17 Ways to Add Value to a Property Before Listing It for Sale

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If you’re getting ready to list your property for sale and are wondering how you might be able to attract a higher buying price, you’ve probably considered most of the basic and obvious renovations that can be done to enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal and functionality. However, with so many ways to make a property more valuable, it’s unlikely that most homeowners will be familiar with every possible project and tactic that can be used to increase the appeal of their listing. With that said, here’s a comprehensive list of 17 ways you can add value to your property before putting it on the market:


  • 1. Install a Solar Panel System


Market research indicates that homes with solar panel systems tend to fetch higher offers than homes that are only tied to the grid. Semper Solaris, a popular solar company in Los Angeles, has experienced tremendous growth recently as the solar installation industry is booming in the city. If there’s one place where the property values are always high, it’s L.A. 

As one of the leading providers of solar installations in Los Angeles – a city where the average home costs $600k – they offer a versatile range of solar panel systems and installation services. If you do decide to go this route, and your home happens to be located in the L.A. area, you should probably contact Semper Solaris, as they’re one of the best solar companies in Los Angeles.  


  • 2. Upgrade the Kitchen


The old real estate saying “the kitchen is king” still reigns true in today’s market, as the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen is still one of the most influential factors that sways the opinions of prospective buyers. By investing in kitchen renovation projects, you could easily receive a return in value, especially if you’re handy enough to do some of the labor yourself, or you have help with it. 

Things like new appliances, countertops, and cabinets can go a long way in dramatically improving an interested party’s perception of the home. Of course, don’t forget the flooring and the lighting, as those components also set the mood. 


  • 3. Optimize Floorplan Efficiency


Often times, you can improve the perceived value of a living space just by optimizing what you already have. Floorplan optimization is a commonly overlooked method that can be used to significantly enhance the visual perception of a home. In essence, this just involves looking for ways to make areas look more spacious or to add more convenient functionality or navigation to the home. 

In some cases, you might find that knocking down a wall or adding a new one is the perfect step needed to give your home’s interior some extra flare or roominess. In general, try to go with a floorplan that makes the home feel big while also making easy to move from room to room. 


  • 4. Add a Pool


Adding a pool is a sure-fire way to add value to a home because only a small percentage of homes have in-ground pools, and this is a widely sought-after feature. The cost of installing an in-ground pool is around $15,000-$20,000, but taking this step can boost your home’s value by $25,000-$50,000 in some markets, especially in areas where there aren’t many other homes with in-ground pools. 

Surrounding the pool in an insulated sun room for temperature control, adding heated vents to the pool, or throwing in a jacuzzi are some other steps you can take to boost the value even more. Likewise, consider adding a slide, patio furniture, or wet bar, and look for ways to make the pool area fun and welcoming. 


  • 5. Upgrade the Landscaping


Landscaping has a huge impact on the initial impression that your property will leave with potential buyers. A poorly kept yard that lacks visual appeal is one of the most avoidable ways to hurt the perceived value of your home. 

Just a few simple steps like adding bushes, trees, and a nicely manicured lawn can have a huge impact on not only increasing the home’s value, but also motivating more people to take interest. You could also easily add a mini pond and waterfall setup for some additional tranquility, and throw in a few bird feeders to keep the sounds of nature close by. 


  • 6. Make it a Low-Maintenance Home


If you’ve ever browsed real estate listings then you know that one of the perks that many agents to try to push is “low maintenance.” Buyers like this perk because it tells them that they’re not going to be encountering a bunch of random expenses over time. 

The most important step to take when trying to make a home low maintenance is making all surfaces easy to clean and stain resistant. That usually means opting for hard floors, although there are some carpets that can effectively repel stains. 


  • 7. Make it an Energy-Efficient Home


Energy efficiency is an increasingly important topic for today’s homebuyers because everyone wants to save on their utility bills. Of course, if you heeded the first tip at the top of this guide, then your home would be powered by solar panels, which is about the most energy efficient foundation you could possibly have. 

However, beyond sourcing your power from solar panels, you can also try to reduce the amount of electricity the home uses through appliance upgrades, better insulation, and utilizing natural sun light to reduce dependency on artificial lighting. The ability to state that your home is energy efficient will go a long way in making your listing more appealing to a growing segment of the market that is specifically looking for this perk. 


  • 8. Make it a Smart Home


Within 5-10 years, the vast majority of new homes being built will have smart home features that let inhabitants easily control every aspect of home maintenance and usage. In such a market, you won’t want to be left with a home that isn’t a smart home. 

Being an early adopter and making your property smart now is a great way to stay ahead of the curve and make your listing stand out as a smart home listing. With a growing number of techie millennials shopping for their first home, the trend towards a reality where every home is a smart home seems evident. 


