50 Ways To Instantly Increase The Value Of Your Home

Aug 12, 2015 | Home Staging, Open House, Preparation, Real Estate, Uncategorised | 0 comments

You have just made the decision to sell your home!

Now you are seeking ways to instantly improve the value of your home to get the most out of your investment. This is the perfect place to start.

Homeowners, in the same position as you, spend a few thousand dollars each year to make their homes more livable for themselves and more marketable to potential buyers.

In my experience the old saying ‘to make money, you have to spend money’ holds true, however you should only spend the money on changes that will get you a higher return on investment.

Here are 50 ways to instantly increase the value of your home, and get you the return you are seeking.


1. Spend An Hour With A Pro



Sitting down with your Real Estate Agent and getting an idea of what needs to be done to your home, should be your first step. When you are unsure, help and suggestions from a professional could save you a ton of money.


Est. Cost: FREE



Photo Courtesy of iconicphotoservices


2. Clean Your Home

Via: Merry Maids


Cleaning your home my seem like common sense. But in my experience you would be surprised at how many people opt out of cleaning services before an open house, or just dust before a showing. Cleaning is one of the most important parts of increasing your home’s value. Remember, people are looking for the imperfections. Don’t let them find any!


Est. Cost DIY: FREE Est. Cost by a Professional: $300+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000



Photo Courtesy of Jaymie Koroluk


3. Declutter and Organize Your Home

Via: ClutterBGone


Decluttering and organizing almost go hand-in-hand with cleaning, but at a deeper level. It is a must to get rid of items that are just lying around and not being used. To showcase your home at it’s best, it must look like no one lives in it.

Don’t forget about your closets and pantries either. People will want to see what is behind every door.


Est. Cost DIY: FREE Est. Cost by a Professional: $2,000+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000


decluttered room

Photo Courtesy of Bonsoni


4. Paint, Paint, Paint



Freshening up your walls before you sell, goes a long way. A fresh paint job can cover scuffs and bumps that people would have instantly noticed. Painting your home in neutral colours allow a potential buyer to use their imagination and design a room to their liking, instead of being distracted by dark purple or lime green.


Est. Cost DIY: $500 Est. Cost by a Professional: $2,500+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000


painted wall

Photo Courtesy of Prayitno


5. Showcase Your Storage

Via:  Simply Referable


Storage rooms can sometimes be just as important as a bathroom. Potential buyers are looking at your home as an upgrade to what they are currently in. What do we do with more space? We fill it! Especially families who come with tons of sports equipment, toys, holiday decor, etc.

Be sure to keep your garages, basements, and attics clean and well organized.


Est. Cost DIY: FREE Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000+


empty storage room

Photo Courtesy of Wendy Bunch


6. Fix What Is Broken

Via: Porch


Like I said previously, people are looking for what is wrong with your home. Take that extra time and money and invest in fixing that broken front step, chipped baseboard, or that cracked bathroom tile.


Est. Cost DIY: $200+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $1,000+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000+


finished baseboard

Photo Courtesy of Missy


7. Replace Air Vent Covers

Via: The Home Depot


Air vent covers come in many different styles now, we aren’t just limited to those white grates. Make your home look more fashionable with wood style, leaf patterns or brushed metal designs.


Est. Cost DIY: $10+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $50+
Est. Return on Investment: $500


wooden air vent covers

Photo Courtesy of Rocky Lv


8. Replace Caulking

Via: This Old House


No one likes to see brown, cracking caulking in what they hope to be the cleanest room in the house. Whether it’s around your sink, bathtub or showers, it can’t be hidden so you might as well re-do it. Luckily it’s not as hard as you think!

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to replace your caulking.


Est. Cost DIY: $75+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $150+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000


bathroom tiles

Photo Courtesy of Anthony N


9. Clean Tile Grout

Video Via: Clean My Space


You don’t want your kitchen or bathroom to look like something out of a horror movie. That grunge look is not in style. One of the easiest ways to make your grout look like new is to use baking soda, water, and a little elbow grease.

