Home Improvements to Make Before Listing

17 Home Improvements to Make Before Listing

A fresh coat of paint can be all that you need. You can also update your patio or pavers by power washing, cleaning the yard, trimming trees, repairing fences, and repairing plants.

Want to sell your house quickly? You’ve likely heard that sweat equity can increase your profit on the final sale. It can be difficult, however, to know which home improvements will pay off in terms of time, money and effort.

What’s right for you depends on your time frame, your budget, your neighborhood, and whether your efforts will add value to your home.

The good news is? It’s not necessary to undertake a major renovation to increase the listing price. These updates will increase interest in your home, maximize profits, and impress everyone who visits.

Do not make the #1 home improvement mistake

Remember that you should never spend more on a home improvement project than the money you will get from the sale. You should aim to get back two dollars for each dollar spent.

Your home’s location and value will determine the improvements that you make and how much money you spend.

Many sellers make the mistake of over-improving their property. Your home improvement efforts should be aimed at bringing your house in line or slightly above the competition (other listings that are similar to yours).

Remember: Buyers want a house, not a construction project. Make your property as ready-to-go as possible.

Kenmore Team Sell Your Home

Here are 17 improvements to make before listing your home for sale

1. Focus on the front door

It pays to make an excellent first impression. Every potential buyer will walk through your front doors. New front doors can increase a home’s value and appearance by improving security and efficiency and reducing heating and cooling costs. Replace your old, outdated door with a high-efficiency, energy-efficient alternative if it is low-quality or detracts the appearance of your home. If the door is in good condition, you can give it a new coat of paint.

The front door is the first thing that people notice about your home. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Choose a design and color that suits your home and neighborhood. This focal point can be given personality by adding something unexpected.

2. Paint the exterior

An old peeling painting job is not the best first impression. This also leads buyers to expect a similar aged, uncared for look in the interior. You can revitalize the appearance of your home by focusing on trim if the exterior paint looks good. It will make any minor improvements pop.

Paint the house in a color that fits your neighborhood.

3. Refresh your lawn

Your landscaping shouldn’t scare away buyers. Clean yard, neatly trimmed hedges and trees, and an appearance that is easy to maintain will show buyers how simple your life is.

Your lawn should whisper “I am beautiful and low-maintenance.” That is the essence of curb appeal.

Do what you can with the landscape to make it more attractive. Use bright, new mulch. Cut back overgrown areas. Remove dead limbs and struggling foliage. Simple potted plants can add color to the landscape without adding plants or flowers that a buyer would have to maintain.

4. Upgrade the roof

If your roof is in bad shape, buyers may reconsider their purchase. Only if the roof is completely damaged is a total replacement necessary. You can hire someone to inspect the roof for simple repairs if it only needs some maintenance. The buyer’s inspector will point out these issues during the inspection. Fixing any leaks or missing shingles as well as areas of deterioration will help you avoid having to replace the roof.

A new roof is more than worth the cost if you need to replace it. Select a roof to match your home’s overall style and value. A deluxe roofing system is not a selling point. However, a roof that is new and worry-free is.

5. Add the finishing touches

It’s charming to have the original, rusted out mailbox, but it stands out when compared with any exterior upgrades. Upgrades to existing features are a great way to update your home (even if it’s not time to repaint). Start by updating your mailbox, address numbers, exterior lighting, and other features.

You should match any updates to the style of your home. However, by modernizing, you can give buyers an idea of what the house could look like. Select clean lines and colors to match any future (or new) paint. Black accents are a good choice, or anything in the same color family as your trim.

fresh paint

6. Fresh paint

Ask your listing agent and they’ll tell you that a fresh coat of paint is the easiest and most cost-effective method to increase value and profits. It gives a house a fresh feel, instantly revitalizes old spaces, hides nicks and stains, and cleans walls. Fresh paint can make a house shine, literally. It makes buyers feel as if they are touring a new home rather than an old one.

Select a warm neutral color to paint the interior. This should match all the existing furniture that you’re not updating. You don’t want the new paint to clash.

Neutral colors are a great way to start a new design. They also make confined spaces feel bigger. Whites, grays and beiges are all good choices.

7. Add carpet comforts

Make sure to give your carpets the full treatment if a deep cleaning will make them look like new. Replace your carpets if they are dingy, worn out or outdated. Buyers will assume that a home is not well maintained if the carpets are stained or torn. New carpet is less expensive than hard surface flooring and can be easily replaced. It also gives the home a “new” look.

8. Flaunt the floors

You might find your well-used flooring charming, but to buyers, it’s just a project with a price and a home that is less valuable.

You can give your existing hard surfaces a new lease of life by refinishing them to cover minor scratches and wear. However, you might want to upgrade your hard surfaces if they are not in good condition or if you have carpet all over the house.

Hard surfaces are easier to maintain and clean. They’re also more durable, longer lasting, hypoallergenic and an essential feature in any updated home. Hard surface flooring is preferred by buyers. If it is possible (for example, in areas with high traffic), consider upgrading to laminate, vinyl or natural wood planks.

