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Over the time you own your home, there are plenty of opportunities to make small choices which can make a surprising impact on the value of your home when you sell.

We don’t think every single choice someone makes about their home needs to be made in the context of “how will this impact my resale value,” but it isn’t a terrible idea to keep in mind.

Places to start are clearly with broken household items. Then, declutter by selling or donating all those “treasures.” If you can’t stand to part with them, consider getting a storage unit while you spruce things up. And while you may like the Caribbean-style fan, potential buyers may not be so appreciative.

You may be asking yourself right now, “So how do I start looking for changes so I might be able to influence the way a buyer sees (and bids) on my home?” Before you dive in and spend lots of effort and money, it can be helpful to bring in a designer or a real estate agent to provide advice on staging and marketing your home. We work with clients in the months before coming to market to have a plan for moving some things out and making plans for staging.

It is worth the ask!

Adding value to your home doesn’t necessarily mean subtracting from your bank account. The trick is to be creative! There are several things you can do yourself, even on the smallest of budgets, which will improve the overall look of your home, while adding value at the same time.

Here are a few favorite tips to help get you started:

Give your home a fresh look.

Painting is an inexpensive and easy way to give your home an entirely different look and feel. Earth tones are currently popular; choose zero VOC paint, which is good for your home and the environment. Taking some of the dramatic colors in a home back to something more neutral, but not necessarily griege, can give a home a feeling of modern freshness without being overly bold.

Be your own designer.

Look at places that are showcasing design trends. Magazines in print and online like Architectural Digest, Clever, Apartment Therapy, etc… Online sites like Perigold and Pinterest. Home decor stores like Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel. And, of course, don’t forget the Container Store!

Go through the design magazines, books, and websites to get ideas for your home; keep a file of the designs that appeal to you most. But be mindful of current design trends and think hard about whether they will work for your home before you put them into place.

Give your home some good energy. 

Just read our Mass Save Home Energy Audit blog and you will understand! Not only will you get tips for improving your home’s energy, but you’ll also find extra savings in your wallet down the road.

Go green – Plant trees!

Strategically planting trees and bushes around your yard can be a natural way for you to give your home shade and keep it cooler during the warm summer months, thereby lowering your energy bill.

When choosing plants for your yard, choose drought-tolerant plants that are native to your region. They won’t require as much maintenance or water, saving you money over time. Check out some of our local nurseries, like Russell’s Wayland Nursery!

Remember, you want to make a good impression. Keeping lawns and hedges trimmed, bushes neatly manicured and gutters cleaned will help! Expect to put a layer of mulch (plain, undyed pine is fine) down just before photos. These are some tasks you can easily do yourself or outsource to a professional.

Popcorn in your house? No, we are not talking about the kind you eat.

If you have popcorn ceilings, consider having it scraped off and then painted for clean, updated look.

Create open spaces.

Even a small home can appear larger by maximizing the square footage. To do this, use furniture that is proportional to your home’s space by removing bulky furniture pieces to create the illusion of more open space. Strategically hang mirrors to open up and create more light in the room. And if you have decluttered as suggested above, you will be amazed at the difference!

Update your bathroom.

Even small bathroom updates can make a world of difference. Updating your fixtures and mirrors, painting, and scrubbing or removing moldy shower doors are easy and affordable ways to make big design improvements. Just a new, clean shower curtain can help immensely!

Update your light fixtures.

Another one of the simplest and easiest ways to transform the look of your space is to update light fixtures, both indoors and out. Even on a small budget, you can find chic fixtures that will dramatically improve your home’s style.

Last, but not least, check out how your mailbox, doors, locksets, porch, and other curb appeal items look. That feeling of love as arrive home each day is worth the time now, and goes straight to your bottom line when you sell!

If you were looking for a house, would you want to buy what you are selling?

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