One of the big surprises of 2020 was the strength of the real estate market. Despite the pandemic, homes continued to sell quickly in many markets across the country. If you’re able to sell your home, now might be the best time to do so. We’re here to help get the most from your nest egg with seven budget-friendly tips to help increase the value of your home for little cost.

1. Stage your home

Staging a home can be an easy way to entice potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, 83 percent of buyers’ agents said their clients were more likely to feel at home when the house was properly staged.

2. Maximize light

Homes that are brighter and lighter usually sale faster. Why? Lighting can be a natural mood booster. Doing little things like adding new light switches, replacing old bulbs and ceiling fixtures with newer ones and cleaning windows can make a big difference to a prospective buyer.

3.  Give the entryway a face-lift 

US News & World Report story found that by replacing an outdated entry-way door (or even adding fresh paint) can deliver one of the highest return on investment compared to other home improvement projects. Add a new welcome mat or a unique door-knocker to give the home some additional character without breaking the bank.

4. Ramp up the curb appeal

Mowing your lawn, adding fresh mulch to garden beds, lining your deck or terrace with potted plants can sometimes be the quick-fix face-lift a home needs to sell quickly. If you don’t have a green thumb, consider replacing your mailbox or repainting your fence to give the home some added flair.

5. Make quick kitchen updates

The bottom line is that kitchens sell a home. Luckily, when it comes to spiffing it up, you don’t need to spend a lot installing high-end counter tops or stainless-steel appliances. Simple things like refinishing or repainting old cabinets, replacing outdated hinges and drawer handles can drastically transform your kitchen’s appearance. And it can be done for less than a $100.

6. Go green

Going green can positively impact your home’s sale value as well as save you money while you’re living in it. This can be major like adding solar panels or something relatively inexpensive like sealing cracks in the door and window trim with caulk. Additionally, insulating your attic properly can save you as much as 50 percent on your energy bills, according to the Department of Energy.

7. Spruce up bathrooms

In addition to the kitchen, bathrooms are a major focal point for potential buyers. A full remodel may have you worried for your wallet, but doing smaller, more cost-effective upgrades can be almost as impactful. For instance, installing new fixtures, steam cleaning or re-grouting the shower, replacing old bulbs and adding a new mirror can make a drastic difference and for not much dough.

8. Update the look

A fresh coat of paint can give life to an old, drab interior. Depending on the size of your space and your willingness to do the work yourself, this could be a cheap fix that will make a world of difference.

9. Clean it up 

Cleaning can be a pain, but it can also lead to a huge gain. Not every seller keeps a home pristine, but failing to do so can turn a potential buyer away. With a little elbow grease, you can present your nest-egg in the best light, and at little-to-no cost.

10. Maximize your space

In addition to deep-cleaning, de-cluttering your home can maximize the existing space and make it feel more spacious, and as a result more appealing, to prospective buyers. Removing unnecessary furniture and strategically placing mirrors are great ways to enhance the size of a room during showings.  Keep in mind that prospective buyers want to picture the space as theirs, and that is much more difficult if you crowd the space with too many of your things.

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