Check out this video on how to get sparkling clean grout.


Est. Cost DIY: $5 Est. Cost by a Professional: $150+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000


bathroom with clean grout

Photo Courtesy of Gustavsberg


10. Freshen the Smell of Your Home

Via: Glade


It’s smart to freshen your home as often as possible. Especially if you have pets. As cute as they are, they don’t leave a trail of rose petals behind them. After cleaning your home, the best way to add a delightful aroma is with candles that don’t have such a strong scent to them. Vanilla, Ocean Breeze, and Linen are all low-key scents that freshen the home without being overbearing.


Est. Cost DIY: $20
Est. Return on Investment: $500


Vanilla Plant

Photo Courtesy of Lauren


11. Install Central Air

Via: Yellow Pages


A lot of us have lived in Canada for years and aren’t use to the heatwaves that creep up on us. We look for the cool and comforting places to be during such times. Why have to go anywhere at all, when you can have the comfort of clean, crisp air in your home. Most potential buyers look for this amenity. Providing this convenience will be well worth the money, and you can enjoy it until you sell.

Here are 8 Advantages of Central Air Conditioning.


Est. Cost by a Professional: $3,500+
Est. Return on Investment: $10,000+



12. Seal Your Driveway

Via: Home Advisor


The driveway is a huge part of curb appeal. It is the first thing people see when they arrive at your home, so you want to make sure it doesn’t look damaged at all. Above aesthetics, potential buyers appreciate a sealed driveway; they figure if the driveway is well kept, the rest of the house is as well.


Est. Cost by a Professional: $250+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000



Photo Courtesy of Danny Votra


13. Mulch Gardening

Via: Canadian Gardening


Adding mulch gives a very professional and elegant look to your gardens. A lot of people think that the gardens don’t matter when selling a home, but that is not the case. A well established garden will sell a house faster than a non-established garden any day!

Read about other benefits of mulch in your garden.


Est. Cost DIY: $75 Est. Cost by a Professional: $300+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000+


garden filled with mulch

Photo Courtesy of New Home Landscapes


14. Replace Toilets With Low-Flush Models

Via: Remodelista


Everyone wants to save money, especially on necessities. Having a low-flush toilet allows homeowners to save money on their water bills. Changing all your toilets and promoting that you did, will add that extra value to your home compared to one with regular toilets.

For a list of 7 Best Water-Conserving Toilets, click here.


Est. Cost DIY: $100+ per toilet Est. Cost by a Professional: $300+ per toilet
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000+


15. Replace Old Door Knobs

Via: Real Simple


Just like the vent covers, there are a lot of new options for door knobs now! You don’t have to stick with those ugly brass ones. Add old charm with glass knobs, or a modern looks with brushed metal. Don’t forget, whichever you choose, make sure they match throughout the house.

For a simple step-by-step on how to install your own door knob, click here!


Est. Cost DIY: $20+ per knob Est. Cost by a Professional: $75+ per knob
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000+


16. Add a Skylight or Light Tubes to Dark Rooms

Via: Solatube


Although skylights may seem involved and expensive, smaller lights can be installed for relatively low cost and provide beautiful natural light into dark spaces. If you’re really look to modernize, consider light tubes.


Est. Return on Investment: $10,000+


Solatube Example

Photo Courtesy of Solatubes


17. Power Wash The Exterior of Your Home

Via: Popular Mechanics


If your home is covered in siding rent a power washer and go to town. You’ll be blown away at just how dirty exterior siding can get over the years. A thorough power washing of your home yearly is your best bet in keeping your home free of mold and mildew, creatures and all that dirt.

Power washing can be tricky, click here for the safest ways of doing it.


Est. Cost DIY: $100+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000+


clean white house

Photo Courtesy of fotofish64


18. Cover Stains With Slipcovers

Via: Sure Fit


Can’t replace that old couch in time for listing? Cover up outdated fabrics, pet hair and stains with slipcovers. They are easy to use, come in all different colours and fabrics, and it’s cheaper than buying a new couch.


