13 easy things you can do to increase the value of your home, according to real-estate agents

Benjamin C Tankersley/For The Washington Post via Getty ImagesThe easiest way to spruce up your home is to get rid of clutter, according to real-estate agents.

If you’re looking to sell your home, you probably want to do everything you can to sell it at the best price possible.

Business Insider asked real-estate agents about the easiest ways to increase a home’s value. Several of them said getting rid of clutter is the easiest way to spruce up your home, while others advised upgrading your light fixtures, removing rugs and carpeting, and replacing your bedding with a simple white duvet.

Here are 13 easy things you can do that will increase the value of your home, according to real-estate agents.


1. Get rid of clutter.

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Several real-estate agents said getting rid of clutter is the easiest way to spruce up your home.

“The simplest and least expensive thing that you can do is rid your home of clutter,” Deborah Ribner of Warburg Realty told Business Insider. “A buyer needs to be able to envision their things in your home, and when a home is too cluttered … it’s hard for them to do that. Think bare minimum.”

Ribner recommends clearing off bookshelves, coffee tables, kitchen counters, and dishes and beds for pets. You should “think of your home as being as much of a blank canvas for buyers,” she said.

Rachel Lustbader of Warburg Realty suggested getting rid of old, worn furniture as well.

“Buyers want to see the future in their new home, not the past,” she said.


2. Put away family photos.

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Several agents recommended putting away your family photos when you’re trying to sell your house.

“Remove all family photos, children’s artwork on the refrigerator, and declutter,” Julie Brannan of Compass said. “You want them to superimpose their own circumstances on the home, not look at yours.”


3. Switch out your cabinets and appliances instead of redoing the whole kitchen.

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“If your kitchen is dated and appliances are worn out but you don’t want to redo the whole kitchen, consider a cabinet refacing and change out the appliances,” Christopher Totaro of Warburg Realty told Business Insider. “It’s a plug-and-play upgrade. It’s as easy as calling your local home-center to schedule a consultation.”

He added that it’s possible to add a new countertop without replacing the cabinets.


4. Deep clean your home.

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It may sound like a no-brainer, but making every nook and cranny of your home sparkle can work wonders, according to Robin Kencel of Compass.

“The number one game changer that costs nothing but a seller’s time and elbow grease is a top–to-bottom clean-out of closets, pantries, playrooms and other rooms that tend towards accumulation,” Kencel told Business Insider. “You are selling space – be sure the buyer doesn’t have to work too hard to find it.”


5. Upgrade your light fixtures.

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Eric Mendelsohn of Warburg Realty told Business Insider that upgrading your home’s lighting will “reveal the best features and unique assets.”

And putting in brighter, cooler light bulbs can seem more modern, according to Ribner of Warburg.

“If you don’t have it in your budget to upgrade or renovate your bathrooms, then at least make some little improvements like updating hardware, changing light switch plates around light switches and around outlets and even think about changing out those old yellow-light emitting bulbs for some brighter and cooler ones,” she said.


6. Add a fresh coat of paint.

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“A fresh coat of paint makes a home feel like new, even when it isn’t,” Ribner said. “When a buyer sees paint chipping, and cracks in the paint, it can be a turn off to a potential buyer as well as an invitation to look for other imperfections. Also, 10 years ago, the colour yellow might have been all the rage but now when a buyer sees a yellow living room, it screams out that it’s dated.”

Domingo Perez Jr. of Warburg Realty recommends a two-tone effect, “where the ceiling, crown moldings and a few inches below are all white and the remaining walls a shade darker. The effect screams ‘rich,'” he said.


7. Get rid of rugs and shine up your floors.

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“Remove those area rugs and treat your floors to a sand, stain, and buff job,” Perez Jr. said. “Your floors will look new and the comments you’ll get will be worth every penny.”


8. Swap out your door hinges.

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“Everyone has contractor-grade doors and stainless steel hinges,” said Perez Jr. of Warburg Realty. “Set your house apart by installing solid wood doors and splurge on decorative hinges. They are like adding cufflinks to a shirt, everyone notices!”


9. In the bathroom, replace your toilet seat and touch up the grout.

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“In the bathroom, a fresh toilet seat and repairing the grout in the tiles, floors, and tubs are relatively easy upgrades,” Mendelsohn said.


10. Spruce up the outside of your home.

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“Make your home look pretty from the street – power wash your deck or your front porch and even the footpath in front of your home,” Ribner said. “Think about planting a few pretty colourful flowers outside around the front door. And don’t forget when you do that interior paint job to put a fresh coat on the outside of your door.”


11. Switch out your bedding for a simple white duvet.

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“For your bedroom(s), for under $US100 on Amazon, you can buy yourself a crisp white set of sheets and duvet or comforter,” Ribner said. “You may love your floral bed cover with the doves on it but there’s a good chance that whoever comes through your home to buy it will not. Rule of thumb, the simpler the better.”


12. Replace your kitchen counters.

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One of the cheapest ways to increase your home’s value is by changing the kitchen countertops, Joshua Sloyer of Compass told Business Insider.

“There are many fabricators out there that can come in and put a white or light grey to give a more modern feel,” Sloyer said. “White countertops and glass backsplash make a big difference! Bonus: This is a great tip because these contractors are licensed and insured and typically do the same procedure day in and day out.”


13. Focus on your kitchen and bathroom.

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“Kitchens and baths sell homes,” Perez Jr. said. “So if you’re up for a renovation, the return on this investment is high.”

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