Top 5 Low-Cost Home Improvements You Should Make Before Selling Your Home

Getting your home ready for the market can be a daunting task. All of those little repairs and upgrades you’ve been meaning to tackle for years are now piled up, and as nice as it would be to leave them behind, taking care of them before you go to market can make a huge difference in how quickly your home sells, and for how much.

There’s no need for a large scale remodel—a few weeks dedicated to sprucing things up will do the trick. Here are the top 5 low-cost home improvements you should consider before selling your home.

Upgrade Light Fixtures

Old light fixtures can make a home feel dated. New fixtures are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and most homeowners with minimal electrical knowledge can tackle the job themselves. Look for fixtures that offer warm light and lots of it, and go for a style that matches the general style of your home. Keep colors consistent with your home’s existing hardware for a seamless look. Pinterest is a great tool to use for style inspiration if you’re not sure where to begin, or contact your real estate agent for tips on what buyers love to see.

Give Your Kitchen a Facelift

The kitchen is often a primary deciding factor in a homebuyer’s decision—it can literally make or break a sale. While a full kitchen remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars, most of which you likely won’t see a return on, there are a few simple updates that can help buyers see the potential your home brings.

  1. Paint cabinets: Choose a light neutral color such as a creamy white or soft gray. Don’t skimp on the paint quality, paint stores such as Benjamin Moore offer Cabinet Enamel, which will give you a much nicer finish and help you avoid the “sticky cabinets” we all hate. Use a foam roller or paint sprayer, and don’t forget to follow the manufacturer specifications for sanding and priming!
  2. Update cabinet and drawer hardware: Choose a clean and simple style that works well with the overall look and feel of your cabinets, eclectic styles won’t appeal to all buyers—save the pizazz for your next home.
  3. Replace faucet: If your faucet has seen better days, swapping it out with a nice new sleek and clean one can upgrade the look and feel in an instant.
  4. Add a backsplash: If you’re particularly handy, or willing to pay someone, adding or updating the tile backsplash can make a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your kitchen. Choose a simple design and color, a light colored subway tile is a timeless look that works well with most cabinets. Keep in mind, a sloppy backsplash will make buyers wonder about the quality of the work done on other areas of the house, so only proceed if you know you can do it well.

Paint Walls

Buyers love to see a fresh and clean blank canvas. Painting is the lowest cost improvement with the highest rate of return. Choose light neutral tones—greige is still all the rage! It’s important to choose the right sheen for each room as well. Use flat or eggshell for bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and hallways, satin for kitchens and bathrooms, and semi-gloss for trim. Your real estate agent should be able to point you towards some good color options if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Freshen Up Landscaping

First impressions are everything when it comes to real estate, and a messy or overgrown yard can make buyers feel like it will be a lot of work to maintain the home. Spending a few days trimming bushes and hedges, removing anything dead and weed garden beds, mowing and edging the lawn, laying down grass seed if you have patchy areas, and laying down fresh mulch is an absolute must. If you have extra time and a few extra bucks, adding some freshly planted shrubs and plants can take it up a notch to ensure an inviting entrance.

Replace or Refinish Flooring

Beat up wood floors and old carpet can make for a bad first impression and turn off buyers before they even see the rest that your home has to offer. One of the most common turn-offs I hear from buyers is about old carpet. If your home has carpet and a professional cleaning doesn’t bring it back to life, consider replacing it.

If you have wood flooring, talk to a flooring professional about the possibility of having your hardwood floors refinished, or replacing them with a new engineered hardwood alternative. Engineered floors have come a long way and there are some excellent affordable options that handy homeowners can tackle themselves.

Final Thoughts

The key to a successful home sale is to help buyers feel like it will be effortless to live in and maintain the home. These are the easiest and most cost effective upgrades you can make to help buyers get there. For more tips and tricks, feel free to reach out for a free consultation and we can talk through everything in more detail.

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