Simply put…..plain and simple….updates sell! Here are our most important suggestions if you are planning on selling your home.

Which updates do buyers like the most? Here are a few smart makeovers to get you started on your way to equity heaven.

1) Kitchens:

-Hard surface counter tops (granite, marble, quartz, and onyx, as well as fancier versions of formica).

-Upgraded cabinetry and handles. Newsflash…Oak cabinetry is out in a BIG way, especially the medium oak finish that was popular in the 80’s. Instead, choose popular wood species such as cherry, birch, walnut and maple. The espresso finish has taken the renovation world by storm. Most home rehabbers are choosing these cabinets when flipping their properties.

-Newer appliances. Stainless and black are the colors of choice right now

-Flooring. Tile, laminate, hardwood, and other hard surface flooring has been the trend. Easy to clean surfaces are preferred. If you choose a vinyl floor, make sure it mimics a stone tile look.

-Trending lighting. Oil rubbed bronze, brushed stainless and aged finishes are a must. Home Depot and Lowes carry products that reflect current demand and trends.

Even a minor facelift can increase the value of your home, bringing a quicker sale at a higher price. Consider a fresh neutral coat of paint, vinyl flooring, cabinet hardware, and formica counter tops. These things can change the overall appearance of your kitchen and give it that updated look without spending a small fortune.

2) Bathrooms:

-TILE is the word of the day. Bathtubs with tile tub surrounds going all the way up to the ceiling is the current trend. Tile comes in so many shapes and sizes as well as types. Visit sites such as Houzz.com to see what is trending. Another trend is clear trackless shower doors. This visually opens up the bathroom and makes it seem larger.

-Medicine cabinets are a thing of the past. Instead, hang a framed mirror. Pull out shelves can always be added to the vanity to make up for the lost storage. Let’s face it, there wasn’t much storage in a medicine cabinet anyway.

-Another smart choice are vanities that appear to be a piece of furniture, sporting ‘feet’ at the bottom, but are still enclosed with a kick plate.

-Choose oil rubbed bronze or brushed stainless fixtures. Brass is out, out, out!!! You can also mix oil rubbed bronze with shiny chrome if desired. For example, an oil rubbed bronze sink faucet and a chrome shower handle and head. This can save money and still look nice.

3) Finished Basements:

-EVERYBODY wants a finished lower level. It need not be extravagant but it needs to be finished. Drywalled ceilings are preferred, but an upgraded drop ceiling is nice too.
-Don’t skimp on the lighting in a basement. Having proper lighting makes the lower level seem like legitimate living space rather than a dark dungeon. Fluorescent lighting is inexpensive and goes a long way for the money. Pair this with table and floor lamps and you’ll have a winning combination!

-Fake out the basement windows with floor length draperies to finish the look and create a cozy space for the family to gather.

-Many of my listings sell due to an additional full bath in the basement. Especially popular due to adult children living at home longer than in past decades.

4) General Suggestions:

-Fresh neutral paint throughout (This includes the baseboards)

-If you have stained baseboards, consider putting stain on a rag and running over your baseboards to hide scratches.

-Get rid of clutter! I can’t stress this enough. If your closets are overstuffed, buyers will think there isn’t ample storage.

-Clear the kitchen counter tops, leaving only decorative items.

-Completely clear the front, sides and top of refrigerator. Absolutely no magnets allowed!

-Don’t have too much furniture in a room. Same premise, buyers will think the home is too small.

-If it’s broke….fix it. No One wants to pay full price for a home in need of obvious repairs.

-Neutral decor

-Make sure your house smells good. This is extremely important.
-Replace the front door with a quality door or paint your existing one.

-Install a quality door lock and knob. I can’t tell you the number of times a buyer has stood behind me while I fidget with a broken deadbolt or door knob. Makes for a really bad first impression.

-Replace old, worn carpeting. This is a BIG turnoff.

-Another maintenance item that seems more and more common….decks in need of major repair. If you have rotted boards, replace them and then give your deck a few coats of stain or paint.

-Scrape any cracked and peeling paint from the exterior and re-paint.

-Install new floor grates, outlets, switch and outlet plates throughout the house. Believe it or not this makes a big difference in the general appearance.

-Take this opportunity to shop for furniture for your new home. Get rid of your old furniture and stage your home with the new stuff. NEW sells!

-Power wash your siding, windows and doors. Dirt and spider webs are a huge turnoff.

-Make sure your lawn and landscaping is well manicured

-Pinterest has some great ideas for staging and decorating your front porch and door!

-Paint your concrete floor in your garage and basement. Dirty, stained concrete is a turn off.

–Last but not least….clean, clean, clean!!! A clean house sells every time!

I came across this paragraph about clutter at realtor.com and thought it was especially insightful in regards to a buyers perspective when looking at homes for sale:

A Few Words About Clutter

“For most buyers, cluttered homes tend to appear smaller, less full of air and light, and somehow requiring of more maintenance.

Conversely, clutter-free homes generally seem brighter, more open and spacious, perhaps cleaner and requiring of less work.

Additionally, clutter-free homes can make it easier for buyers to
visualize their own interior design ideas, as well as the placement of all their belongings.

While you may have many beautiful and meaningful belongings, they
might make it more difficult for you to sell and cost you thousands of dollars when you do.”

First impressions are crucial. Buyers start assessing your home the moment they pull up in their car, and unless they’re
looking for a deal or a fixer-upper, they prefer a home that is updated, well-maintained, clean, and ready to move into.

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