You’ve spent the past decade living in your current home. It’s been the setting for a lot of family “firsts” — from your baby’s first steps to your first time hosting Thanksgiving. Now, your family is growing and planning to upgrade to something bigger. In order to buy a bigger home, you’ll need to first sell your current one — and, hopefully, for its maximum value.
One strategy to help you do that?
Make simple, affordable upgrades that can add value to your home — before listing your property.
Here are six home updates that can have a big impact.
- Hardwood floors. Has your home had the same carpet since the 80s? Dust, dirt, and dog hair often cling to carpets, giving rooms a drab appearance. Freshen up bedrooms and guestrooms by hiring someone to install hardwood floors. Genuine hardwood has the greatest visual appeal, but it can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, vinyl or laminate flooring are worthwhile alternatives. Depending on the size of your bedrooms and flooring selection, it can take anywhere from a half-day to a full-day per room installation.
- New, matching stainless steel appliances. We often wait until our appliances break to replace them. There’s a reason for the age-old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, upgrading your appliances can add value to your home, making it a worthy exception. Matching new appliances bring a unified look to your kitchen. Plus, new appliances will typically be built with the latest technology, making them more energy-efficient than your last appliances. Consider black stainless steel, as it is a little more resistant to fingerprints and smudges than silver.
- Quartz countertops. Move over granite and marble countertops. Quartz is the latest material of choice. It has a high-end appearance and is more stain-resistant than granite, based on Consumer Reports’ testing. During the test, Consumer Reports piped half-inch splotches of potential offending liquids — from hot coffee to chocolate syrup — on each surface and recorded the effects after 20 hours. Quartz fared better than granite with beet juice and food coloring, making it the winner.
- Fresh coat of paint to walls and cabinets. A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform a space. Semi-gloss paint has traditionally been known for its durability, but it also reflects light. As a result, matte paints tends to hide imperfections better, making walls appear smoother and mark-free. Which colors appeal to homebuyers? Stick to neutrals, such as beige, ivory, taupe, or gray, and pull in color through accent pieces. A chevron navy and white rug or an aqua armchair can really pop in a gray bedroom. If your home has any rooms with extremely bright paint colors, such as a pink child’s bedroom, start there. Neutral colors allow homebuyers to see the room’s potential instead of getting stuck on the paint.
- Walk-in shower. Angie’s List got personal and asked 2,000 survey respondents: do you prefer a bath or a shower? It was a clean sweep for showers, which received 90 percent of the votes. Based on the results, the likeliest person to prefer showers is a 20-something male. Comparatively, the likeliest person to choose baths was a 40-something female. Interestingly, if you have a tub with a built-in shower, you might think you have the best of both worlds. However, modern homes are moving toward walk-in showers. They’re sleek and functional, allowing for easier access. That’s important for an older demographic — and anyone who needs the space to be wheelchair-accessible.
- Landscaping. The entrance to your home makes a lasting first impression on prospective homebuyers. If they walk up to dead plants and excessive weeds, it’s not a good look. Consider hiring a landscape company to select the right combination of native plants, which have adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. Native plants are typically low-maintenance and are more likely to thrive throughout the year than exotic plants. Thoughtful landscaping can also attract potential buyers when they're driving through the neighborhood.
A few simple upgrades can add value to your home, helping you get closer to the right buyer — and price.