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6 Do-It-Yourself Updates That Can Increase Home’s Value By More Than $10,000

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Simple, affordable do-it-yourself projects such as cleaning and decluttering and just adding lighting can help increase a home’s resale value, according to HomeGain’s annual home improvement and staging survey.

HomeGain, an online real estate marketing resource, surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals in creating a list of the top do-it-yourself home improvement projects that offer the biggest return for your buck.

Overall, the home improvement projects that boasted the highest price returns were updates to the kitchen and bathroom–an estimated $3,435 price increase for resale. Painting the outside of the home ($2,222 price increase) also offered one of the highest returns, according to HomeGain’s Home Sale Maximizer study.

Here are six do-it-yourself projects–all under $1,000–that made HomeGain’s list, as well as the estimated increase to the home’s price at resale for each project.

1. Cleaning and decluttering: Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organize closets and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean.

Cost: $290

Estimated return: $1,990

2. Light and bright: Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light from the windows.

Cost: $375 cost

Estimated return: $1,550

3. Staging: Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, including artwork and playing soft music in the background.

Cost: $550 cost

Estimated return: $2,194

4. Landscaping: Punch up the home’s curb appeal in the front and backyards by adding bark mulch, bushes and flowers, and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured.

Cost: $540

Estimated return: $1,932

5. Repair electrical or plumbing: Repair any leaks under the bathroom or kitchen sinks, remove any mildew stains, and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the home’s electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, and replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.

Cost: $535

Estimated return: $1,505

6. Replace or shampoo dirty carpets: Steam-clean carpets, replace any worn carpets, and repair any floor creaks.

Cost: $647

Estimated return: $1,739

Comments
  1. These tips are fantastic! Another couple of projects that I saw a lot of people do when I produced My House Is Worth What on HGTV is painting and using molding. These projects can add significantly to the value of the home too since they help the home’s presentation. Just make sure to pick a paint color that is appealing and not too taste specific or dark.

  2. This is excellent advise. Sellers often expect to sell their home in a week or less, but make the mistake of listing it before they clean it. I wish there was a statistic for how many property’s would have sold if it looked good before it was put on market. Great article!!! Presentation is everything… and clean that bathroom!!!

  3. Great tips for homeowners and investors selling homes in the current market. Every bit helps and a sure way to invest capital for a significant return.

  4. This is an excellent guide that we will utilize with clients to help us illustrate with who wish to sell properties or even increase rent values for properties that they ask us to manage. People rarely realize renting a home in a competitive market requires a home to have a better curb appeal than similarly situated homes

  5. Good stuff! Now…to convince all the home sellers of how important this is. I know many Realtors who won’t take listings if the sellers aren’t willing to put in the work to get the property ready. It’s a very competitive marketplace, and the smart Realtors know that they don’t want to sit on a “toxic” listing that eventually expires because the sellers weren’t willing to make the simple changes you’ve outlined above.

  6. Excellent tips! I feel all 6 of these tips are a must for all sellers or lessors and should be done prior to placing their home on the market. These tips should be in a REALTORS® checklist for homeowners in preparing and staging the home for sale or rent.

    Thanks for the tips!

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