5 Cheap Home-Improvement Tips to Boost Your House’s Resale Value

Truth be told, you might not need much help selling your home quickly in Houston these days. Houses are flying off the market.

But inching up that sales price—potentially into the next tier to attract those coveted buyers with looser purse strings? Now that never hurts.

According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2021 Profile of Home Staging, roughing 23 percent of homes that are staged sell for a higher rate. The folks at Fixr.com, a remodeling industry website and cost expert, took that data and realtors’ recommendations to determine which projects around the house would give sellers the most bang for their buck, insisting that “not every update you make to your home needs to break the bank.” Here’s how it broke down:

First impressions don’t have to cost a lot.

If you have $200 to spare, you’re off to a good start. According to the report, the overwhelming majority of realtors recommend two relatively low-cost projects to help sell a home. About 85 percent of realtors said a full-home cleaning helps to sell for top dollar. Fixr says that’ll cost you about $220. Another surprising and affordable update that makes a big impact? A painted front door, according to about 78 percent of realtors. Spend about $150 on supplies, invest a few hours of sweat equity, and watch your curb appeal climb.

Scrutinize your stuff.

These mid-level budget projects cost a bit more, but they yield big results, according to the report. A professional declutter (yes, it’s a thing!) was the most recommended task on the list. Nearly all realtors (93 percent of them) recommended booking a service to organize your junk drawers and pitch your old mail pile. According to Fixr, the going rate for these pros is about $450 a job. Next up, depersonalize your sweet abode. That means swapping family photos for generic landscapes or even toning down that loud accent wall you love. About 68 percent of realtors suggested doing this for about $500 total. “Combining [decluttering and depersonalizing] can help transform your home into a showplace,” the report says.

Look down!

You’ve probably grown blind to the stains—and we hope not a stench—on your carpet. But buyers won’t. A $600 carpet cleaning (recommended by 73 percent of realtors) can fix that. About 69 percent of realtors also recommended a minor hardwood refinish. But, that’ll cost about $1,000 more than a standard carpet steam.

Save your biggest budget for curb appeal.

In addition that budget-friendly front door facelift, 78 percent of realtors recommended spending a solid chunk of change on two major curb appeal projects, if necessary: repaving a driveway and/or painting the exterior. A driveway overhaul will cost about $2,500 and an exterior paint job will cost about $5,000, according to Fixr. About 63 percent of realtors also recommended painting the interior of the home—but at $8,700, it’s the most expensive project on the list.

Know where to save.

It’s also important to know where you don’t exactly need to spend—especially if the budget is tight. Less than 60 percent of realtors recommended doing paint touch ups around the house (though it’ll only cost you about $60). Only 55 percent of realtors recommended landscaping projects like adding a front path, a new garden, or hiring a lawn service—that’ll save you nearly $5,000 (thank you very much). And only 35 percent of realtors recommended re-grouting your tile—avoiding this can shave off about about $1,000 from your expenses.

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