Selling Your House? Make These Updates First!

Are you thinking about selling your home? There are tons of updates you can make in order to make your home look its best and ultimately bring you top dollar when you sell. Most high-value updates can and should be made in the major, high-priority rooms (kitchens and bathrooms), but make sure you don’t neglect the other rooms in the house. There are plenty of opportunities for living room updates, family room updates, entryway updates, and even bedroom updates.

Before you list your home for sale consider some of these ways to increase your selling price. Some are easy and inexpensive while others are a little pricier and require a bit more work, but all of them can add value to your home.

Neutral Paint Colors

Neutral walls¬†aren’t for everyone. Some people prefer to go bold, bright or even even totally wild when it comes to their wall color. And that’s great. However if you’re selling your home it’s very important to realize that not everyone will share your tastes.

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How to Go Bold with Color at Home

Before you put your home on the market and start showing it to potential buyers you should seriously consider painting the walls a light, neutral color such as white, cream, beige, light grey, or some version of one of these colors. Sure, it may seem a bit boring compared to your colorful preferences, however if you want to get top dollar for your home you need to appeal to as many people as possible, and strong colors won’t do it.

Hardwood Floors

One of the most common phrases in North American real estate listings is “hardwood flooring throughout”. Hardwood floors have been – and continue to be – a huge selling point for all kinds of homes. New, old, modern, or traditional, hardwood floors are appealing in just about every situation. So if you are putting in new floors and you want to maximize your investment you should seriously consider hardwood. When you go to sell your house you’ll find you can command a higher price than if you had a version of laminate or vinyl. Just keep in mind that they don’t handle moisture and humidity well so don’t install hardwood in the basement.

Replace the Hardware

When people think about hardware they usually think about things like kitchen cabinet knobs and pulls, but there’s a lot more hardware in your house than you probably¬†think about. If you want to spruce up your living room and add a little extra value switch out any outdated or shabby looking switch plates, outlet covers, and door knobs for something new and modern. Does your home have plastic builder grade covers? Consider replacing them with new metal versions. It may seem like a small thing, but hardware can really set the tone for a room, and cheap or outdated hardware can make the whole room feel that way. Likewise, contemporary, good-looking hardware can make the whole room feel that way.

Architectural Moulding

A simple living room update that can be done in a weekend (if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do a little work) is to add architectural moulding such as crown moulding, wainscotting or panelling. When done the traditional way, carpenter-fashioned paneling can be quite pricey, but a DIY applied moulding project only costs a couple of hundred dollars (depending of course on the complexity of your design). The result makes the room look more elegant and it will look like you spent a fortune – particularly if you paint the moulding the same color as the walls.

Fix Cracks in Walls and Ceilings

Nothing makes a house look neglected more than cracks in the walls and ceilings. If you want to get top dollar for your home make sure you have addressed any such problems before you list the home. If they are just hairline cracks you can fill them and paint over them, however if they signal a bigger problem you’ll either need to have a professional fix the issue or be prepared to lower your asking price. No one wants to see a big crack in the wall while sitting in their living room, and you can’t expect potential buyers to ignore them.

Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were popular from around the 1950’s to the 1980’s, but that’s definitely no longer the case. In fact, popcorn ceilings give rooms a really dated look that turns off a lot of potential buyers. If you want to update your room so that it looks more current and appeals to more people consider getting rid of it. If you have strong DIY skills this is a job that you can do yourself, however it can be very messy, and because you’re dealing with ceilings it can be awkward, so only attempt it if you really feel up to the challenge. Also, if the popcorn was applied before 1978 it must be tested for asbestos. If it turns out it is asbestos-based you’ll need to have it properly and safely removed by a professional. Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove asbestos yourself.

Clean the Windows

It may seem like the simplest thing in the world, but it’s surprising how many people forget this very important task. Natural light is far more appealing than artificial light, and windows need to be as clean as possible in order to maximize the amount of natural light that can come through. Dirty or grimy windows can give an entire room a dark, dingy look. Whatever you do, don’t skip this very important step. It’s a living room update that’s easy, virtually free, and will make an important difference.

No matter what else you do to try and increase the value of your home before you list it for sale, make sure to clean everything from top to bottom. Nothing turns people off more than dirt and grime, and it’s remarkable how quickly people will say ‘no’ to something they perceive not to be clean. People are far more likely to spend more money on something that looks clean and fresh than go to the trouble of cleaning it themselves. So clean the floors, the walls, the ceilings, the air vents, and everything else you can find!