8 ‘effortless’ home improvements to do before selling to ‘boost value’

Sarah Beeny gives advice on selling your home fast

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Of course larger scale home improvements such as extensions and conversions reap huge benefits, but they come with such mighty prices many people can’t afford, especially given the current climate right now. However, smaller and more cost-effective changes should never be ruled out as they can still have a big impact and help give you a better chance of achieving your asking price. Tim Leonard, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet has shared a few ways households can improve their home easily and on a budget.

He said: “Renovating your home’s interior to help it stand out to potential buyers can be an expensive, time-consuming, and often stressful experience. 

“It’s important to spend your money wisely on home improvements and ensure any updates are ticking all the right boxes by actually helping to add value, rather than leaving you out of pocket. Thankfully, there are a number of quick win ways that make a surprising difference to boosting the value of your home before selling it.”

1. Improve your front door

Think of your front door as the face of the home as it’s the first thing people see, so if you’re looking to revamp the property, this’ll be the best place to start. Tim claimed that the “easiest and most cost-effective way” to update your front door is by giving it a fresh lick of paint. If you want to keep it classic, he suggested opting for greys, blacks, whites or browns that won’t make too much of a statement. 

However, if you’re someone who wants to make their front door “pop”, you can use bold statement colours like red, orange, yellow or pink. For a slightly more toned-down option of injecting colour, pastel shades like country green, powder blue or muted peach are all fab options for standing out subtly from the neighbours on your street. 

For those not in the mood to paint their front door, they can turn to updating their door’s accessories instead such as the handle, knocker and the house number/sign. Tim noted: “Many vintage, thrift or second-hand shops and markets sell these for a percentage of what they cost brand new, so it’s worth shopping around for a bargain.”

2. Purchase large mirrors 

For those with smaller rooms in their home, incorporating large mirrors is the “best way” to create the illusion of additional space, advised Tim.

He explained: “Hanging one large mirror, or a number of smartly placed mirrors, will reflect the room back, making it appear more spacious without investing in a costly extension. This desired effect can be easily created with a range of mirrors from floor-length to wide wall mirrors.”

3. Decorate wooden stairs with a runner

A wooden staircase can feel a little tedious and bare at times, but a full re-carpeting isn’t an affordable option. Instead, a stairway runner is an “on-trend and budget-friendly solution” to spruce up your stairs. Tim said: “Adding a runner is a great way to brighten up your stairs and hallway by adding a stylish, decorative effect.”

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4. Create a feature wall

A feature wall is the perfect way to give a room a new lease of life and allow households to experiment with colour, patterns and textures.

The expert noted: “It’s pretty impossible to not love a feature wall. As well as being simple to create, fewer materials are needed than for an entire room so they are much more cost-effective.   

“Creating a feature wall can be as effortless as painting a single wall that will tie the rest of the room together, or those ready to ‘go big or go home’ can opt for wallpaper, and choose an eye-catching design and print.”

5. Add some DIY wood panelling 

Wall panelling is a timeless decorative addition to any home that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This feature seamlessly ties into any home and complements a range of different interior styles. Wooden panelling can work with everything from traditional or rustic styles, to bohemian and contemporary.

The expert highlighted that it makes for a great focal point. He said: “The cost-effective and easy-to-achieve feature not only adds depth and dimensions to your walls but also creates a point of detail that draws the eyes in – a great choice if you can only afford to revamp one part of the room.”

6. Upgrade your lighting

Tim urged households to avoid underestimating the “power of good light” as he said: “A quick and effortless way to transform a room is by upgrading your lights, and this can be as simple as changing your light shades.”

For those who want to create a bohemian vibe they can do this by choosing a large bamboo shade, or opting for a black metal pendant-shaped shade for a more industrial look.

For those who want to invest more into their lighting and completely reinstall new lights in order to make a grand statement, they can choose a light like a chandelier that will be the “ultimate centrepiece of a room”.

7. Update cabinets

For those who already like the style and look of their kitchen cupboards but find they’re looking a little tired, a fresh coat of paint in a new colour is a great way to revive them. Households can also remove and spray any of the handles on their cupboards in a new colour, or update them completely with a new shape and style. 

However, if an update of colour still doesn’t feel enough and Britons want to make some more low-cost changes, Tim suggested removing the doors from the upper kitchen cupboards to create open storage for displaying wine glasses or recipe books.

8. Incorporate wall art

Another “great way” to spruce up a home, particularly a “dull or bare wall” on a “strict budget” is to add wall art from such sites as Facebook Marketplace, Vinted, eBay, as well as local charity and thrift shops. 

To do this, the expert said: “The key to creating a good art wall is to get creative and not be too rigid with your placement. Experiment with a range of frame sizes, layouts and colours until you find what works for your room.”

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