Updated Oct 13, 2022
When we think of increasing resale value, big reno projects are often prioritized, but there are minor tasks that can be done with just as much effect. Here are 64 things—big and small—you can do this weekend to increase your home’s resale value.
1. Declutter your entire home
Simply removing clutter and organizing rooms in your home can make a home appear larger and boost its resale value. According to Allison Chiaramonte, real estate agent at Warburg Realty, “We are very visual as buyers and usually make a decision about whether a home could be the ‘one’ within seconds. Clutter and mess distract us from seeing the space and instinctively turns buyers off.” Allison adds, “This decluttering subconsciously signals that there is lots of storage room and that the house is well cared for.”
2. Use neutral colors
Neutralizing a room with a quick coat of paint will give an air of sophistication to your space. “While you may love teal walls or the red duvet that makes your master bedroom a sanctuary, not every buyer will! What’s more important is that many buyers are unable to mentally ‘whitewash’ a room or ignore its décor, so spending a weekend creating a blank canvas for them is money and time well spent,” says Allison.
3. Add white accents
In addition to neutral colors, white accents can make any space appear bigger and brighter. A quick trip to your local home goods store for some simple home furnishings (specifically pillows, bed linens, and towels) is a quick and easy way to increase your home’s resale value.
4. Remove pet hair
You’ll want to keep your home as clean as possible and that includes removing pet hair from your furniture and floors. Use a high quality vacuum with a HEPA filter to thoroughly clean your carpets and rugs and a microfiber dry mop to get rid of pet hair on hardwood and tile floors. Wipe down solid furniture and upholstery with a damp microfiber cloth.
5. Make sure your home is free of odors
It may be a given that prospective home buyers won’t be akin to smelly odors, but even strong candles and air fresheners can be distracting. According to Sharon McRill, owner of The Betty Brigade, a relocation management and organizing company, “A fresh breeze flowing through the room is the best air freshener you could want.”
6. Refinish your kitchen cabinets
Cabinet refinishing is an efficient way to freshen up your kitchen or bathroom without investing too much time and money into the project. Rather than replacing your kitchen cabinets all together, cabinet refinishing allows you to keep your existing cabinets and simply upgrade them by changing the finish or paint color. Usually all that’s required is a bit of sanding, stripping, and painting or staining.
7. Upgrade your kitchen backsplash
The right backsplash can completely transform the look of your kitchen. When choosing a kitchen backsplash, ask yourself these five questions: 1) What is the style of your home? 2) How big is your budget? 3) How big is your backsplash area? 4) How often do you cook? 5) How do you want to feel in your kitchen?
8. Replace kitchen hardware
Swap out old cabinet handles and drawer knobs with updated hardware. This is a subtle, simple, and inexpensive way to give your kitchen a facelift in under an hour.
9. Invest in energy-efficient appliances
Energy-efficient appliances are a main draw to prospective home buyers, as this signals lower monthly energy bills. Research published by The Appraisal Journal estimates that energy savings add 20 times the annual savings to the value of your property. According to Koki Adasi, Senior VP at Compass Real Estate, you should replace all light bulbs with ones that have a cohesive wattage level. Try compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs—they use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs do.
10. Regrout bathroom tiles
Grout that’s crumbling and mildew-stained is not only unattractive, it’s unsound and will continue to crumble unless regrouted. This task will cost between $20 and $100, depending on the type of grout you use, and will take just a couple of hours to complete.
11. Caulk your shower or tub
The caulk in your shower or tub provides an important barrier against water damage in your home. If allowed to seep behind waterproof finish materials, water can reach the wood framing and subfloor materials in your bathroom and lead to mold and rot. Here’s your step-by-step guide to caulking your shower or tub.
12. Upgrade your toilet
If your toilet takes too long to flush, needs cosmetic repairs, or gets clogged frequently, consider upgrading to a water-saving, low-flush toilet: this type of toilet uses less than two gallons of water per flush, saving you money on your monthly water bills, and can be installed in under two hours. Consider updating your toilet and other systems with Ferguson products.
