If you’re not happy with the answer you got to the question, “What is my home worth?” you might want to consider making some improvements to increase the value. But what will give you the biggest bang for your buck?

Make it Smarter and More Energy Efficient

A more environmentally friendly, “smarter” home is one of the most desirable features homebuyers look for today, as it helps save money on utility bills and lessens the impact on the environment at the same time. Replacing outdated appliances with smart appliances can make a big difference. They’ll make your home appear more updated while providing feedback on energy use to help monitor consumption and lower power bills. Other things to consider are installing a smart thermostat and switching out standard light bulbs to CFLs.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint not only helps keep your home looking its best, but it can defend surfaces from general wear and tear. It’s one of the most cost-effective and easiest improvements you can make, but to maximize your dollar, choosing specific colors can increase the value of your home even more as CBSNews recently reported. Buyers prefer blue, in shades ranging from light cerulean to cadet blue in bedrooms as the color tends to be calming while living rooms are best repainted in taupe. Blue is popular in kitchens in hues from light blue to soft gray-blue, and in bathrooms too, think powder blue to periwinkle. You can do the job yourself for relatively little, or pay a professional around $1,000, which typically covers multiple rooms.

Replace Your Front Door

Your front door is a big part of curb appeal, something that can make a significant difference in how potential homebuyers perceive the value of your home. If the main entry door to your home is looking worn and shabby, replace it with a steel one which offers maximum security, an updated appearance, and the highest return on investment.

Spruce Up Your Lawn and Landscaping

A little lawn and landscaping care can go a long way toward increasing curb appeal too. Make sure your front yard looks neat and attractive by keeping weeds under control, eliminating dead plants along with many branches and other debris. Keep your lawn watered and mowed – if you don’t have the time or ability to make it look good, it can be worth hiring a professional, and it’s usually relatively inexpensive to do so. If you can spend a little more, consider adding greenery and flowers. A stone walkway lined with plants is a great way to appeal to potential buyers.

Upgrade the Lighting

Lighting can also make a big difference in the value of your home without costing an arm and a leg. Replace dull recessed lights in the dining room and living room with more brilliant options, perhaps installing chandeliers. You might want to add more fixtures, like lighting underneath cabinets, accent lights, and lamps too. Think about natural lighting as well, bringing in as much possible in rooms throughout the house by ensuring that blinds and curtains don’t impede what the windows might bring in.

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