Even in a sellers’ market, strategic home updates can have a powerful effect on your home’s appeal. Choosing smart updates can increase the perceived value of your home among potential buyers. Houses that look newer, are well-maintained, and clean tend to generate more demand and sell quicker, often for more money.
Most homeowners don’t have the budget for a full-scale renovation. So here are some of the most effective home updates a homeowner can make to prepare a property for sale.
1. Deep Clean
It may sound obvious that cleaning your home is a no brainer. Sadly, I can tell you from experience, that many homeowners miss this very important step. Buyers tend to assume that a dirty home has a lot of deferred maintenance. Basically, if you can’t be bothered to clean the toilet or wipe down the counters, are you slacking on bigger maintenance items that may lead to new issues for the next owner. So our step one for everyone is to dust, scrub, and polish your house from the ceiling (you can't imagine the amount of ceiling cobwebs and dust caked fan blades I've seen over the years) to the floor, and all of those spaces in between. Don't have the time hire it out it is well worth the money spent.
“Paint is money in a can!” There is no better return-on-investment than a fresh coat of paint. Remember, the focus needs to be on your room, not on the wall color. When preparing a home for sale, stick with neutrals since these colors have the highest appeal among potential buyers as it give the home a clean slate for them to customize how they like. Take a look at our paint color recommendations for home staging and selling here. If you are just completely overwhelmed, you can always get in touch with us for a color consultation or an interior painting quote.
3. Update Bedding
I know it sounds trivial as the buyer is not going to keep your bedding but presentation is everything when selling your home and nothing is sadder than tired mismatched bedding. When buying new bedding go for white or neutral color bedding, preferably solids or minimal patterns/textures as it will go with everything and can transition with you to your new home. Updated bedding (sheets and pillows too) will give the room a more cohesive, high-end feel (think hotel) and it will look great in your listing photos. Bed-in-a-bag options are an easy solution and are available at most big-box department stores or Amazon. These sets typically include the duvet or comforter, a bed skirt, pillow shams, sheets, and accessory pillows.
4. Update your light bulbs
The right light bulb can transform any space. Take a look at the photo above. That is the same room with 4 different light bulbs. See how the colors change in the room with the different types of bulbs. If you have halogen or warm white light bulbs change them all to either a neutral white or a cool white LED. This will give buyers a better idea of the actual colors in the home without the yellow tint some bulbs can cast and your rooms will be brighter. Our go to are the daylight bulbs that you can find at any hardware store. They mimic natural sunlight and brighten up any space.
5. Replace Faucets
Kitchens and bathrooms are highly visible and extremely important on most buyers’ priority lists and the usually yield the most return on any investment. If you have a kitchen or bathroom that is on the older side but a complete renovation is out of the budget upgrading the faucets is something that won't break the bank but will give the space a bit of a facelift for those potential buyers. When it comes to finish you can't go wrong with brushed nickel or black as they are both timeless options.
6. New Cabinet Hardware
While we’re on the subject of kitchens and bathrooms, take a minute to evaluate your hardware. A new set of hardware can work wonders on older cabinets and modernize your look for a fraction of the cost. Go for contrasting colors for a bigger impact. If you have white cabinets opt for black or oil rubbed bronze and for wood or darker cabinets brushed or satin nickel will give that wanted pop.
7. Re-caulk Sinks and Tubs
Caulk (that strip of silicon that seals the edges of your sinks, showers, and tubs) can become yellow and brittle after a while. Sometimes it even starts to accumulate black mold. If this is the case, you are going to want to consider re-caulking those areas. Start by removing the old caulk with a putty knife or utility knife, clean and dry the surface, then add a fresh bead of new caulk and smooth it out and let it cure. Voila for less than $10 for a tube of caulk you've just updated major red flags for potential buyers.
8. Update Light Fixtures
Begin by replacing outdated entry lights, dining room chandeliers, and bathroom vanity lights. If there’s still room in the budget, consider swapping out any builder-grade flush-mount ceiling lights. Remember to pick a fixture that goes with the style of your home or it will stick out and be as bad as the old fixture.
9. Upgrade to a Digital Thermostat
Not only do analog thermostats look dated, but they could be costing you extra money! Upgrading your device brings you more in line with home buyer expectations and many times you can switch them out yourself thanks to all of those helpful YouTube videos.
10. Curb Appeal
Last but not least don’t neglect the exterior! After all, it’s the first thing a potential buyer is going to see when they look at your home. Pull those weeds, trim and prune bushes and trees, and power wash the sidewalk, paint or stain your front porch. Fresh mulch makes a big impact in flower beds we like golden or black for good contrast. It’s also a good idea to spruce up your front door area as well. Make sure you don't have any chipping paint and that your door color compliments your façade.
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