13. Install low-emissivity windows
Low-emissivity (low-E) windows can reduce energy costs by 12%–33%, making them one of the most energy efficient options for homeowners. Here’s what you need to know to determine if low-E windows are right for your home.
14. Clean your air vents
Seeing dust and grime on air vents can immediately turn a prospective buyer away. Use a hand vacuum to remove dust from your air vents and finish by wiping them down with a damp microfiber cloth. While you’re at it, consider changing your air filter—this will prolong the life of your HVAC system, reduce airborne contaminants, and lower monthly energy bills.
15. Shampoo your carpets
Shampooing your carpets extends the life of your carpets and gives you a much deeper clean than vacuuming. Before you shampoo, remove furniture from the room, vacuum the entire area, and spot treat stains. Allow four to six hours for your carpets to dry.
16. Sweep leaves off the porch
Though minor, this task will take less than 15 minutes and will leave your home’s entrance looking spotless. It’ll also bump up your curb appeal too.
17. Scrub your bathroom sinks
Set aside one hour to remove all grime and dirt from your bathroom sinks. It may seem like a basic maintenance task, but it will make your bathrooms seem that much more pristine when buyers tour your house.
18. Declutter your entryway table
People don’t want to see loose change and random items strewn about when they first enter your home. When decluttering your house, remember to organize smaller areas like your foyer entryway table and powder room.
19. Paint your home’s exterior
Lisa Larsen, managing director at Benchmark Specialist Property Managers, says, “Painting the outside of the house can be incredibly effective in increasing your home’s resale value. If you have an older-style brick home, consider getting the front rendered. This will make it look decades younger—after all, first impressions count!”
20. Paint your front door
Don’t underestimate the power your front door has on first impressions. Paint your front door a bold red or go for traditional black or white if exciting colors aren’t your style.
21. Organize your closet
According to Allison at Warburg Realty, “Clean, edited closets, kitchens, and bathrooms that aren’t overflowing with stuff allow people to truly see what makes your home special and [allows them to] take in the space (which can be hard when you’re seeing multiple homes.”
22. Purge the front hall closet
Since you’re already in the midst of organizing closets, remember to address your front hall/coat closet. This is one of the first doors home buyers typically open when they enter a home (and usually one that reveals the most clutter). Keep this closet plain and simple: store a couple of jackets and a few cleaning supplies like a broom and a dust pan.
23. Trim trees and overgrown bushes
Old and weak branches can be a safety hazard and make your trees appear less appealing. Set aside a couple of hours this weekend to trim aging or decaying tree branches.
24. Wash your windows
If you’re looking for an extremely fast way to increase resale value this weekend, clean your windows to give them additional shine. Here are two of our favorite eco-friendly ways to clean glass.
25. Pressure wash your home’s exterior
If you don’t want to paint your entire home, pressure washing your home’s exterior is one of the most noticeable ways to improve curb appeal and increase resale value. Though you can hire a professional pressure washing service to clean the outside of your house, most pressure washers can be rented for $50–$100 per day.
26. Pressure wash your driveway
While you have that pressure washer on hand, remove oil stains and dirt buildup from your driveway and brick pavers.
27. Pressure wash your roof
When people think about small changes they can do to improve resale value, they often neglect to consider areas like the roof. However, this part of your home is one of the first things people see when they pull up to your home.
According to Chris Martin, owner of DJL Services, a family-owned pressure cleaning business, “An old moss-covered roof looks old and with that comes concerns about how durable and safe it is. After a quick, cost-effective high pressure clean, it’s now looking years younger and this simple task adds thousands to the resale price of the home.”
28. Paint high-traffic areas
Though you may not have time in a weekend to paint every room in your house, you can absolutely paint high-traffic areas like your mudroom, stairs, and kitchen. Paint ranges between $15 and $50 per gallon with supplies like painter’s tape and paint brushes costing no more than $40. Consider using neutral colors for a more refreshing, updated look.
