• Sarah Lipkowitz

Inexpensive Updates That Can Help You Sell Your Home

Updated: May 30, 2020

Sellers often wonder which updates are worth doing before selling their home and it can be a difficult question to answer because it depends on the house and the market. Big ticket items like the roof, HVAC, windows, siding, and kitchen renovations will certainly help you sell your home, but you won’t necessarily recoup all the costs. The good news is that there are a few updates that are almost always worth it and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Front Door. The front door is the first impression a buyer gets of a home. Replacing or painting the door can make a tremendous difference.

Landscaping. Curb appeal matters. Before arriving at the front door, buyers will pull up to your house and a decision will be made right then and there whether or not to continue. I usually encourage my buyers to take a look inside since we are there, but I have had buyers drive up to a house and rule it out immediately based on the lot and the exterior appearance of the property. Fresh mulch, mowed grass, and a few potted plants can make all the difference in the world. If a buyer sees an unkempt lawn, they will inevitably begin to question if the interior systems in the home have also been neglected.

Shutters. Definitely plan to replace any missing shutters. If your shutters simply look a bit worn, you could replace them or paint them.

Driveway. Sealing your driveway is another way to heighten curb appeal. At very least, plan to remove any grass or weeds growing out of the driveway.

Paint. This update is very likely on your radar already. It’s quick and relatively inexpensive. Paint can completely change the feel of a room. You don’t need to paint every room white like some might suggest, but lighter colors can help brighten up a room. As long as the colors in the room tie together well, you should be good to go.

Fixtures. If your interior and exterior light fixtures are dated or worn, it would be a good idea to replace them.

Hardware. Don’t want to replace doors or cabinets? Consider replacing the hardware. New doorknobs and pulls can help to update the look without breaking the bank.

Faucets. Again, you don’t necessarily need to replace an entire vanity or sink. Sometimes, replacing the faucet is enough. Just be sure the look ties together well.

Flooring. There are certainly instances when I recommend sellers think about replacing their floors, but often, having the carpets professionally cleaned or putting down a fresh coat of stain is the right answer.

Appliances. It is unlikely you will recover the cost of a full kitchen renovation in the sale. However, new appliances are definitely something buyers like to see.

Grout. Another way to update the look of your bathroom or kitchen is with grout. Over time, grout gets discolored and/or falls out. Regrouting tile in the showers, tubs, floors, and backsplashes freshens up the look of the room without the cost of replacing tile.

Crown Molding. There’s a reason buyers like crown molding. It is a decorative element that draws the eye upwards and makes the ceilings seem higher. Crown molding doesn’t need to be an expensive update and is a relatively simple DIY project too.

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