Kitchen upgrade

Energy Star certified appliances may help your home sell faster.

When you’re getting ready to sell your house, you start noticing every outdated fixture, seeing each dent and ding in your trim, and remembering every renovation project you considered doing during your time in the home.

When this happens, it can be easy to dive into the fixing-up process without stopping to think about which repairs or replacements will actually be worth the time and money you put in.

While you may think that completely redoing that 1980s bathroom will be a sure way to improve your home’s selling value, the truth is that lower-cost projects tend to have higher return on investment (ROI) than bigger-ticket items, like a kitchen or bathroom renovation, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report.

So what should you be focusing on when you’re getting ready to sell your home? Here are four foolproof ways to increase your home’s value without wasting time or money.

Touch up exterior paint

Touching up your exterior paint on spots that are flaking or dull will give your home an instant curb appeal boost for a relatively small investment. Take it a step further by repainting your shutters or front door—according to HomeLight, painting your front door in a bold color like yellow, powder blue, or forest green can make a real statement against a more neutral exterior. What’s more, exterior painting has an average ROI of more than 90 percent.

Exterior painting has an average ROI of more than 90 percent, a no-brainer when selling your home.Click To Tweet

Clean and refresh, rather than replace

You might be surprised what a thorough cleaning and paint refresh can do for your home. Rather than ripping out old cabinets and replacing them with new ones, which can cost upwards of $8,000, according to Houselogic, reface or repaint them for less than half the cost.

Brighten your sinks and tubs by sprinkling them with baking soda, then spraying with a vinegar and water solution. This can immediately improve the look of an old, worn-looking sink, and you can always replace the hardware for greater improvement.

Add exterior lighting

It’s amazing how something as simple as adding functional, attractive lighting to outdoor spaces can make your home seem instantly more inviting. Fairy lights around your patio, motion-sensitive mounted lighting, and small solar lanterns along walkways can all be added for $100-$300, and have an excellent ROI.

Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances

According to NerdWallet, energy-efficient upgrades can have a significant effect on home value. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay 2-3 percent more for an energy-efficient home. If you have some cash to spare, upgrade your dishwasher, refrigerator, and other kitchen appliances to Energy Star certified versions (opt for stainless steel for the most contemporary, neutral look).

High-efficiency washing machines and dryers are also highly attractive to buyers, as they use at least 50 percent less water and energy than older models.

When you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s value before selling, it’s important to know what’s worth tackling, and what’s best left alone. By focusing on smaller projects with a high ROI, you’ll not only increase your home’s selling price, but you’ll ensure that your repair dollars are stretching as far as possible.

This article is a guest post provided by Elizabeth Pandolfi at


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Shawn Swisher

Shawn is an Affiliate Broker with Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you need help buying or selling a home in Knoxville or the surrounding area, just ask Shawn!
Shawn Swisher
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