10 Upgrade Tips That Help Sell Homes
What are the 10 most recommended upgrade tips that help sell homes?
Our staging team visits hundreds of houses every year. We know what makes home sell. Here are our top 10 tips for upgrading homes before putting them on the market:
- Interior Painting – unless the home was painted in the past year, the interior will probably need to be repainted, even if the home is painted an appealing neutral color. Light gray is still trending strongly, although we are recommending a warmer gray/taupe vs. cool gray. If you hire us to stage, we’ll be happy to give you a free color consultation.
- Wallpaper Removal – Very rare is the wallpaper that will appeal to buyers. Since your goal is to make your home as attractive as possible to the greatest number of buyers, the wallpaper has to go. Walls painted a single, solid color are always in style.
- Exterior Painting– If the exterior hasn’t been painted in 4 or 5 years, there’s a good chance the exterior of the home will need to be painted. At the very least, paint the trim and the front door, and pressure wash the rest of the house. To select colors, drive around the neighborhood until you spot a home similar to your listing that has colors that are appealing.
- Reveal hardwood floors – Pull up a corner of the carpet and check if there are hardwood floors underneath. Unless the hardwood floors are in terrible condition, hardwood trumps carpet every time and are preferred by home buyers.
- Replace the carpet – If the carpet is newer (less than 3 years old) try having it professionally steam cleaned. If it still appears soiled or stained, or it is more than 3 years old, replace the carpet. You don’t have to buy an expensive carpet – oftentimes just being new is good enough. Select a light neutral color – cream or ivory are popular colors for staging that work with a lot of different architectural styles. Lighter colors will ‘lift’ the room and make it feel larger. Berber is OUT. Select a medium cut pile, preferably with no pattern.
- If the kitchen has tile counters, have them epoxy painted WHITE by a professional (also known as Miracle Method)
- If the grout in tile floors or in the shower is stained, have your handyman float a very thin layer of new grout over the old to instantly give the tile a lift.
- Replace appliances – Even if your listing is in a lower price range, home buyers today are looking for homes that look like homes they see on HGTV. Purchase a ‘suite’ of appliances (all from the same manufacturer) so all the knobs and handles match. If some of the appliances are newer, then replace the ones that are not. Stainless steel finish appliances are the most desirable finish among home buyers. Most appliance manufacturers have a lower priced line that comes in a stainless steel finish. To save some money, look for discontinued, floor models or ‘scratch and dent’ appliances that might have one or 2 small cosmetic flaws.
- Replace the knobs and handles on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets – This is the least expensive way to upgrade a kitchen or bathroom. Its like adding tasteful jewelry to a little black dress. Choose simple metal knobs in a finish that matches your appliances or sink faucet.
- Landscaping and Curb Appeal– Stand across the street from your listing and snap a photo. What do you see? Do you see overgrown shrubs that block the front of the house or the windows? Do you see a weedy lawn that hasn’t seen fertilizer and a mower for a while? Do you see a bunch of junk laying around the yard or the dreaded ‘dead’ car in the driveway with weeds growing up underneath? Mow the lawn. Have the gardener throw down some weed and feed and water it regularly. Plant some colorful flowers along the front walk and near the front door. The drive up to your listing is the first time potential buyers will see it. Make sure what they see leaves a positive impression that makes them want to go inside.