People buy homes that look beautiful, clean, spacious, and organized. Keeping your home in good shape (even if you’re not ready to put it on the market) will make it more valuable when you’re ready to sell.
Let’s talk broad strokes first: prospective buyers immediately notice a home’s curb appeal (landscaping, home exterior, driveway, etc.). Next, buyers walk inside the home and notice if everything looks clean, fresh, and/or new. That means a new coat of paint on the walls, new (or working) kitchen appliances and countertops, freshly cleaned carpets, and refinished floors. Keeping the place uncluttered will also go a long way in making the home feel organized and much larger.
Here are 5 painless everyday habits that can help maintain your property’s value.
Just list it!
Create a master list of items you notice need fixing. List what needs to be fixed, cleaned, decluttered, and beautified. Be sure to break the list down into manageable everyday tasks. Prioritize the order of importance and revise it as needed. Pick a time every day to check off 1-2 items.
Just fix it!
Start with bathroom and kitchen plumbing, especially toilets, sinks, and tubs. Ensure the drains are unclogged and faucets are working properly. In general, capture hair before it makes a mess of your drain.
Next, change smoke alarm batteries and furnace filters, eliminate dryer lint, and cover electrical wires or anything that can pose a potential fire hazard. Do a task each day. For broken kitchen and laundry room appliances, call a reputable professional repairperson.
Just scrub it!
Floors and walls generally need a lot of TLC. Best to always leave your shoes at the front door to prevent black marks on the carpet (and be sure to place felt pads underneath your furniture). Always clean up unsightly stains and unpleasant odors as they happen. You can also rent a carpet cleaner twice a year from your local home improvement or grocery store to thoroughly clean carpets. Do it just after the new year when the holidays are over, and again at the end of summer when kids have tracked a lot of marks from the outdoors.
Next, tackle the walls. Buy a melamine foam sponge to clean dirt, grime, and scuff marks from the walls as they happen. You’ll also want to erase excess pencil marks from hanging artwork. Magic!
Just nix it!
As a “stuff” society, we accumulate more than we need. Clutter is never good for increasing your home’s value. Take some advice from the experts: the most efficient way to declutter is to start with one room in the house, grouping similar items. That way, you can see what’s easy to eliminate.
One day, go through your kitchen, beginning with cabinets. Eliminate old pots, mugs, containers, and canned foods. Then tackle the bedroom closet, eliminating clothing and accessory items that don’t make you happy. Next, the coat closet. Same for bookshelves, art, memorabilia/hobbies, sports equipment. Remove things you no longer use. Then organize everything into 3 categories to get it out of your house: the best stuff to consignment shops, decent stuff to charity/thrift stores, and trash the rest.
Just pretty it!
When it comes to home value, curb appeal is key. Start with landscaping. Make sure the greenery is pleasing: trees and bushes trimmed, grass mowed, weeds picked, mulch organized. Add window box planters for an inexpensive upgrade.
Next, improve the house exterior. Repainting the house trim in a shade of white can make the home’s color pop, looking fresh and new. Give some love to your garage door, which makes up 30% of your home’s exterior when viewed from the street. You can refinish it, add windows, or change the hardware to give it an updated look. If the door looks old or outdated, replace it. And we love this next tip: upgrade your house numbers with an ultra-high-tech LED-lit address display.
With just a few good daily habits, your home will feel like new again.