I often get asked how my clients can improve or make easy home updates before selling – or for their own enjoyment. So, naturally, I had to write a blog post about it! Below is my list of top updates to make to your home on a budget, but also with substantial return on your investment.
Top 5 easy home updates before selling
1. Kitchen Update
Kitchen remodels don’t have to be a huge undertaking with a high ticket price. Even small kitchen remodels can earn an 83% return on investment (per NerdWallet).
Small remodels could include:
- Replacing one or two appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings
- Updating flooring
- Updating countertops
- New paint
- Refacing cupboard doors
If you are considering doing a complete remodel of your kitchen, you first may want to reach out to a real estate expert to discuss how much your home value might increase from doing so. The idea is that you don’t want to out-price the standards of your community; if other homes in your neighborhood are selling for a fairly standard price range, your kitchen upgrade may not provide you with additional value if buyers are unwilling to pay. I’m happy to discuss this further with you!
2. Convert or Build a Home Office
Home offices were once seen as a luxury space in a home, but in today’s new work environment of millions of people telecommuting, they have become almost a must-have for a large majority of buyers. In fact, it was found in a recent HomeLight survey that buyers care more about there being a home office than the square footage or move-in ready status of a home!
Depending on the size of the conversion or the extent of a new build (such an add-on room or a separate ADU) the estimated amount that will be added to the resale value of your home can range from $10,000 to several $100,000’s. This is definitely one for consideration!
3. Open Up The Floor Plan
The amount of buyers I have worked with and the number of those that comment about how they love an open concept floor plan is staggering – but also not surprising. Open floor plans make a home look bigger and are perfect for entertaining. Smaller, closed off rooms, including the living room, dining room and, most especially, the kitchen can often make a home feel disjointed and lacking of flow.
So, knocking out the right wall(s) can certainly create the spacious layout many buyers are looking for. This upgrade can also invite more natural light into the open space, which, if you know me at all, means more indoor plants!
4. Curb Appeal
You know the saying – first impressions last. Well, since the first thing any buyer is going to see is what is leading them up to the front door, having great curb appeal is a definite top six upgrade. And the best part about this upgrade is it can cost very little but have extremely high return on your investment – sometimes over 500%!
Simple upgrades such as the addition of bark can make a huge difference to the curb appeal of a home – plus it is very California-friendly. Drought resistant yards is gaining popularity and is often seen as a potential homeowner’s benefit – never having to water the yard does the world good!
Some curb appeal updates include:
- New front door
- New garage door
- New mailbox and house numbers
- Exterior paint
- Front porch seating
- Drought-resistant plants
- Artificial grass
- Neutralize the walls
Greiges, whites, grays and beiges are all preferred household paint colors and for good reason. Light, neutral wall colors are very easy on the eyes and are, generally, universally accepted. Bright, personalized colors (think dark oranges or greens) can throw off your ability to imagine your belongings in a house and definitely put off a potential buyer.
Do it yourself painting is also one of the cheapest ways to increase your home’s value and is an easy home upgrade before selling, so if you’re up for the task, you’ll save yourself quite a lot of expense.
5. Bathroom Update
Adding a full bathroom to a home can generate, on average, 65% return on investment. A full bathroom is considered to be a shower, sink and toilet. However, not all bathroom upgrades need to be a complete overhaul to provide some great return on your investment.
Swapping out outdated fixtures is a great and inexpensive way to bring your older bathroom back to life. Popular finishes like satin or brushed nickel pair well with most tile, while chrome is a more classic look, but wow do those water spots show up!
Turning a single sink to a double can be an excellent decision. As a rule, you’ll need a minimum of 60 inches to comfortably accommodate two sinks. Vessel or undermount styles will make the most of limited counter space.
As with any room in a house, updating light fixtures is also a great way to create a more modern look, and adding dimmers also enhance their versatility.
New shower fixtures can also help, and is most likely something you can do by yourself. However, for more extravagant showers with a spa-like feel, adding multi-head showerheads or multifunction shower systems will probably require a plumber – reach out to me if you need a great plumber that we explicitly trust!
I hope these various easy home upgrades before selling have given you some ideas as to how you can spend a little but get a lot in return! If you have questions or would like to discuss how best to upgrade your home, please reach out to me at 707-210-5500 and I’d be happy to chat with you about it and give you some pointers.