Est. Cost DIY: $100+   
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000+


slipcover on couch

Photo Courtesy of Sure Fit


19. List your house as furnished


Maybe you’re downsizing to a condo or apartment from a two story and won’t have room for your current furniture. If your furniture isn’t outdated and in good condition, list the house as optionally furnished.


furnished living room

Photo Courtesy of bogowonto2010


20. Cover Outdated Showers and Bathtubs

Via: Bath Fitter


Does your bathroom look like something out of the 60’s? Blush pink bathtub or olive green and yellow tiles in the shower? Cover it up with a liner. These are usually installed within a couple hours and are leak free.


Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000+


21. Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Via: Armstrong


You probably see popcorn ceilings at everyone’s houses you go to, and why wouldn’t you, it’s a builders go-to. You’d think not too many people look up, but they do, and when they notice something other than popcorn ceilings, they will be pleasantly surprised!


Be different, be modern.


22. Replace Your Photos



Take the home out of your house by replacing photos of your family with scenery or architecture images. It will make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves living there instead of you.

Find free photos to use here.


Est. Cost DIY: Under $10  
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000+


nature photo collage

Photo Courtesy of Cuba Gallery


23. Set the Table

Via: Home On Display


Set the table, showcase flowers, fluff pillows, arrange towels in the bathroom. Staging your home will sell it quicker and at a higher price. When potential buyers come in to view your home, they want to see something better than the home they are leaving.

Take a look at some Before and After shots to get an idea of the impact staging can have.


Est. Cost by a professional: $1500+
Est. Return on Investment: $20,000+



24. Enhance the Exterior of Your Home

Via: Better Homes and Gardens

The exterior of your home is equally as important as the interior. Your front door is the entryway into your home. It is the first impression people get when visiting you. Make sure to have a bright, welcoming glow to invite people in. Use plants, lights, and outdoor furniture to enhance it.


For more ways to enhance curb appeal, visit Better Homes and Gardens.


Est. Cost DIY: $200+.
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000+


Bright front of house

Photo Courtesy of Cooper Smith


25. Update Your Garage Door

Via: Jane Lockhart


If your garage doors are at the front of your home, like most in the suburbs, you don’t want to emphasize them further. Don’t make the doors contrast too much with the colour of the siding or brick, you want the doors to blend in. Go with a colour that matches the mortar instead.


Est. Cost DIY: $100+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $1,000+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000+


26. Borrow Artwork


Purchase artwork to hang during open houses and showings and return them afterwards. Your house will look like a new house and no one will know any different.


Est. Cost DIY: FREE


large art on wall

Photo Courtesy of Prayitno


27. Install a Sprinkler System

Via: Durham Lawn Sprinklers


In many areas, summer water bans and restrictions can make it seem like you’re only able to water your lawn every other week, on a tuesday, and only when there is a full moon. With a sprinkler system you’ll be able to set it and forget it, ensuring you’re only watering your lawn during those regulated hours, even at 2am!

For more information on sprinkler systems, visits Durham Lawn Sprinkers.


28. Instant Green Lawn with Miracle-Gro

Via: Miracle-Gro


If you have a couple weeks before you list, make your lawn look as good as it can. The greener the grass, the better quality home – people will think!

To better your entire garden, check out more products here.


Est. Cost DIY: $50 Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000+


green grass

Photo Courtesy of Ville Miettinen


29. Remove Weeds From Your Lawn

Via: Fiskars


If you spend a little money on the right tools and put in a little effort, your lawn will look it’s best in no time at all. Weeding your lawn is a great task for the kids to do, and you wont have to spend a fortune on those big companies to do it.


Est. Cost DIY: $80 Est. Cost by a Professional: $300+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000+


30. Spray Paint Your Grass

Via: Lawn Lift


If you don’t have kids, or the time to weed your own grass, there is always the option of spray painting your grass. Yes, you heard it right. It’s the quickest way to get your grass green and the best part is, it’s safe!