Hard surfaces will not only make your home look like new, but they are also worth the money. The cost of replacing old carpets with laminate flooring will be more than offset.

9. Throw away old appliances

Upgrade to stainless steel if your appliances have reached the end of their life. This is the most popular option and it’s easy to incorporate into future upgrades. Avoid most colored appliances, as their outdated design instantly ages the room.

The majority of buyers plan to replace any old appliances and these costs could be reflected in the offer price. With a refresh, you can beat the depreciation.

Concentrate on the stove, the microwave or range hood and the dishwasher. Do not worry about the refrigerator if you intend to move it. Most sales do not include the fridge.

10. Cut clunky countertops

The kitchen counters can be tricky. You may already have a solid-surface counter (granite or quartz), so you don’t need to replace it. It’s not worth changing, even if it has a slightly dated color. Update the surrounding features to add value. The hard surface provides all the functionality that buyers need.

A damaged or aged tile or laminate countertop is another story. Check if an upgrade is needed. If your home is the only one in the neighborhood that lacks a solid surface then buyer perceptions will be severely affected.

Choose something neutral, light and easy to clean if you are updating. Choose something that will appeal to a wider audience and bring the best return.

11. Check your kitchen cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are consistent with the rest of the house, you can spruce them up with a simple refinishing. White cabinets are very popular and offer a fresh start for buyers. Avoid beige, taupe, or yellow, and opt for a clean, contemporary look. Refinish the cabinets properly (clean, stripe, sand and prime) for a lasting update. Refacing can be an option but it is only worth considering in certain circumstances.

As you are refinishing, make sure to update the drawer and cabinet pulls, knobs and handles in a style and color that matches your overall renovation.

bathroom floors

12. Bathroom floors

Bathrooms are governed by the same rules as carpets and other hard surfaces. Upgrade where it makes sense but do not stray too far from the existing material.

Stick to the tiles if your bathroom is tiled. Replace old, damaged, chipped or scratched flooring. If the tiles are already in good shape, replacing the grout will give off a modern look. These are professional projects, but they can be a budget-friendly option to a new tile floor.

Prioritize the master bath, and then the secondary bathrooms.

The master bedroom is a space where you will spend most of your time. The flooring in the laundry room and secondary bathrooms doesn’t need to be as refined. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a smart, clean vinyl. It updates the room without adding too many flares. The secondary floor will be noticed by buyers, but they won’t focus on it in the same way they do in the master bath.

13. Update bathroom cabinets

The same update can be done to the cabinetry in the bathroom. Upgrade the handles, knobs and pulls. Refinish the drawers and doors. The same color scheme makes the bathroom cabinets look like an extension of your kitchen. If you don’t have the time to refinish your bathroom cabinets, or if it is a small vanity unit, then many full-replacement options are a more cost-effective option.

The smaller bathrooms are a great place to incorporate modern design and style. Don’t worry about being too neutral or bland. You can still embrace contemporary bathroom design trends as long as they fit with the style of your house.

14. Give the tub a new look

Resurfacing the porcelain is a great option if your bathroom has that 80s-style pink. Resurfacing may be a professional job, but it is cheaper than a complete replacement and transforms the bathroom. Showers and bathtubs in white are the best option.

15. Doorknobs and hinges

Replace your doorknobs, and hinges in a uniform way. Handles and pulls on all cabinets should be uniform throughout the home.

Get rid of the gold and polished brass doorknobs from the 90s. Modern designs are sleek and feature brushed-nickel finishes or stainless steel. Matte black can also be a beautiful accent color for your home if it suits.

16. Switches and outlets

Light switches and outlets, like doorknobs and other tools, are used every day. Their age is taken into account when comparing the value of a home.

Light switches and outlets in cream-colored shades give a home a weathered, old look. The new standard is white. White is clean, crisp and simple. This is what buyers want in a house.

Replace old toggle switches by modern rockers, and replace old, loose outlets, with new, modern squared receptacles. Don’t forget faceplates or outlet covers.

Electricity is not a joke. Leave it to professionals if you’re not confident. The professionals will finish the work in record time and both you (and your buyer) can feel confident that a certified electrician has completed the project.

light fixture

17. Light Fixtures

You may only notice your light fixtures if a bulb is burned out. But they are another area where your house shows its age.

Contemporary fixtures and modern lighting are a great way to replace outdated fixtures. You do not need to go beyond the standard builder’s grade designs that come with new homes. Look for a consistent design in brushed nickel, matte black or stainless steel that matches the hardware and walls.

Consider replacing the fixture in the living room or primary bedroom with a ceiling-mounted fan. Individual climate control is seen by buyers as an efficient cost-saving measure that increases the value of a home.

Bottom line on home improvements

Remember that when you are selling your home, you want to show the buyers how easy it will be to live there. Prioritizing any maintenance issues will help you get the most return on investment. Next, make it move-in-ready. The next owners want to have an easy move. Your home should be the best value for money, but you don’t want to sacrifice a higher return. Compare your property with surrounding listings. Find out where you are lacking and make simple improvements to set yourself apart. Remember, this is not a beauty pageant. Your improvements are an important investment for a fast and profitable sale.