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Whether you plan on selling your house in the next few years, or if you just want to make some much needed updates to your home, renovations can be a great way to increase the value of your property.

However, not all updates will pay for themselves. Some upgrades that we want for personal reasons, such as building an addition for more space, could come back to haunt you if it isn’t to the taste of potential homebuyers in the future.

So, in this article, we’re going to talk about five simple updates to your home that have the best chance of increasing its selling price. That way, when you do finally decide to move on from your home, you can sell for the price you know your home is worth.

Improve your lighting

You don’t have to be a carpenter to increase the value of your home. When a potential buyer enters your home for the first time, two of the first things they’ll notice are the lighting and the spaciousness of the room.

Since lighting is an essential part of creating spaciousness, increasing the former will also increase the latter.

So, what are some ways you can increase lighting?

  • Add recessed lights to the ceilings of your home. It will open up space in the ceiling and allow for a greater number of lights overall.

  • Add lighting under the cabinets in your kitchen

  • Use large mirrors for decoration to increase lighting and create the illusion of spaciousness in smaller rooms

Painting for the modern homeowner

Home decor trends come and go. Not long ago, wallpaper was the go-to choice. However, the surest way to increase the value of your home is to use bright and neutral colors since, statistically, these appeal to the largest number of people.

Fresh paint and good lighting work together to make your home seem more polished and modern. And, for just a few hundred dollars, you can paint your whole home.

Remember, however, that it is easy to scuff up the walls in your home. So, it’s a good idea to paint closer to the date you think you’ll be trying to sell.

Low maintenance landscaping

While there are people who enjoy mowing the lawn on Saturday morning, those people tend to be few and far between. One thing potential buyers will consider when viewing your home is how difficult it will be to take care of the yard.

Adding an irrigation system, removing unnecessary obstacles, and planting hardy bushes and plants will woo potential buyers.

Upgrade the most outdated room in your home

If your home is in need of serious upgrades, it’s best to start with the room that needs it the most, especially if that room is a bathroom or kitchen. Replacing an old vanity or putting new tile down can be simple ways to spruce up a bathroom that’s looking dated.

Fix the little things

If you have a couple of years before you plan to sell, that gives you time to fix the small issues that you’ve noticed and will continue to notice. Maintaining your home now will give you less to worry about when the time comes to sell, and you don’t want to be dealing with leaking faucets when that day arrives.


Promoting a house to potential buyers sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to stir up interest in your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you promote your residence to buyers.

1. Upgrade Your Home's Curb Appeal

Amazing curb appeal is essential, particularly for a seller who wants to differentiate his or her house from other available residences. If your house boasts outstanding curb appeal, it is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. And as a result, buyers may be more likely to request showings to view your home in comparison to other available houses in your city or town.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and remove dirt and debris from exterior walkways. Also, devote time and resources to repair any damaged home siding.

If you require assistance with home exterior enhancements, you can reach out to local contractors as well. In fact, these professionals can help you transform your home's exterior from drab to fab in no time at all.

2. Create an Engaging Home Listing

An engaging home listing makes it easy for buyers to learn about your home. It is clear and concise, and as such, enables buyers to determine if your home matches their expectations.

To craft an engaging home listing, it often helps to make a list of your home's features. If you include relevant information about your house in your listing, you can teach buyers about your residence.

In addition, you may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing. With high-resolution images, you can show off the true beauty of your house to potential buyers.

3. Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If you create a home listing, you can share this listing on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. By doing so, you can make it simple for buyers to learn about your residence.

Don't forget to share your home listing with family members and friends as well. If loved ones can access your home listing, they can share it with others and help you promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible.

For a seller who is worried about generating interest in his or her home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. If you employ a real estate agent, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling cycle.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote a house to buyers in any housing market, at any time. He or she will develop an in-depth plan to showcase your residence to prospective buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will help you analyze any offers to purchase your home and ensure you can optimize your house sale earnings.

Use the aforementioned tips, and you can promote your residence to potential buyers and speed up the home selling journey.


Receiving multiple offers on a residence is a home seller's dream come true. However, if a home seller faces a tight deadline to review several homebuying proposals simultaneously, making the right decision may prove to be exceedingly difficult.

Ultimately, evaluating multiple home offers at the same time can be quick and seamless – here are three tips to ensure that you can review various home offers and make an informed decision.

1. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective

Although you probably won't be able to find out the identity of a homebuyer who submits an offer on your home, you may be able to learn about the homebuyer's perspective if you study a home offer closely.

For example, a homebuyer who wants to close on a residence as soon as possible may face a time crunch. And if this buyer has fallen in love with your home, he or she may do anything possible to acquire it.

On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits a lowball proposal may be looking for a bargain. Therefore, this home offer may fall far below your initial expectations, and you should not hesitate to decline or counter the proposal.

2. Analyze the Housing Market

Operating in a buyer's market or a seller's market may dictate how you proceed with multiple offers on your house.

If you've listed a house in a seller's market, the number of homebuyers likely exceeds the number of first-rate houses that are available. As such, you may want to accept a home offer in a seller's market only if it matches or exceeds your expectations.

Comparatively, if you're working in a buyer's market, there likely is an abundance of high-quality residences and a shortage of homebuyers. Thus, you may be more inclined to accept a home offer that nets you the biggest profit – even if the home offer falls shy of your initial home selling expectations.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to approach multiple offers on your home, it certainly pays to consult with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent can help you examine various offers and decide which home offer – if any – is right for you.

By hiring a real estate agent, you'll gain an expert ally who will support you throughout the home selling journey.