Est. Cost DIY: $100+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $300+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000+


31. Remove Weeds From Patio Stones

Via: Do It Yourself


Quickly and easily remove weeds from the cracks by cutting them out with a utility knife. Although not a permanent solution, it can be done very quickly for last minute showings. Spray solutions are also quick and easy, but may cost a bit more.


Est. Cost DIY: FREE Est. Cost by a Professional: $200+
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000+


weeds in patio stones

Photo Courtesy of Brian Lynch


32. Clean Your Windows and Glass Doors

Via: Windex


Easily clean your windows with Windex Outdoor Window Cleaner. Potential buyers will be looking at the view from every window. Let them see the views, not the smudges.


Est. Cost DIY: Less than $10 Est. Cost by a Professional: $200+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000+


windex cleaner

Photo Courtesy of Windex


33. Professionally Clean Your Carpets

Via: Canadian Carpet Cleaning


If you have large carpeted areas, it’s best to bring in a professional to clean them before showing a home. Carpet has hidden pet dander, hair, dust, dirt and odours that you need to get rid of. Cleaning your carpets will give your home a fresh feel, look and smell.


Est. Cost DIY: $60 Est. Cost by a Professional: $200+
Est. Return on Investment: $1,000+


34. Replace Damaged Flooring

Via: Dummies


The best thing you can do when you have a damaged floor is to replace it. Potential buyers do not want to enter your house and feel like they are going to fall through the floor. Would you?

Here is a great step-by-step guide on how to replace damaged areas of hardwood flooring.


Est. Cost DIY: $200+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $600+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000+


hardwood floor

Photo Courtesy of Fred Ross


35. Prune Trees and Shrubs

Via: Canadian Gardening


Nicely pruned foliage is a must. If people see untamed trees and bushes outside the home, that is their first impression of the rest of the house. Don’t be afraid to trim your bushes because you think they will die.

Here are some suggestions on when to trim and care for your foliage.


Est. Cost DIY: FREE Est. Cost by a Professional: $200+
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000+


lively shrub

Photo Courtesy of Theen Moy


36. Bring the Indoors Out

Via: Lowes


Outdoor living spaces are “in” these days. People want to be just as comfortable outside as they are inside and Potential Buyers want to see that opportunity with your house.

There are so many affordable outdoor furniture sets available, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg. Check out options from Lowes.


outdoor patio set

Photo Courtesy of Lowes


37. Add Area Rugs To Your Home

Via: End of the Roll


If you have large areas in your house that are tile, laminate or hardwood, adding area rugs to these spaces break up the room and add extra detail. When on sale, you can find nice decorative area rugs for lower than $50!


Est. Cost DIY: $50+
Est. Return on Investment: $2,000


area rug in living room

Photo Courtesy of Emily May


38. Bring the Outside In, With Plants

Via: David Suzuki


Plants don’t only act as a decoration, they can also act as an air purifier. Check out David Suzuki’s list of plants that do best indoors.


Est. Cost DIY: $10+


green plants brightening a room

Photo Courtesy of Emily May


39. Upgrade Your Kitchen Counter

Via: Granite Outlet


Most potential buyers are looking for new – everything, and a lot of them are looking for a good quality counter top like granite that they don’t need to replace. If you do that part for them, they will recognize quality in your home and likely pay the premium.


Est. Cost by a Professional: $1,500+
Est. Return on Investment: $10,000


new kitchen counter

Photo Courtesy of Dru Bloomfield


40. Replace or Add a Kitchen Back Splash

Via: House Beautiful


Old floral tiles or mirrored back splashes are outdated. Replace your back splash with a simple, sleek design for a modern look or a mosaic, stone design for a more traditional but elegant feel.


Est. Cost DIY: $500+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $1500+
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000


41. Upgrade Electrical Panel from Fuses to Breakers.

Via: Trusted Pros


Potential buyers want modern updates and convenience. Having updated electrical panels will go a long way with first time home buyers, buyers that are use to an upgraded electrical panel, and for second or third time home buyers who don’t want to deal with an old system.

