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Sweat Equity: 10 Completely Free Ideas to Boost Your Home’s Value

Posted by Wendy Powers on July 17, 2015 at 1:29 PM

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You know that old saying that you have to spend money to make money?

Well, when it comes to your home, that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Sweat-equitySure, if you spend tens of thousands of dollars to renovate your kitchen or bathroom the value of the home is naturally going to increase. But you also have to be willing to spend the money to make that happen.

While you might not see as dramatic an impact on your home’s value, there are plenty of things that you can do to push that value higher that won’t cost you a penny.

This type of sweat equity is where homeowners can create equity out of thin air. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Here are 10 completely free ideas to boost your home’s value:

Rearrange Your Furniture

It might sound overly simple, but rearranging your furniture into a better setup can have a big impact on the way potential buyers see your home. Focus on making each room flow comfortably, even if it means that dad’s favorite recliner doesn’t go right in front of the TV.

You might also want to consider addition by subtraction here. It doesn’t cost you anything to throw that beat up old love seat out to the curb!

Touchup Paint

Remember how great those rooms looked when you first painted them?

If you still have some of the leftover paint and an old paintbrush down in the basement, taking a few hours to touchup the spots that have been nicked or damaged over the years can be a huge upgrade.

Pull Weeds & Trim Bushes

Another great boost to your home’s value that won’t cost you a penny is getting out and doing that yard work you have been putting off. This could include anything from weeding the flower beds to trimming the bushes or hedges.

Buyers want to see a clean house that looks to be well maintained when they pull up outside. Does your house fit that description?

Wash the Windows

You might not spend a lot of time looking out your windows, but buyers will be checking out the view from every room in the house. That means they will be noticing little things like dirty windows, so make sure you take care of yours.

Clean windows also let in more natural light, which makes your house shine!

Scrub the Bathrooms

If you want to learn the true definition of “sweat equity,” spend a weekend down on your hands and knees scrubbing your bathrooms.

Your back will hurt and your knees will ache, but the look you get from buyers who walk into your sparkling bathroom will make it worth the effort.

Declutter Storage Spaces

You want to give potential buyers the impression that there is plenty of storage space in the house. But that is going to be pretty hard to do if you have every closet packed full of junk.

Take some time and go through all of your closets, the basement, and the attic. It doesn’t cost anything to throw out things that you haven’t used in years.

Clean Light Fixtures

Bright and cheery homes always sell faster than dark and dingy ones. You’ve already got the windows cleaned, so there will be plenty of sunlight coming in. The next step to brighten your house is to clean all of the light fixtures.

You will be surprised both with how much dust has accumulated in your light fixtures over the years, and then with how dramatic the difference is once you get them cleaned.

Salvage Something Old

While you are going through all of your storage spaces, keep an eye out for something old that might find a new life in helping to sell your house.

Maybe you repurpose an old chest into a shabby chic coffee table, or finally refinish that old chair that’s been sitting down in the basement.

Deep Clean the Appliances

Another simple thing that can make a world of difference to potential buyers is having spotlessly clean appliances. Spending an afternoon deep cleaning your appliances will make them look years younger, and might be the thing that pushes your buyer over the edge to making an offer.

Look for Details

The name of the game with sweat equity is DETAILS.

So go through your entire house with a fine-tooth comb and take care of all those simple projects that you have been putting off.

Things like adjusting the front door so that it closes properly or sanding and painting that trim the dog ruined last year are what we are talking about here.

None of these little details by themselves are going to add a ton of value to your home, but collectively they will send the message that the home has been well cared for and is worth investing in.

In some cases, these simple details can mean more to a buyer than an expensive kitchen remodel.

Spend a few weekends building up your sweat equity and then kick back and enjoy the rewards!

Topics: Seller Resources

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