If you’re about to sell your home, this thought has probably crossed your mind: How can I raise the value of this place without blowing out a wall or hanging a Picasso?
Well, you’re in luck! Below you’ll find a detailed list of eight things you can do in a single weekend to easily raise the value of your home by $10,000+.
These “home value hacks” range in cost from $0 to $60, can be done using basic hand tools, and some of them are even kinda fun.
Touch Up Your Walls with Magic Erasers
It doesn’t take long for the walls of your home to get covered in little nicks and black lines. Heck, even the innocent act of hanging photos often leaves little marks where the corners touch.
Luckily, you don’t need paint or even patience to remove them.
I was skeptical of “magic erasers” when I first heard about them. Sounded like made-for-TV trash. But slap me silly, they actually work! Here’s some of my recent handiwork:
And my approximate reaction:
In short, you can easily increase your home value by spending half an hour with a $15 box of magic erasers, making your interior paint look new again.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Another easy way to instantly increase your home value is to install “smart home” tech to make it look more modern and well-appointed.
I’ve actually written a whole guide on how to set up your smart home on a budget, but if your singular mission is to raise your home’s value with the least amount of money/effort involved, I’d install a smart thermostat for $60.
That’s because your thermostat is like the “face” of your entire HVAC system. A crappy plastic thermostat with a dim, digital readout from 1981 — or worse, a dial — makes your system look outdated and possibly in need of repair or replacement. Conversely, a slick new thermostat makes your system look fresh and ready for the August heat.
Needless to say, putting a better “face” on your HVAC will instantly increase your home value.
Upgrade Your Faucets
When touring your home, prospective buyers will see everything — but they may only touch two things: your door knob and your faucet.
Therefore, you’ll want to make sure your door knob and faucet game are on point. You don’t want your future buyers posting on r/mildlyinfuriating:
Now, upgrading both your front door knob and your faucet can add value to your home, but faucets are half the price and much easier to install.
They’re also noticed more. A tall, beautiful kitchen faucet can make the entire room look fresh, modern, and of higher value.
Best of all, a decent kitchen faucet doesn’t have to go for $300. You can get a decent off-brand kitchen faucet for around $60 on Amazon and install it yourself using basic hand tools in 15 minutes.
Once you’ve done the kitchen, why not do the bathrooms, too? After all, a full bathroom remodel can cost $5,000 or more — but a DIY faucet install can cost $50.
And a nice faucet anywhere can instantly increase the perceived value of your home.
Install Additional Shelving — Especially in Closets
One of the more common phrases you’ll hear during home tours is, “Oh, this just won’t be enough closet space.”
Indeed, a small closet can be an instant deal breaker for some shoppers. And unfortunately, you can’t just blow out the walls to make ‘em bigger.
You can, however, install some extra shelves. If you then fill the shelves with linens and such during staging, you’ll make the space suddenly appear much more practical.
From one DIYer to another, I strongly recommend that you drill your shelving mounts directly into the stud. Stud finders are $20, and this will ensure that your shelves don’t collapse under the weight and rip out a section of drywall with them.
Anyways, it’s hard to say that shelves will instantly add X dollars to your home value — but they will keep certain buyers interested and more likely to make an offer.
Pressure Wash Your Exterior
If you ask me, the single most satisfying DIY home improvement move is pressure washing. It’s like a coloring book that raises your home value by $10,000 when you complete it.
Now, you might think that your driveway is clean, but that’s only because Mother Nature adds the tiniest layer of grime each day. After two years of sneaky, compounding nastiness, it’s a completely new shade of brown.
And you’re about to blast it all away until it’s whiter than Jonah Hill’s teeth in The Wolf of Wall Street. The result will be a driveway, patio, and outdoor trim that looks brand new again.
As for which pressure washer to use, a basic electric one with 1,750 PSI will do just fine. You can buy one for $100 from Harbor Freight or rent one from Home Depot for half that.
Have fun, and don’t forget to post your results to the pressure washing subreddit!
Replace Your Furnace Filter
If you haven’t replaced your furnace filter in the last 90 days, it’s time. You’re about to breathe a whole lot easier.
Furnace filters are your home’s equivalent of a cabin air filter. They keep outside air particles from entering your house, and therefore, have to be changed at least every three months. If not, they could restrict air flow, lowering your HVAC’s effectiveness and raising your power bill.
Plus, you can often smell a bad filter before you see it. Even if your realtor lights a scented candle during your open house, your potential buyers will notice the smell of an unloved HVAC in at least one of the rooms.
Thankfully, replacing your furnace filter is actually cheaper and easier than your car’s cabin air filter. First, you’ll need to find your existing filter to determine whether it’s reusable or disposable. In the former case, the filter can be rinsed off with a hose, dried off, and put right back in.
In the latter case, grab the dimensions of your filter and buy a new one off Amazon for around $20.
Paint the Front Door
Painting your whole exterior can cost $5,000 or more — but painting just your front door can cost as little as $100. Heck, you don’t even need to take it off the hinges.
But is it really worth ruining a pair of overalls? How much value can a new front door color really add to a house?
Turns out, a lot. Zillow analyzed the sale prices of 135,000 homes across the country and found that homes with black doors sold for an average $6,271 more than expected. And while you’ve got your paint-covered overalls on, homes with blue bathrooms also sold for $2,786 more than expected.
You can read the entire results of Zillow’s 2018 Paint Color Analysis here, but the moral of the story is that paint color and finish do matter. And if black isn’t your color, well, put this on the list of DIYs to do right before you sell the house!
Swap Out Your Cabinet Hardware
My final, and perhaps favorite home value hack is to swap out your cabinet hardware (handles, hinges, etc.).
Why just the hardware?
Because it drives me bananas when DIY home improvement articles like this say “swap out your cabinets” like it’s no big deal. Kitchen remodels can cost well over $10,000 and the DIY approach can even be dangerous.
But if you can replace just the handles — and touch up the scuffs with magic erasers — you don’t have to invest more than $30 total.
While you’ve got your screwdriver out, you can also install soft-close hinges for around $3 a pair. Overall, a cabinet hardware upgrade can make 10-year-old cabinets look and feel like they were installed yesterday.
The Bottom Line
The 8 DIY home improvement hacks above will collectively cost around $350-$400 should you choose to try them all, while the value they’ll add to your home can be conservatively estimated at around $10,000 or more. Not a bad ROI.
For more tips on maximizing your sale price, check out How to sell your house “by owner” — by yourself, without a realtor.