Here are some great tips for switching from a fuse box to circuit breakers.


Est. Cost DIY: $150+ Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000


old fuse box panel

Photo Courtesy of Bill Oswald


42. Let the Light Shine In



When getting ready for showings open all your blinds and let the sun shine in. The more natural light that enters a room, the bigger it seems. Remove heavy draping as well, so potential buyers can imagine their own window coverings.


big windows bright room

Photo Courtesy of TNS Sofres


43. Replace Outdated Light Fixtures

Via: Desire to Inspire


Light fixtures that the original builders install, are usually the ones that stay up, especially the lights in the bathrooms and hallways. The overall appearance of your home relies on the lighting, both natural and artificial, so spending the extra money to make these changes will be noticed.

Read more on The Importance of Good Lighting.


Est. Cost DIY: $40+ per light fixture   Est. Cost by a Professional: $75+ for light fixture and installation
Est. Return on Investment: $5,000


44. Add or Upgrade Ceiling Fans

Via: Bob Vila


In some homes air conditioning isn’t an option. But replacing outdated ceiling fans can really make a difference. Strategic placement of your fans is crucial as well. You want your fans to be located in the rooms that have most traffic such as your living room, office spaces, playrooms, and bedrooms.

If you want more information on how to install a ceiling fan, click here.


Est. Cost DIY: $50+ per fan Est. Cost by a Professional: $100+ for fan and installation
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000


ceiling fan

Photo Courtesy of Steve Johnson


45. Add Home Technology

Via: Informationweek


We live in a high tech world, so why not bring that into your home? With gadgets like  wireless door locks, smart thermostats and already installed home security, your home will definitely stand out from others.

Visit Informationweek for 8 Gadgets for the High Tech Home.


46. Matching Appliances

Via: Best Buy Canada


If potential buyers are anything like me, they will like matching appliances. No one wants to enter a kitchen and see a black fridge, white stove, and stainless steel dishwasher. Not only will they not appreciate the mismatched colours, they will realize some appliances will need replacing sooner rather than later.


Est. Cost: $5,000+
Est. Return on Investment: $15,000+


kitchen with matching appliances

Photo Courtesy of Ellen Choi


47. Resurface and Stain Your Deck

Via: Deck Stain Help


Sanding and staining your deck can have it looking brand new again. It can be done quickly and at a low cost. Grab a few buddies and a case of beer and get it done this weekend!

How to stain a new deck.


Est. Cost DIY: $200 Est. Cost by a Professional: $500+
Est. Return on Investment: $3,000


finished deck

Photo Courtesy of T.H.E Construction Company


48. Upgrade Your Thermostat

Via: HydroOne


Upgrading your thermostat will save you money while you still live in the home and potential buyers will appreciate the choice you made. There’s an app for that! Most new thermostats are accessible via your smartphone so your air can be controlled at your fingertips.

Learn how to save money with peaksaver PLUS®


Est. Cost: FREE
Est. Return on Investment: $2000


49. Add Outdoor Solar Lighting

Via: Ebay


Garden lights used to be expensive, costing hundreds of dollars per fixture. Now they can be inexpensive by using solar fixtures. Enhance the curb appeal of your home by lighting the way to your front door.

Here are 5 Benefits of Outdoor Solar Lighting.


50. Create a Privacy Hedge

Via: Arbor Day Foundation


We are lucky to be in the North. In cooler climates you can create privacy by planting cedar hedges that thrive all year round. Privacy screens like all hedges can serve several purposes and can add value to many different types of property.

For 8 simple steps on how to create a privacy hedge, click here.


Est. Return on Investment: $5,000


cedar hedge

Photo Courtesy of Caribb


Keep in mind these are just 50 improvements of an endless number of ways you can increase the value of your home.

If you liked this post, please share it with everyone you know. Everyone can use home improvement advice!

If you have any more to add, please do in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for a new blog post monthly for more great tips and tricks on all things Real Estate.

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