Many homes in America are undervalued. In some cities, like Pittsburgh, the average home is selling for $175 less per square foot than the projected market value.
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Pricing a house for sale is a nuanced operation. Both under-pricing and over-pricing can have a negative impact on the buyer.
You want your home’s value to match its selling price.
There are ways to help make the two converge, and we’ve got them. Here’s how to increase home value for appraisal.
1. Curb Appeal
Don’t overlook the power of curb appeal just because it’s outside your home’s living area. Buyers will judge your house by its cover. In fact, a lackluster exterior can deter buyers from ever coming inside for a showing.
Step back and assess your home’s appeal objectively. Take a black and white picture so you can see your property for what it is, no distractions. What stands out?
Are there cracks to repair? Is there mildew on the siding? Is the landscaping modest and attractive?
Take some time making those cosmetic repairs. Even if they don’t impact the structure of your house, they can change its salability.
Invest in a landscape refresh. Choose some modest, low maintenance shrubs and groundcover that accent your home’s features. Consider hiring someone to reshape hedges and manicure your lawn.
Plant a shade tree. As it matures, it will reduce cooling costs and provide a shield against winter winds. A more energy efficient home is a great selling point.
Above all else, tidy things up. Sweep up debris and knock down cobwebs. A messy first impression is off-putting and can cause a negative perception of the whole house.
2. Un-Pop the Ceiling
Popcorn ceilings are the bane of buyers everywhere. The defect-disguising treatment, popular from the 30s all the way to the 90s, took forever to die. It’s ugly, and it’s got to go.
Luckily, it’s a pretty easy fix. Buy a remediation kit from your local home improvement store, including a softening solution and a scraper, and knock it out in a weekend. Make sure to wear the proper protective gear.
Once you get the ceiling damp, the soggy popcorn scrapes off with little effort.
3. Create Some Breathing Room
Maximize your square footage by making your house feel bigger. Even homes with a large footprint can feel cramped by heavy finishings.
Consider paying for professional staging. They know how to emphasize the positive aspects of your home and flatter the less desirable. They’ll lighten up window treatments and arrange furniture for the best fit.
Let the sun in and get your clutter out. All the mementos that make a house a home muddy the visual space for potential buyers.
4. Paint Everything
A can of paint will give you the biggest return for the smallest amount of effort, and it doesn’t take a professional to make it look good. It’s one of the only things in life that’s not too good to be true.
Paint the walls the current trendy neutral. Touch up paint on doors and baseboards. If your painted trim is a color, paint it white.
This is not the time to experiment. Keep it classy and neutral. If you’ve seen House Hunters, you know people have a hard time seeing past bold colors.
5. Rip out the Carpet
Wall-to-wall carpet might have read luxurious in the 1970s, but now it feels cheap and dirty. If your house has rooms with worn carpet, rip it out.
If the floors underneath the carpet are undesirable, replace the carpet with something new and inoffensive. Wood-look tile is attractive and low-maintenance. Vinyl flooring has come a long way.
If you don’t have the budget to change the floors, hire a professional cleaner to work on stains and get rid of allergens.
6. Bring Things up to Date
Chances are, there are outdated elements in your home you’ve stopped noticing. Even small updates in the bathroom and kitchen can go a long way to increase value.
Change the vanity in your bathroom or paint it to give it new life. If your walls are covered with old-fashioned tile or your tub is an aggressive color, have them reglazed. This saves you the money and headache of ripping everything out and starting over.
Head to the kitchen and replace a stained sink or a low-end faucet. You don’t have to buy all new appliances. Instead, just pick one. Install a gas stove or go for a new dishwasher.
Tile a backsplash. A simple subway tile backsplash will update your kitchen and make it look more expensive. Subway tiles are easy to DIY and are the perfect cheap home upgrade.
Check your light fixtures. Is your house filled with builder-grade dome lights? Switch them out for some affordable flush mount drum lights.
7. Work on Your Honey-Do-List
All the little things you’ve learned to deal with over the years are glaring defects to a new set of eyes. Check as many boxes as you can off of your honey-do list. A house in need of many minor repairs can feel neglected.
Walk through your house and make note of anything defective. Get a handyman for a day or tackle the job yourself.
Tighten up hinges, and fix the broken step. Reattach the finial on the banister. Fill in scratches in the floorboards, and patch up dings and holes in the walls.
Clean everything and then clean it again. Hire a cleaning company to do a deep clean. Your house will look fresh and smell even fresher, ready to impress potential buyers.
Have You Figured out How to Increase Home Value for Appraisal?
Is your house ready to sell or do you have some work to do? Now that you know how to increase home value for appraisal, get started on your projects list. Focus on touch-ups inside and visual appeal outside.
Do you need help coming up with attractive landscaping that complements your house? We can help! Contact us to get a free quote for design, installation, and maintenance.