By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Simple, affordable do-it-yourself projects such as cleaning and decluttering and just adding lighting can help increase a home’s resale value, according to HomeGain’s annual home improvement and staging survey.
HomeGain, an online real estate marketing resource, surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals in creating a list of the top do-it-yourself home improvement projects that offer the biggest return for your buck.
Overall, the home improvement projects that boasted the highest price returns were updates to the kitchen and bathroom--an estimated $3,435 price increase for resale. Painting the outside of the home ($2,222 price increase) also offered one of the highest returns, according to HomeGain’s Home Sale Maximizer study.
Here are six do-it-yourself projects--all under $1,000--that made HomeGain’s list, as well as the estimated increase to the home's price at resale for each project.
1. Cleaning and decluttering: Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organize closets and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean.
Estimated return: $1,990
2. Light and bright: Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light from the windows.
Cost: $375 cost
Estimated return: $1,550
3. Staging: Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, including artwork and playing soft music in the background.
Cost: $550 cost
Estimated return: $2,194
4. Landscaping: Punch up the home’s curb appeal in the front and backyards by adding bark mulch, bushes and flowers, and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured.
Estimated return: $1,932
5. Repair electrical or plumbing: Repair any leaks under the bathroom or kitchen sinks, remove any mildew stains, and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the home’s electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, and replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.
Estimated return: $1,505
6. Replace or shampoo dirty carpets: Steam-clean carpets, replace any worn carpets, and repair any floor creaks.
Estimated return: $1,739