14 Upgrades for Your Home That Make Sense Before Selling
Are you looking to sell your current home, but are unsure what, if any, upgrades should be done before listing? Well, we’re here to help. It’s true that anytime you consider selling a house, you should take a quick ”inventory” of problem areas and things that need fixing in order to get the best selling price possible.
But what can be difficult is deciding which things need to be done and which things will actually net you a positive return on your investment. After all, some things are easy and will help your home sell for more, and are more challenging and may or may not help your home sell for more.
In this article, we will cover 14 different things you could do to upgrade your home before listing it for sale in hopes of it fetching a higher price.
What should you focus on?
When it comes down to it, you probably address every little issue the home has. So you need to focus on the things that are most important to the majority of buyers. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Maintenance is number one
No matter the age of a home, buyers want fresh, clean houses. That means you need to make sure the house is clean and the paint is in good condition. Small knicks on the walls and trim should be addressed.
While some people prefer a fixer-upper, the majority of purchasers are seeking properties with space, little work, and unique characteristics. Everything from the garage to the yard and the attic need some attention.
Replacing older windows and doors is usually cost prohibitive and you won’t see all your money back. You can however make sure that the seals are good and they are visually ok.
You want potential buyers to perceive the home as “well-maintained”. This will give them more confidence when it comes time to make an offer.
Know what people like
The best way to find out what local buyers want is to go to open houses nearby and see what is available. Are there new kitchens and bathrooms in the homes? Do the properties have new decks, patios, or yard items that boost the curb appeal? Is there a garage with special features or a basement with extra living space?
All of these things may be part of what buyers in your area are looking for. While you can’t change the homes’ location or general layout, you can highlight the features that home buyers find attractive.
Don’t use bold colors or unusual styling
Sure, it’s your home and you want to express yourself. However, this isn’t the time to do that. Although your style is probably amazing and interesting, your goal right now is to appeal to as many people as possible.
You can’t appeal to a large number of people if your home is so unique that they can't picture themselves in it! Go generic with features and neutral with colors.
Don’t fix things that don’t need fixing
To get the most money out of a house for sale, only replace what is ready to go. Replacing a 15 year old roof might be a nice thing to mention to potential buyers, but you are unlikely to recoup that cost in the sales price of the home. Only do so if the roof is leaking or has other issues that require replacement. If you do need a new roof, your Realtor will usually have a list of contractors that they can recommend.
Upgrades to consider before listing your home for sale
Now that you’re in the right mindset, let’s talk about things that can be done affordably and get you the most bang for your buck. Here are the 20 home upgrades that might make sense before you list your home for sale.
1. Paint your home's exterior.
As mentioned before, paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make your home feel like new. You can give the house a new look and feel by painting the interior. You can also repaint the exterior of your house to increase its value.
2. Update your cabinets
New cabinets are expensive, regardless of whether they're recouped. However, you could tweak your current cabinets rather than replacing them and totally refresh the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Even something as simple and inexpensive as changing the cabinet hardware could modernize your kitchen. You can repaint your cabinets to give them a facelift for a fraction the cost of buying new ones.
3. Replace bath hardware
A bathroom that is outdated usually requires a complete renovation. This takes a lot of time and money. To add value to the bathroom without doing a complete makeover, you can change the hardware on the cabinets or the fixtures. The room can be given a new look by switching from chrome to antique gold. Replace the faucet in the shower to instantly give the bathroom a spa feel.
4. Swap window treatments
Curtains can have a big impact on your home, both visually and in terms of energy efficiency. That's why new windows are a great selling point. This will require a large investment, perhaps several thousand dollars. If you have windows that are still in good shape and don't want to spend the money to replace them, then the next best option is to upgrade your window treatments.
You can transform your home with a variety of modern blinds, shades and curtains. These include sheers and patterns as well as blackout curtains. If your shutters are damaged or faded on the exterior of your house, consider replacing them.
5. Upgrade lighting
You may have never thought of this home improvement idea. Lighting your home. Even something as simple as replacing all your old light bulbs with LEDs can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency and illumination of your home. It's possible that the fixtures themselves are also to blame for your home looking old. Fortunately, you can replace them relatively cheaply.
Don't just focus on improving your interior lighting. Also, consider updating outdoor lighting fixtures around your house, such as chipped fixtures for your porch and patio. If that still adds up too much, some light futures can be spray painted to give them a fresh look.
