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How to Increase the Value of Your Home By Up to $60,000 in One Weekend

Whether you paint your front door or add extra potted plants, these home improvement ideas can turn your house from not to hot and market-ready in less than 48 hours.

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Embracing Latin American seniors in backyard of Miami homeJohnnyGreig/Getty Images

A little effort goes a long way

If you’re thinking of selling your home, a little sweat equity now can help you get top dollar once you list it. “Buyers just don’t want to put any work into a home right now,” says Heather Truhan, Realtor and team lead at Art of Home – eXp Realty in Denver. “With home prices rising, people have to work more to afford them. That translates into wanting their homes move-in ready.” But in just a weekend, you can knock out several home-improvement projects that could dramatically increase the final sale price. (Thinking of putting your home on the market? This is the best day of the year to sell your home.) Even if you’re not planning to sell anytime soon, why not enjoy the upgrades yourself? “Some simple things really go a long way,” Truhan says.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

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Boost your curb appeal

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Leverage the power of first impressions, and make your house feel inviting to visitors as soon as they approach. “Great curb appeal can add as much as 10 percent to your value,” Truhan says. With the national average sales price hovering between $325,000 and $350,000 (and nearly double that in major cities like Denver), we’re talking about more than pocket change.

Start with landscaping. Pull weeds and any dead vegetation, and keep any grass watered and trimmed. Truhan also recommends adding colorful flowers and other perennials. If you don’t have the time or resources for a full landscaping re-do, place some bright potted plans or other lush greenery by the front door. For more inspo, check out 20 cheap landscaping fixes that look expensive. Even little things like adding new house numbers and outdoor lighting can brighten the exterior. Truhan also suggests adding a new locking mailbox like this one from Mail Boss, now that we’re all having so many packages delivered. “A power wash is another great idea to freshen up the exterior,” Truhan says. “Just be careful not to wash your paint off.”

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Grab a paintbrush

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“It’s amazing what paint does,” Truhan says. “You can take your living room from drab to fab with $150 of paint and supplies, and add $1,000 to $2,000 in value.” Crisp whites and neutrals are in right now, Truhan says, and green is starting to trend; on the other hand, earth tones are dated. Be sure to paint all areas, like the crown molding and trims for an extra clean look. Use a stable ladder, like this one from Little Giant Ladder Systems Store, for reaching the high areas. Not enough time for a whole-house refresh? Try painting the front door with a color shown to make your house sell for an extra $6,000.

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Give your kitchen a mini-makeover

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A kitchen remodel is one of the most cost-effective improvements a homeowner can make, recouping up to 81 percent of its value, according to NerdWallet. Obviously, you can’t do a whole remodel in a weekend, but you can indulge in a mini-makeover. Start by painting cabinets. Then add trendy black or oil-rubbed bronze hardware to the cabinets and a new, modern statement faucet like this one from Vigo to your sink. Swap out your builder-grade pendant lights for something more eye-catching and, voilá, your kitchen has a whole new look. Before you begin, make sure you’re not planning any of these kitchen trends that are on their way out.

“If you spent $1,500 updating a 1990s oak kitchen, you’d add at least $5,000 in value instantly,” Truhan says. If you’re feeling extra-ambitious, add a backsplash. An investment of $300 in tile (look for classic subway or on-trend farmhouse styles) and $1,000 in labor could reap an additional $3,000 in your sales price, Truhan adds.

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Give your bathroom a facelift

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You can also give your bathroom a mini facelift with a few small changes. Truhan suggests installing a new dual-flush, low-flow toilet like this one from Glacier Bay, with different push buttons for, er, different outputs. “People seem to love the sense of control,” Truhan says. “Let the bathroom be an area where you are the queen (or king) of big flush or little flush.” Next, upgrade the overall look with paint and new cabinet hardware (are you sensing a theme here?), new lighting, and a new faucet and showerhead. While you’re at it, organize your bathroom by getting rid of these things.

Truhan says she estimates that with a $1,200 outlay for these upgrades, a homeowner could see an extra $3,000 to $5,000 of value—and that’s on the conservative side.

