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1.       Spend an Hour with a Pro

Invite a interior designer over to check out your home. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour, they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

2.       Make it more attractive

Curb appeal — how your home looks from the street — is your first chance to make a good impression. A home’s exterior needs to make a prospective buyer want to walk through the front door. Make sure existing landscaping is well-maintained. If your yard seems dull in comparison with your neighbors, consider planting flowers or repainting the front door.

When selling a house, once the exterior looks good, focus on the living areas, kitchen and bathroom. When these rooms are outdated, they can keep a property from reaching its highest valuation.

3.       Paint, Paint, Paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So, buy a few gallons and get busy!

4.       Cut Energy Costs

The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers’ homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run. Consider double-paned windows, enhanced attic insulation, LED lighting and efficient appliances to increase home value and entice energy-conscious buyers.

Schedule an assessment with a certified energy auditor or your utility company to determine where your home is wasting energy and which upgrades will save you the most money.

5.       Make it smarter

Safety-enhancing gadgets top the list of “smart” technologies buyers want in their new homes. These safe and smart devices include thermostats, fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras, door locks and lighting. While smart tech does not always increase home value, it does add appeal. Those who see themselves as “techies” are more likely to pay more for these items though. Unlike replacing the roof or renovating the bathroom, you can usually install these devices yourself for about $1,000 or less.

6.       Visually Increase Your Home’s Square Footage

The size of your home dramatically affects the value, but square footage is not the only space that counts. Visual space or how large a home feels also counts. The key is to make each room in your house feel larger. Replace heavy closed draperies with vertical blinds or shutters to let light in — a sunny room feels larger and more open. Also, try adding a single large mirror to a room to visually double the space. Finally, clear the clutter. The more clutter, furniture, and plain old stuff you have in a room, the more cramped it will feel. For less than $400, add an attractive shelving unit to an underused space and store your clutter out of sight.

7.       Get Help with Getting Organized

Hire a professional organizer for a day. They will show you how to organize various rooms in your home and teach you tricks for keeping it organized. How does this increase your home’s value? Simple — a clutter-free home appears cleaner and larger, which is more attractive to homebuyers and therefore more valuable.

How to pay for improvements that increase value

When thinking about how to increase home value, remember updates rarely recoup 100% of their cost, but they can make your family more comfortable and even help your home sell faster.

If you cannot pay for home improvements in cash, be sure to choose the right method of financing for you. Options include:

·         Credit card

·         Personal loan

·         Home equity loan or line of credit

·         Cash-out refinance