  • 9. Add an Extra Room


Adding a bonus room, office, or sub room to your home can seem like a costly endeavor but in reality, you can get it done for $10,000-$20,000 depending on the kind of room you want constructed. 

In terms of how much value this adds to your home, there is no set value increase that will apply to every scenario, but generally having an extra room will always pay for itself or generate a decent rerun by making your property worthy of consideration for people who need larger homes, as those buyers are typically willing to pay more. 


  • 10. Switch to Hard Flooring 


This goes back to making the home low maintenance. However, switching to hard floors such as laminate, linoleum, tiles, or hardwood is also a great aesthetic choice that will usually appeal to higher-paying buyers more than a standard carpet. 

Plus, if you wind up not selling the home for a while, hard floors are easier to clean and won’t need to be replaced again before the sale date due to wear and tear. Furthermore, another tremendous benefit about taking this approach for adding value is that most people can perform flooring installations themselves with a bit of practice, so taking the time to learn this skill could give you a highly cost-effective way to renovate your properties. 


  • 11. Add a Barbecue Area, Deck, or Patio


Building a barbecue pit, deck, or patio in the backyard is a great way to provide a festive setting for negotiations during walk-throughs and showings of the home. Buyers with families will love these kinds of features and will definitely pay more to have a home that comes with some entertainment built-in. 

Plus, these projects are relatively cheap and should cost no more than a few thousand or some DIY labor and materials. In terms of how much value this can add to your property, these additions won’t have a set percentage increase, but instead will serve to make the home more interesting for premium buyers, which is exactly who you’re trying to attract. 


  • 12. Give it a New Paintjob


Painting the exterior and interior of the home is still an excellent way to make it look brand new, and is something that every homeowner or real estate agent should consider doing right before staging the home for sale. In real estate, making a home look perfect is all about getting rid of the eyesores. 

If your paintjob hasn’t been redone in a while, there are bound to be small spots and imperfections. You might not think that’s a big deal, since the new buyer would easily paint the house the themselves after the sale, but even a few small aesthetic flaws can turn off an interested buyer and cause them to look elsewhere. Premium buyers don’t want fixer uppers – they want inherent, turnkey luxury that doesn’t need any touch ups, and that starts with the paintjob. 


  • 13. Don’t Forget the Bathrooms


In a way, bathrooms are like the sidekicks to the kitchen – they have cabinets and a sink, and generally the flooring is hard and consists of tiles or linoleum. Just like the kitchen, bathrooms play a pivotal role in buyer perception because we psychologically associate bathrooms with rest and relaxation. 

A beautiful bathroom can work wonders to persuade a buyer into choosing your home over another because this is where much of the home’s unique character and comfort shine. Adding a walk-in shower is a great way to make your home more appealing to seniors who don’t want to step over the rim of a bathtub to get into the shower. 


  • 14. Add a Detached Workshop or Garage


Constructing a detached workshop or garage is another quick and easy way to add value to your property. If you’ve got some handy skills and a few helping hands, you could assemble a building kit to put up a carport, workshop, garage, recreation room, shed, or other external structure on your property that will add the perks of extra storage space and overall appeal to your list. 

Of course, this is a particularly pertinent improvement if your home doesn’t already have a garage or external buildings of any sort, as that could make your property less appealing than those seen in nearby competing lists. 


  • 15. Stage the Home


Staging the home – setting it up like a movie scene to make it look absolutely perfect – isn’t exactly a value-adding renovation, but it is a critical aspect of last-minute interior design that could possibly make or break the perception of prospective buyers.  You have to remember that many people are looking for their dream home or a place where they can raise their family, so giving off a serene, pristine, fairy-tale-like impression is essentially what you’re aiming for. 

You want interested parties to be in awe when they do a walk-through of your home. If you don’t already live in such an extravagant manner, spending a few thousand to furnish and decorate the home to its full potential might be worth the expense if it means it will land you a premium buyer. 


  • 16. Make the Exterior a Fun Place to Be


There are so many ways to make the outside of your home a fun place. You could start by adding a basketball/tennis court and/or volleyball net. Of course, a playground and gazebo are other options that will make your yard a great place for family gatherings. While these might seem like minor improvements, oftentimes it’s the little things that convince buyers, especially when family opinions come into play. 


  • 17. Invest in Great Listing Photography


What’s the point in spending the time, money, and effort to perform any of the above upgrades if you’re not going to make them readily apparent in the property listing? Find a great photographer or take the time to use a great camera to visually document your new and improved home for the listing gallery. 


  • You Might as Well Aim for the Highest Possible Sales Price


When you consider how big of a commitment buying and selling a home can be, it makes sense to take a few extra steps before listing the property to ensure that you’re getting an optimal return on your investment.


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