It's a busy time in the wild world of real estate. After a nationwide crisis, there has been a surge of home sales across the country and homeowners once again are looking for ways to increase the value of their houses — regardless of their intent on selling them. Experts say there are a number of simple ways to help your property see a rise in value. • "To draw buyers in, you need to create a visual story of how they could live in your home," says Starr Osborne, founder of moving-management and design company Tailored Transitions and author of Home Staging That Works: Sell Your Home in Less Time for More Money. "You need to prepare your home in such a way that it tells them a tale of the wonderful life that awaits them." With a few quick moves, telling that story can be easier. StatePoint Media Wires
Consider an inspection
When it comes to the inner workings of any home, a lot can go wrong. There are also plenty of inopportune times for a house's plumbing or electricity to suddenly go out. Plan a proper home inspection and rest easier knowing your property is up to code.
Get a fresh perspective
By bringing in a home stager for a couple of hours, you'll gain insight into your home from someone with an established background in real estate. By offering the odd decorating idea, he or she can help bring your home in line with the latest and most popular design trends.
Stage your home
There are many ways that easy or temporary upgrades to your home can come in handy if you're showing it to prospective buyers. "Home staging has infiltrated the selling process all across the country," says Osborne. "Clearly, staging boosts sales prices."
According to a recent HomeGain survey of 2,000 Realtors nationwide, 91 percent recommended staging before selling. Simple solutions from replacing faucets to moving furniture can dramatically affect your home's sale price.
If you're looking to sell, improve that first impression. Make sure your lawn, shrubbery, walkway and driveway are tidy. Get rid of messes and consider a new doormat or some nice planters. Removing books and lamps helps unclutter a living or family room.
Fix the easy stuff
Repair paint cracks with spackle and a new coat. Fix cracked or missing baseboards, thresholds and tiling. Make sure hinges are well oiled and that doors and windows open and close easily.
Add some color
By investing in some nice paints and applying a fresh coat, any home can be given new life. Assign specific colors to different rooms, and you'll find that walking around the house is a whole new experience.