6. Installing built-in bookcases
What is the one thing that homebuyers always look for? Storage space! Built-in shelves are a great way to create a focal point for a home room. A detached bookshelf will do the job, but a built-in bookshelf is much more valuable.
You can use them to add elegance and beauty to any room. They are especially useful when placed around a fireplace. There are many cool ways to construct bookshelves for your home, whether you choose to do-it-yourself or hire an expert.
7. Custom Storage Areas
Like bookcases, other storage areas are highly sought after and can add storage to various parts of your house. These areas allow you to store seasonal items, like holiday decorations and blankets. Turn the area under your stairs into customized storage areas.
A seating option that includes a storage compartment is another choice. This seating is ideal if your home has a bay-window. This space could be used as additional storage or a place to relax and enjoy the sun. You may need to add custom shelving to your garage if you want more space but also need to store things.
8. Upgrade the trim and add crown molding
You can add character to your rooms by adding wood crown molding or new trim. Paint the crown molding and trim before you install it for the best results. You may not want wood crown molding in a bathroom, as it can cause moisture problems. PVC crown molding is the better choice in such situations. If you're looking for crown molding that has more style and pizzazz in your bedroom or living room, plaster may be the best option. Other crown molding materials are available including MDF fibreboard, rubber and polystyrene.
9. Revitalize flooring
New flooring can be expensive, especially if your area is large. But you can refresh your existing floors! You can invest in shampooing your carpet if you have it. This could cost several hundred dollars. Consider refinishing wood, or reglazing tiles instead of replacing your floors. In bathrooms, painted tiles are in style right now, so that might be an option too.
10. Improve Landscaping
One of the best and most obvious upgrades you can do before your open house is to freshen up your curb appeal. Upgrades to your landscaping will give you some of the highest ROI on this list. Installing landscape lighting, power washing walkways, adding flowers, adding mulch and building a fireplace are all simple ways to improve the appearance of your yard.
Plant flowers around your home in the spring. You can plant them along the walkway or at the entrance to the house. Do not underestimate the power that pruning trees and bushes can have on your yard. This type of maintenance will transform a yard into something more manicured, and increase the value of your house. And it’s the first thing people see when they arrive!
11. Refinish your home's beautiful wood door
If your home has a solid wood door, you’re in luck. These can be refinished on a very small budget. Many wood entry doors are ruined by the same things, and end up being thrown away and replaced with low-maintenance metal or fiberglass substitutes. You can give your old door a new lease of life with some inexpensive supplies. You can either clean and sand the door before repainting it, or you can strip it down completely and restain it. Either way, refinishing your front door can do miracles for your curb appeal.
12. Install a New Bead Of Bathroom Caulk
We have all seen the signs of aging caulk. It started with a brown tint around the edges. Its once smooth, supple, and elastic skin is now brittle, cracked, and vulnerable to mildew colonies. Water can also seep in and make wallboard and framing soggy. It doesn't matter if it is around the sink, in between the tile and tub surround or on your shower stall joints.
Caulk is inexpensive and easy to apply. You only need an hour and a few tools that you can find at any hardware shop. Just keep in mind that even though it's easy, it must be done correctly or will have to be done again very soon.
13. Install Low-Cost Flooring for Laundries and Mudrooms
Before the invention of resilient sheet flooring, there was vinyl tile. Vinyl tile was originally produced as a linoleum alternative. It became popular because it is colorful, easy-to-clean, and crack resistant. These 12x12-inch vinyl tiles are available in dozens or colors, patterns and textures. They can be used to create checkerboard floors and borders with contrast. These can be done easily and cheaply. If you want a higher-end look, you can opt to lay vinyl plank flooring that looks like wood.
14. Ceiling fans for summer (and winter) savings
Ceiling fans are gaining in popularity as homeowners realize the dramatic energy savings they can achieve all year round. Ceiling fans reduce air conditioning costs by creating cooling breezes in summer. They circulate heated air in winter to keep the room comfortable.
It is easy to install a ceiling fan, particularly if you have access to the attic. Even if it's not possible, you can still do the job. Like replacing other lighting fixtures, this is an easy and affordable way to give a room a facelift that buyers will appreciate.
Final thought on home upgrades
Just remember, you are trying to appeal to a large swath of people when doing these home upgrades. So stick to fixing things that are obvious and might cause a potential buyer to think twice about buying your house.
Using the ideas on this list should help you produce a great result and do so on a much smaller budget than otherwise possible.
If you need more advice or help with selling your home, contact us and our experienced Granbury Realtors will be glad to help.