Key Updates to Make to Your House Before Selling

Written by guest blogger Lin Nulman of Homelight

Renovate or Update?

You do not, in most cases, have to do major renovations to a well-maintained house before putting it on the market.

But there are key updates to make when you sell your home. Some are necessities for your house to be competitive, and some are aesthetic changes that really appeal to buyers. You can freshen up your house and property with a few relatively simple projects that cost much less than gutting a room.

Updates Buyers Look For and Like

Paint: A home for sale needs a neutral palette and a clean look, and painting accomplishes both. Paint lets you eliminate wear-and-tear marks, too-bold colors that aren’t to everyone’s taste (that purple kid’s room), and wallpaper. Neutral colors step back and give the home’s features the spotlight, but they don’t have to be boring. Today’s paint choices include many warm, interesting hues.

Kitchen: Many small projects add up to an updated kitchen. White kitchens are trending now, but any neutral should just be warm and inviting. A new backsplash brightens the kitchen, and simple new hardware on cabinets and drawers gives the room a pulled-together, clean style. Replacing the faucet to match the hardware is another great touch. Finish with some glass jars of fruit or a platter of gorgeous veggies.

Bathroom: Easy ways to improve include a new vanity; pedestal sinks are popular, but go with your house’s style. Replacing outdated lighting fixtures and refinishing an older bathtub also have a lot of updating impact. Add art to a bathroom wall for an eye-catching, unexpected touch.

Smart and Green Technology: Today’s buyers love a smart, green house, and you can do updates that fit your budget. Keyless entries, smart thermostats, Energy Star appliances, and solar panels are among your choices. Insulating the attic and resealing older windows also make a house greener. Buyers think even older homes with new technology count as “updated.”

Floors: If you have hardwood floors, make them the asset and selling point they are. Buyers love them. Remove carpeting, and have them all, or the needy ones, refinished. Floors have a big visual impact. If you do need to stick with carpet, have the existing carpet deep-cleaned or replace it with a neutral color.

Landscaping: Updating your home’s “curb appeal” is a project that brings major return on investment. Like floors, a lush, manicured lawn has visual impact, so mow and reseed if necessary. Trim trees and bushes. New flowers or greenery add color, beautify, and show off outdoor features like walkways and sitting areas. Coordinate colors with your house for a polished look, and use native plants that will thrive with less maintenance.

Your Best Resource

Your realtor is your best resource for ideas and feedback on updates, so ask for advice. Top real estate agents in San Francisco know what the competition is updating, and what the local market is looking for. With his/her help, you can focus on the key updates that will lead to a quick, successful house sale.

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