29. Put in new floors
Flavia Berys, real estate broker at Solamar Realty in San Diego, California, recommends taking a weekend to update outdated flooring with luxury vinyl plank flooring in a faux wood pattern. “It’s a very doable weekend project. You pull up the carpeting and any wood strips and tacks, then wash the concrete down thoroughly. Next, each vinyl plank is laid down like a puzzle (some styles click together, others get glued). The planks can be cut to fit corners and small spaces with sharp shears.”
Though adding new baseboard is the trickiest part since it requires cutting, most home stores will cut your baseboard for you if you bring in the correct measurements. “The finished look rivals wood tile and is practical and durable. It increases the aesthetic appeal of most rooms and makes your home more photogenic,” says Flavia.
30. Include art in your bathroom
Even if you can’t afford a full bathroom remodel (or have the time for it), small upgrades to your bathroom can still give it that wow factor. Including art in your bathroom is a quick and cost-efficient way to affect resale value. According to Lisa at Benchmark Specialist Property Managers, “Replacing the shower curtain with a brand new one and updating the mirror can help an old bathroom look much newer (and hence, more expensive)!”
31. Tidy up bookshelves
Bookshelves have a tendency to look cluttered and since one of the main tenets of increasing resale value is to make your home look as uncluttered as possible, tidy up your bookshelves.
32. Give your front steps a facelift
Exterior stairs really have the potential to contribute to your home’s curb appeal. Paint your steps an accent color or incorporate light additions for a welcoming glow.
33. Add unique lighting to your home
Updating your light fixtures can instantly make the whole house more stylish. Check out seven unique lighting brands to include in your home.
34. Style your walls
Too often, wall art is an afterthought when decorating or staging homes. But when chosen carefully, the right wall art can give add character and balance to an entire room. Get the lowdown on wall styling and what mistakes to avoid when styling your walls.
35. Touch up your flex room
If you have a den that houses all your junk and never gets used, consider turning it into a home office or exercise room. This can be accomplished by decluttering and rearranging furniture. Homebuyers view this flex space as beneficial because it’s a room that can morph depending on the buyers’ specific needs over the years. For example, it can be used as a nursery and then changed into a bedroom once a child gets older.
36. Care for your lawn
One of the first things home buyers will notice when they pull up to your home is the state of your lawn. We’ve simplified the process of taking care of your lawn by season:
37. Aerate your lawn
Lawn aerators use rows of spikes or hollow tines to penetrate the soil, cutting through thatch and breaking up compacted soil to allow air, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots of your grass. Aeration also promotes the decomposition of organic matter which can be a natural fertilizer for your lawn.
38. Clean your gutters
Gutters only need to be cleaned twice a year. Depending on the size of your home, the entire process can be completed in under an hour. View our guide to cleaning your gutters.
39. Add shade plants to your garden
Maximize your garden’s shady spots by adding a few plants that do well in low sun, partial shade, or full-shade environments. Here are seven shade plants we recommend adding to your garden.
40. Plant fast-growing trees
Fast-growing trees can increase property value and are a great landscaping addition, providing shade and privacy to your yard. If properly placed to shade windows, they can even cut indoor cooling costs by as much as 40%.
41. Eliminate hard water stains
Getting rid of those crusty, yellow-white chalk stains on your metal or porcelain faucets is simple and can be accomplished with common household products. This task should take you less than 30 minutes to complete.
42. Fertilize your lawn
Fertilizer brings much-needed nutrients to your soil and will control weeds, promote plant growth, and facilitate healthy, dense grass. Most lawns only need to be fertilized once or twice a year. View our guide to fertilizing your lawn.
43. Clean up litter off the street
If you notice any loose trash near or in front of your house, pick it up and throw it away. You want to give off the idea that your home is completely spotless—and that includes the outside.