Typically, a real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and ensure you can set a competitive price for your residence. He or she also will host home showings and open houses, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and do everything possible to help you get the best price for your home, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and queries. And if you have questions about a home offer, your real estate agent is available to respond to your questions at any time.

Take the guesswork out of evaluating multiple offers on your home – use the aforementioned tips, and you can determine the best course of action based on the home offers at your disposal.


The home selling process should be quick, particularly for those who offer great houses at competitive prices. However, problems may arise that prevent an individual from enjoying a seamless home selling experience.

When it comes to selling a house as quickly as possible, it generally is a good idea to be proactive. That way, you can resolve any potential home problems before you add your house to the real estate market. A proactive approach to selling a house also may enable you to minimize the risk of encountering time-intensive problems throughout the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you sell your house.

1. Perform a House Inspection

A home inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after his or her offer is accepted on a house. Conversely, a home seller can perform an inspection prior to listing a residence to identify home issues and fix these problems right away.

During a house inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. He or she then will provide an inspection report that offers comprehensive insights into a residence's condition.

A home seller should assess the results of an inspection report closely. By doing so, a seller can prioritize myriad home repairs and alleviate these issues. And as a result, a seller can prevent such problems from potentially stopping a home sale at a later time.

2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

The price that a seller sets for his or her house can have a major impact on how quickly the home selling journey progresses. If a seller establishes an aggressive initial asking price for his or her residence, this individual may boost the likelihood of a fast home selling journey.

Remember, homebuyers are searching for residences that deliver the ideal mix of quality and affordability. If you price your residence competitively based on the current housing market's conditions, homebuyers may choose to pursue your house over others that are available. Then, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers on your house that are at or above your residence's initial asking price.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're worried about encountering time-intensive problems during the house selling journey, there is no need to stress. For those who hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to address any potential home selling problems.

A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the home selling journey. He or she is happy to provide expert recommendations as you proceed along this journey. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Want to accelerate the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit the risk of encountering potential hurdles that otherwise could slow you down as you sell your house.


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Selling your home in the spring doesn’t mean you have to actually wait until spring to prepare your home for a sale. After the holiday whirlwind of festivities and guests, it’s time to get your house in order this winter for a successful spring sale.

I asked two pros, Mary Cook, president of interior design firm Mary Cook Associates in Chicago, and Judy Dutton, deputy editor of realtor.com, for advice on what you can do now to get ready for spring showings and open houses. Here’s what they had to say.

Let natural light flood the rooms. “The best way to prepare your home for a spring sale is to open it up, lighten it up and brighten it up,” says Cook. For instance, she recommends raising shades and opening curtains to let in natural light. If your decorative valances have seen better days, remove them.

“There was a period of time when people were doing a lot of decorative valances,” says Cook.  “They are not operable window treatments, and they are just hanging there. After six years, they become faded by the sun, and they are dust collectors, so take them down.”

Renovate what's outdated. “If your kitchen or bathroom screams 1980s and may give buyers flashbacks, they should be updated before you sell,” says Dutton.

For example, updating fixtures like bath faucets, towel racks and cabinet pulls can say a lot about your sense of style.

“Just know that on most renovations, you won't recoup all of your costs dollar for dollar,” Dutton says. “For instance, a major kitchen remodel will cost an average of $66,000 but will only add about $41,000 to your home's value with a 62% return on investment.”

Think small with renovations. “Rather than replace the kitchen cabinets, just replace the doors or repaint the cabinets instead,” says Dutton. “Rather than replacing the whole tub, reglaze it to make it look as good as new. If you're going to spend serious money on anything, focus on the exterior of your home, since this is the very first impression buyers get of your home and it counts.”

For instance,  she says one renovation that pays for itself and boosts curb appeal is a garage door replacement, which will cost around $3,600 but net a 97% return on investment.

“Stone veneer outside the home is yet another upgrade that has a 95% return on investment,” says Dutton.  

Cook says make sure all your lightbulbs are operable to show your home in its best light.

“There might be a chandelier where one or two bulbs are out, and you don’t really notice it,” she says. “Go around and check all your lamps and light fixtures and make sure that all your bulbs are working.”

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Paint with whites and neutrals. A new coat of paint is a relatively cheap and easy way to give an instant facelift to your house.

“If the colors currently on your walls aren't all that flattering—for instance, yellow bathroom walls, what were you thinking?—now's your chance to make it right,” says Dutton. “Generally, the best paint colors to pick are neutrals, whites and grays. Anything more vivid might appeal to a few buyers but not a wide range.”

Fix anything broken. Cook and Dutton recommend getting your home pre-inspected so you know everything that's wrong upfront and repair accordingly.

“You'd be amazed how tiny flaws you've ceased to notice in your own home like a loose doorknob or creaky window can stick out in buyers' minds and make them think, 'What else is broken here?’ " says Dutton, adding: “Be sure to make any repairs, particularly to things buyers will notice, but also other things you just know must be done. After all, any home buyer who makes an offer will likely get your home inspected, and home inspectors scrutinize about 1,600 features from the foundation to electrical and beyond. So if there are any issues, they will come to light eventually, and you'll have to fix them anyway. So you may as well get a jump on that, rather than give buyers any wiggle room to negotiate.”

Repairs take time so it's smart to get these things rolling now so your home is in great shape by spring.

“Another bonus to tackling these repairs now is that many repairmen are cheaper in the winter—particularly for summery things like HVAC maintenance, roof repairs, gutter cleanings and window replacement,” says Dutton.

Pay attention to odors. The smell of pets, cooked food and tobacco can kill a home sale. Textiles such as carpet and throw rugs hold odors, says Cook. She recommends having your carpet professionally cleaned before putting your home up for sale. In the spring, the scent of fresh cut flowers can add a natural fragrance to your home.




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