add value to your home, you could net yourself a tidy profit when it's time to sell. While many homeowners feel reluctant to spend lots of time and money doing up their property before selling, investing in the best home design software makes it all so much easier and can help you create, plan and visualize your design before you spend a cent. 

If you’re worried that undertaking a big home renovation project is the only way to increase the value of your home, let's put that fear to bed right now. According to research by Consumer Reports, everything from lowering your home’s energy costs to adding a fresh lick of paint can boost the sale value of your home by up to 35%. Sounds good, right?

Then let's take a look at how to add value to your home, from tiny tasteful touches, to big passion projects to take a home from drab to fab.

How to add value to your home: Update your appliances

Choosing to replace a few big-ticket items in your home can make a big difference. Before you splash out, figure out where your home sits in the market and use this to influence your appliance choices. For example, if you live in a medium-income neighborhood, don’t choose high-income appliances. While it's easy to think that more expensive appliances boost the value of your home, the sale price for your property will be in line with other homes in your neighborhood.

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home and a huge selling point, so choosing one of the best side-by-side refrigerators or even a gorgeous French-door refrigerator will appeal to families and anyone who loves having all their favorite fresh and frozen foods organized and neatly stored.

How to add value to your home: A stylish white kitchen featuring all-white countertops and appliances

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Depending on the energy supply for your home, next up would be to consider getting one of the best electric ranges or swapping out your existing one for something sleeker. A decent built-in stove can help your home fetch more money and if you match it with your fridge, opting for a timeless stainless steel or black stainless steel look, it creates a sleek and streamlined appearance that’s always a huge hit.

Lastly, consider upgrading your laundry room with one of the best front load washers, which can also be stacked to save on space in smaller homes. Appliances are often part of price negotiations in home purchases. Look for one with a good Energy Star rating to increase the overall sale value of your home, and if you want to save on budget, check out the best washer dryer combos too.

Add value to your home with landscaping

There’s no doubt about it, a well-landscaped home has a significant advantage over a home with no landscaping, according to research conducted by real estate company HomeLight. Over 75% of the top real estate agents across the United States estimate that well-landscaped homes are worth anywhere between 1%-10% more than homes with no landscaping.

Even better? A study conducted by Virginia State University discovered that potential buyers attach 5%-12% more value on landscaped homes based on plant size and design sophistication than they give to homes that have had not been landscaped. Investing some time and energy into curb appeal can result in a significant return on investment (ROI) when you come to sell, and the good news is it doesn’t have to cost you the earth. 

How to add value to your home: A woman with black curly hair pots a purple flowering plant in her garden

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One of the simplest and most effective landscaping tools is also one of the cheapest - proper lawn care. Getting rid of lawn weeds, keeping hedges in shape, and investing in one of the best gas lawn mowers to make sure your grass always looks neat and tidy, are some simple steps you can take to make the grounds surrounding your home look appealing to passersby.

If you want to step things up a notch, why not invest in some of the best landscape design software? These amazing 3D landscaping tools can help you design and cost your outdoor project before you begin, giving you a feel for what the end result might look like. 

Create a stylish patio area

When learning how to add value to your home, creating a stylish outdoor living spaces rank as the number one special function room among consumers, according to the results of a recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey. 

With just 4% of realtors in the National Association of Realtors advising homeowners to add a new patio before selling, we don’t recommend you splash out lots of cash to build one. That being said, if you already have a patio there are some simple ways you can spruce it up to help add value to your home. A great starting point is to invest in some of the best solar lights to help bring a cozy atmosphere to your outdoor space.

How to add value to your home: An image showing a patio area with lights

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While we’re on the subject of cozy, the best patio heaters are also a winner for creating warmth and allowing you to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space even when the temperatures begin to dip. Add in a few nice plants and some comfortable patio furniture and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous outdoor living area for all occasions.   

Make your home energy efficient

When it comes to the sexy sell in 2021, nothing beats energy-efficiency. We kid you not! Prospective home buyers are becoming more environmentally savvy and more conscious of their energy footprint, so showing you’ve put some thought into that can give the selling power of your home a serious boost. 