44. Remove your popcorn ceiling
Removing a popcorn ceiling may not seem like a big change, but updating this outdated trend is sure to increase value. Visit your local hardware store for a ceiling texture softener, apply it to your ceiling, and scrape the popcorn away. Set aside a few hours for this project.
45. Get rid of weeds
46. Landscape your garden
Shrubs and colorful flowers will add curb appeal to your home and add value when you sell. Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant.
47. Get rid of pests
Not every home improvement has to be cosmetic. Make it a priority to get rid of all pests before showing your home. Check out our DIY pest control guide to get rid of ants, spiders, mice, and more. If you have a more serious infestation, call a professional exterminator to solve the issue.
48. Deep clean your entire home
For less than $400, you can hire a house cleaning service to clean all cracks, crevasses, baseboards, fans, ceilings, and corners. Even if you clean your home regularly, there are nooks and crannies that you may miss or overlook.
49. Make sure your windows are in top shape
Though a simple window cleaning will add shine to your windows, it won’t do any good if there’s lasting condensation. Most common in double-pane windows, condensation can form and cause a foggy, milky-like substance. Here’s how to get rid of condensation in double-pane windows.
50. Quiet squeaky floorboards
A few well-placed nails can quiet squeaky floorboards and make your home appear brand new. Here are some quick fixes to quiet your squeaky floorboards.
51. Fix broken appliances
Though it can be enticing to focus your entire weekend on home improvement projects that result in a visual effect, don’t forget about the little things like fixing that running toilet or repairing that dishwasher that won’t drain. These kind of fixes can go a long way toward increasing resale value.
52. Get rid of mold and mildew
Mold and mildew can cause extensive structural damage and adverse health effects if not treated properly. Not to mention, nobody wants to buy a house that smells like mold or mildew.
53. Replace loose or missing shingles
Conduct a visual inspection of your roof to evaluate whether you need to repair or replace shingles. If you’re not comfortable working on your roof, call a pro.
54. Install a water filtration system in your kitchen
This is an inexpensive addition (some cost less than $25) that homebuyers will love. Not only will this system purify your water, but it prevents homeowners from having to go out and buy bottled water at the grocery store.
55. Clean your blinds
For a simple way to increase resale value this weekend, give your blinds a quick clean.
56. Install crown molding
For a more sophisticated look, install crown molding in your home. Costing between $120 and $260 (for wood-based materials) per room, crown molding installation can be completed in a single weekend. Install crown molding where it makes the most impact, like your living room or master bedroom, to achieve maximum resale value.
57. Stain your porch or deck
A freshly stained porch or deck can instantly boost your home’s curb appeal and resale value. Though this task will likely take you the full weekend to complete, the pay-off is well worth the effort.
58. Place fresh flowers inside and out
According to Koki from Compass Real Estate, placing fresh flower arrangements inside your home is an easy way to increase resale value. Many orchid varieties require little care and can be grown indoors or out.
59. Mulch your garden
Mulch provides nutrients to the soil, reduces weed growth, controls soil temperature, and improves the look of your garden. If you prefer alternatives to mulch, try using pebbles or wood chips.
60. Invest in a sprinkler system
Invest in a sprinkler system that automatically turns on and off—this will allow homeowners to keep a lawn looking good without much work. You can buy an automatic sprinkler system at your local home improvement store.
61. Increase lighting in your house
Adequate lighting can make a big difference in your home, creating the illusion that your house is larger, cleaner, and brighter. Pull your drapes to let in more natural light.
62. Incorporate window planters
Window planters filled with bright, colorful blooms can instantly make your home more inviting. Browse your local garden nursery for flower and plant options.
63. Reglaze the bathtub
This is a great way to make the bathroom look like it was recently remodeled. Bathtub reglazing kits can be purchased at most home improvement stores and cost around $300.
64. Stage your home
In a competitive real estate market, home staging has become a popular way to increase a home’s selling price and sell a house faster. This may take a full weekend to complete—and may require a professional stager—but the effort to maximize your space and make it look its best will be worth it.
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