In order to get your home ready to sell, you’ve got to do some preparations. Every house could use some work, and yours is no exception. Regardless of what you might think. Here are some things that you should consider improving before you put your home on the market. Chances are, your home will have more than one of the negative things on this list.
Wood floors are a hot item today, but preferences over the years have changed. Some buyers may prefer original hardwood floors, but there are many popular choices today. The final movement away from hardwood happened when installing hardwood floors became too expensive. Plywood was easier to obtain and faster to install. Plus choices in carpeting were plenty. It’s still relatively inexpensive to install carpeting.
Hardwood Floors: If your home has hardwood floors, that’s what buyers want, and it would pay to have the carpeting removed and the floors refinished.
Carpeting: If your sub-floor is plywood, then replace the carpeting with light tan. Neutral carpeting is your best bet for resale.
Ceramic: Replace chipped or cracked tiles. Clean or replace the grout. But don’t install ceramic (it’s too expensive) unless it’s for aesthetic reasons in an entry way.
Painting ceilings & walls
Buyers spend more time than you would think staring at ceilings. They are looking for signs of a leaky roof, but what you don’t want them to see are stains from grease or smoke and ceiling cracks. Ditto for walls. Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it’s the most cost effective improvement. Use fiberglass tape on large cracks, cover with joint compound and sand. Paint a neutral color such as light tan – think of coffee with cream. For further reading, see: Ten Things to Do Before Listing Your Home.
Wallpaper: It’s not that all buyers hate wallpaper. They hate your wallpaper – because it’s your personal choice, not theirs. And they hate all dated wallpaper. Get rid of it. The easiest way is to steam it off by using an inexpensive wallpaper remover steamer.
Wood paneling: Even if your wood paneling is not real wood but composite, you can paint it. Dated paneling must go. Older wood paneling such as walnut, mahogany, cedar and pine, it’s all gone out of style. Paint it a neutral and soft color after priming it.
Textured ceilings: Popcorn ceilings often are see in older homes, and may contain asbestos and cause health hazards. Time to remove it. It’s not expensive but it is time consuming to remove. Aside from being a safety concern, most buyers don’t want popcorn ceilings.
Improve your kitchen
Appliances and cabinets are typically the most expensive items to replace in a kitchen. If you don’t have to replace them, you’ll save a ton of money. However, if your cabinets are dated and beat-up, your house might not sell if the cabinets aren’t replaced.
Before going the extreme route of renovations, try to improve rather than replace. Most buyers aren’t going to pay top dollar because you just put in a chef’s stove, travertine floors and a brand new glass refrigerator. See: Home Seller’s Checklist.
Cabinets: Resurfacing the cabinets is always the least expensive of all other options. Resurfacing includes adding a thin veneer to the surface of the cabinets. You will need to replace the hardware. However, if your cabinets are outdated, chances are the hardware was too.
Counter tops, sinks & faucets: Granite counters are not always necessary, but they definitely are appreciated; so are new faucets and brand new sinks. More importantly, make sure that those sinks are working properly, including the water pressure.
Update your bathrooms
New floors, fixtures and lights really pay off when it comes to selling a house, as they are a top selling point for a buyer. Consider spending money in these rooms. However, just as you don’t want your house to be the nicest one on the block, you also don’t want one specific room to be the most expensive looking room in the house. If your budget is small, make minor improvements throughout the house, rather than putting your entire budget into a guest bedroom. Read: Seller Checklist.