Essential Improvements to Make Before Listing Your House

What to do before you put your house on the market

08/17/2018

Essential Improvements to Make Before Listing Your HouseIf sentimental value translated into actual dollars, selling your house would be easy. Alas, putting your house on the market requires a great deal of work. There are parts of your home that you might find charming or comforting, but they might not translate to new buyers when you put it on the market. To ensure that you get the most out of your listing, consider putting some attention into these details.

The heart of the home

The kitchen is a homestead’s central meeting place, whether it’s during larger social engagements or on a quiet night at home with the family. According to Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico, it’s just as important to buyers, and especially so to first-time homeowners. He suggests investing in new cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances to help the kitchen pop when you show the house. Updating your kitchen, even if it’s something as simple as a fresh coat of paint or a stylish backsplash, can pay big dividends when trying to wrangle buyers in the market for a welcoming home.

Update what’s underfoot

The flooring choices available to you are as varied and abundant as the preference of today’s homebuyer. Because re-flooring your home is costly and might actually wind up making it less appealing to certain shoppers, The Balance’s Elizabeth Weintraub recommends focusing on high-traffic areas like the family room, living room and dining room. An engineered wood floor, for example, is fairly inexpensive to purchase and can be installed rather easily — and often without the help of a professional. Putting this down in your living room or dining room might help give it just the right aesthetic touch to turn a browser into a buyer.

Brush-up and touch-up

You might be able to see past the chips and imperfections in the paint on your living room wall, but buyers almost certainly will not. The same can be said for any staining or cracking in your ceilings. Even if they’re mere cosmetic imperfections, they might speak to a potential buyer about age and unreliability.
 
To combat this, Weintraub recommends repainting walls as a cost-effective step to improve the salability of your home. While you might like the bright, fun colors of a living room, it’s recommended that you opt for something neutral when showing a home — think grays, off-whites or beiges. At the same time, personal touches like wood paneling, wallpaper and textured ceilings might not hold the same sense of hospitality for a prospective buyer as they do for you and your family. Homebuyers like to think of a home as a blank canvas upon which they can build their lives, and taking as much of yourself out of your former home as you can gives them the freedom to do so.

Spa-like refresh

Improvements made to your bathroom will resonate with potential buyers and are well worth your investment. Before putting your home up for sale, consider making any upgrades that would make your bathroom look clean, sparkling and unused. Weintraub recommends scrubbing away all signs of use, like lime deposits and soap scum, and replacing any faucets or fixtures that can’t be restored to a proper degree. You can enhance the look of your bathroom further with new lighting and a lighter hue of paint, which will open up the space even more.
 
Putting a home on the market is a draining process, but taking the time to make certain necessary improvements can pay out in a big way when the offers start coming in. If you want to get the most out of your listing, consider seeking the services of a staging professional to get an honest assessment of what needs to stay and go.

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