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Declutter your closet

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Clutter anywhere detracts from a buyer’s ability to see a home as their own, Truhan says. And just shoving everything in the closet won’t do the trick. In fact, a clean and organized closet can add $3,000 to the offer price, she says. She recommends installing wardrobes as well as organizer racks, adjustable-height shelves, and additional rods. “Take a one-rod closet to two or three,” she suggests, and add shelves for purses, towels, and anything else that routinely gets shoved into any available crevices. Truhan also suggests installing pegboards like these from Azar Display for hats, purses, and scarves. Then learn 10 simple ways to stop clutter elsewhere in your bedroom. If you’re feeling really inspired, you could use some of the same strategies and products in the garage, and let your buyer imagine it as their own pristine man cave or she-shed.

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Create flex space

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“With COVID-19 [affecting us], one of the biggest value-adds you can do is to create flexible office and craft spaces that are tidy and warm,” Truhan says. “People have never spent so much time at home, and have never needed versatile spaces more—more spaces to hang out, work, craft.” She suggests dividing large, open spaces with a screen or a sliding barn door, like this one from Homlux. Adding shelving and dedicated storage for office and craft supplies can also help. Then outfit your office with everything you need to be successful working from home. On average, expect to add up to $5,000 to your sale price—maybe more if it’s super organized with built-in storage.

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Stage the outdoors

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If you have a patio, deck, or other outdoor gathering space, make sure it’s inviting. “Where the weather is moderate all year, people love it and it can add a lot of value,” Truhan says. Accessories such as pillows, cushions (we like these from Pillow Perfect), candles, and fire pits are relatively inexpensive and easily brighten up a space. “Dressing it up probably adds $3,0000 of value if you’re including the furnishings in the sale,” Truhan says, “but just the perception of being able to use the space more is huge.” Learn 12 ways you can add a pop of color to freshen the overall look. Remember to attend to smaller details, too, Truhan advises, like fixing wobbly steps and putting a fresh coat of paint or stain on deck railings.

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Get smart

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Smart technology is on almost every home buyer’s list these days, Truhan says, starting at the front door. Bluetooth- or Wi-Fi-enabled keyless locks like this one from Schlage let homeowners come and go without the hassle of remembering keys. Better yet, you can give each family member or frequent trusted visitor to your home his or her own code, and deactivate any code at any time. Wi-Fi-enabled garage door openers will alert you if you accidentally left the garage door open. “It’s huge for buyers in a city,” Truhan says, because open garages are one of the biggest opportunities for theft. Other great smart-technology add-ons include a video doorbell system and a smart thermostat. These are the other things you need to have a smart home. Truhan says most homeowners will see at least a dollar-for-dollar return on the cost of these items, and perhaps as much as double, resulting in an overall home value increase of $500 to $1,000.

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Make minor repairs

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You know how every time you climb the stairs you vow to tighten that hand railing “soon”? Well, now is the time. The same holds true for patching small drywall holes, changing burned-out light bulbs (use a long extension pole with a suction cup, like this Docazo store one for those hard-to-reach recessed lights), and cleaning windows. You may have gotten used to these small flaws, but they will stand out to buyers, and make them wonder what other repairs you’ve neglected. On the other hand, these are the 9 repair requests buyers should not ask you to make.

Having your windows professionally cleaned only costs about $150 to $200, and can add $500 to your home’s sales price alone, Truhan says, and “definitely improves the overall feel of the house.”

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Laurie Budgar
Laurie Budgar is a certified speech-language pathologist (MS, CCC/SLP) who spent over a decade helping people with brain trauma, stroke, MS and Alzheimer’s regain language, speech, swallowing and cognitive skills. She contributes regularly to RD.com, where she writes about health, pets and travel. Previously, she was the editor at Momentum, the magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Under her direction, the magazine won its first-ever Folio awards for best complete issue and best article. She has covered health, nutrition and lifestyle topics for Healthline, Parenting, LIVESTRONG.com, Delicious Living, Natural Solutions and more. She has written about travel destinations and profiled small businesses for AAA Colorado, American Way, the University of Denver and Fortune Small Business.

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