One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste is to ensure your home is well insulated. Adding insulation into your attic, basement, and walls will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and as a bonus, it can net you a nice 116% ROI

Next on the list, and something that could shave an estimated 30% per year of your energy bill, is investing in one of the best central air conditioning units or upgrading your existing one if it’s older than 12 years. Look for one with a high Energy Star rating as well as a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of over 15 for maximum savings.

New flooring also adds value to your home

How to add value to your home: An image of a living room interior with hardwood floors and fireplace in new luxury home

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Imagine that you’re a prospective buyer walking through your home and consider how they might feel as their feet hit your floor. Do you have old and thinning carpets that make you want to keep your shoes on? Are your tiles chipped? Does the vinyl look faded or dingy? Rather than crossing your fingers and hoping a prospective buyer won’t mind these things, consider updating them.

When it comes to ROI, hardwood floors reign supreme. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, 54% of home buyers are willing to pay more for hardwood floors, around $2,000 more. Don’t have hardwood floors and are unsure if they’ll suit your house? Use of one of the best interior design software programs and give yourself a visual before you make a decision. If hardwood floors are outside your budget, get the look for less with vinyl and linoleum flooring. 

Reconsider that swimming pool

Adding in a swimming pool is bound to increase the value of your property, right? Well, that depends. In some areas, swimming pools make homes harder to sell as a lot of people don’t want the maintenance and costs that come with a pool.

The average cost to install, equip and fill a 600-square-foot pool starts around $30,000, and then you have your monthly utility costs and the chemicals needed during the summer to keep it clean. So many potential homeowners see pools as a liability rather than a luxury.

How to add value to your home: Large swimming pool and patio in a secluded back yard.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Under the right circumstances though, a swimming pool can boost the value of your home by as much as 7%. Homes with pools sell well if you live in a neighborhood where most other people have them; where the climate is warmer, or the pool doesn’t take up too much of the yard.

If you’re wondering whether there’s any difference between pools and the best hot tubs in terms of home value, there isn’t. They tend to fall into the same camp insofar as some buyers will find them appealing while others will be put off by the required maintenance. Another option is to consider installing one of the best swim spas for the best of both worlds. 

A fresh coat of paint adds value to your home

Painting the exterior and interior of your home can work wonders when it comes to driving the price up according to a survey by HomeGain that looked at the top DIY home improvements that add value to your home. 

Sprucing up the interior walls results in a 107% ROI while painting the exterior will net you a 55% increase. For the interior steer clear of bold colors and go for warm neutral shades instead - think beiges, tans, and grays, as these colors go with just about anything, helping buyers to more easily envisage themselves living there. 

How to add value to your home: A man dressed in white overalls holds a large paintbrush dipped in pink paint

(Image credit: Getty)

Can’t afford to paint every room in the house? Focus on the ones that look the most tired and in need of brightening up or rooms that are quite small, as light paint can help them appear larger.

For the exterior, stick to no more than three colors. A clean and fresh look that almost everyone loves is a neutral gray for the body, white for the trim, and a pop of color on the door. Go for mass appeal to increase your chances of a sale.

Increase the square footage of your home

One of the biggest questions homeowners often find themselves asking is whether they should renovate before. Research by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has found that home remodeling spending is on the rise, up 7.5% in recent years, but is investing in trying to fix everything really worth it? Unless your home poses a health and safety risk, experts suggest your  dollars are best spent on projects that improve the appearance. 

Top real estate agent Peter Clark, suggests talking to your agent to figure out which cosmetic fixes will bring the biggest benefits. “There are very specific areas that increase the resale value of a home. They are, most of the time, found by region rather than nationally." Says Clark. "For instance, for a mid-range priced home in Portland, if you put attic insulation, you should be able to recoup 145.6% of your investment. If you do a major kitchen remodel for a medium-priced home in Portland you can expect to get back only 80.9% for every dollar you spend."

If you do decide to renovate, The National Association of Realtors ranks kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations as having the greatest ROI of interior projects. For exterior projects, new roofing, vinyl windows and garage doors come out on top.