Even though the SW Florida real estate market is hot, you want to get the most money you can out of your home sale. Whether you’re selling your home now or simply looking to make some upgrades before you put it on the market sometime in the future, there are several ways to increase the value of your home — and they don’t always have to be expensive.

Let’s look at some ways to add value to your home that won’t break the bank:

#1 Paint Your Walls

The average buyer spends about 10 minutes in a room, so if that room is painted with a neutral color, like an eggshell or slightly off-white tone, it will make a good impression on the potential buyer. If the walls are a bit dated or have an older color scheme, or you have a bold accent wall in a contrasting, vivid color, consider painting them with a fresh coat.

#2 Declutter and Organize

Make sure closets and storage areas look neat and organized. People tend to get turned off by messy closets because they think the owners are disorganized. A little bit of organization makes a big difference for buyers and can be the difference in getting an offer or not.

#3 De-clutter Your Entire Kitchen and Countertops

The kitchen is one of the main focal points of your home that buyers will be inspecting, so the more open and appealing you can make it, the better. If you’ve got a kitchen island, try removing everything from it except the necessities. The same goes for any other surfaces in your kitchen – counters, table space, etc. The less clutter you have around the house, the more spacious it will look.

#4 Wash Windows Inside and Out

Clean windows can make a big difference in how bright your rooms appear and this is a simple, free way to give your home’s potential buyer a positive first impression.

#5 Stage Your Home to Make it Appear Spacious

Rearranging your furniture can have a major impact on the value of your home. Not only does staging your furniture properly give your home a more modern look, but it also opens up space, creating the illusion of a larger room. There are professional staging firms that will help you create the most appealing room layouts to make a positive impact on a buyer, and the fee they charge can be money well spent.

Tired of looking at that old sofa? Put it in another room or garage and replace it with a new one. If you don’t have enough wall space to hang artworks in your living room, try displaying them on a coffee or side table. Display knickknacks and personable collectibles with caution – potential buyers may not love your ceramic frog collection as much as you do.

Avoid clutter by storing toys and games out of sight. You should also arrange furniture so there is plenty of room for people to walk through without feeling crowded or bumping into things. Mirrors can help make a small space appear larger with strategic placement.

#6 Thoroughly Clean Walls and Floors

You may be surprised at how much dirt and dust can accumulate on your interior walls, especially if you have lived in your home for a long time. Make sure every room is spotless and make a special effort to clean surfaces that buyers will be attracted to, such as stainless steel appliances, light fixtures or granite countertops.

#7  Repair Things That Are Not Working

It can be very awkward explaining to a potential buyer that you need to jiggle the toilet handle to make it flush properly, so don’t wait until you get an offer to repair any broken items. You should also address any problems with leaks or mold, no matter how insignificant they seem to you, because buyers will notice them right away. Some repair and repainting work will save you from dealing with those issues when you’re ready to sit down at the closing table.

You should visualize your home with a critical eye, just like any buyer will that walks into your home will be doing. Make a list of needed improvements and tackle them before placing the “for sale” sign in your yard, and you’ll feel confident you’re presenting your home in the best possible light.