Modest Home Updates to "Wow" Buyers & Boost Value

Real Estate

When selling a home in today's market, it's important to consider all the options to help make it stand out and appear move-in ready to selective buyers.

Which improvements require the least time, effort and expense but will significantly boost your home's perceived value?  To help prioritize, the following is a list of modest staging solutions/upgrades that will get your property noticed and cost less than the first price reduction that buyers would expect for dated kitchens and baths.

Freshen Walls With Neutral Color 

Our go-to instant fix to brighten and hide dated and damaged walls is neutral paint.  It's amazing to see how a dark red or purple room can be completely transformed with a coat of soft "greige" (a combination of taupe and grey) paint that increases the perceived size of the space, doesn't distract from the room's features and acts as the perfect backdrop to modern furnishings and decor.

Re-paint Kitchen and Bath Cabinets

To instantly boost a tired kitchen or bath without a costly investment, start by repainting dated and dark cabinets and vanities with bright white paint.  Complete the look by painting with modern hardware - handles, drawer pulls or knobs for added style.

Replace Kitchen & Bath Lighting and Countertops

Lighting is an important design element that can affect the mood of a room more than any other accessory.  Adding updated lighting in modern designs and on-trend mixed finishes such as brushed nickel, chrome or soft gold tones will add warmth and sophisticated style.  It can also be used to draw attention to certain features in the room such as a beautiful new marble or quartz counter-top, appliances or high ceilings.

Highlight Key Features

For large windows with attractive molding, remove heavier window treatments or simply frame with floor to ceiling neutral drapes.  Remove worn carpeting and expose and polish hardwood flooring.  Re-stain stairway steps and railings by painting risers or updating spindles.  Enhance a beautiful stone fireplace with molding, mantle or screen.

Finishing Touches

Once you've invested in cosmetic fixes, be sure to remove dated furniture and accents and replace with more modern style that complement the room.  Minimal wall art, vignettes and throw pillows with subtle pops of color and pattern will add depth and warmth  so that buyers can emotionally connect and envision living in the home.

Exterior & Curb Appeal

It's just as important to update the outside of your home to welcome buyers inside.  Remodelling magazine's "Cost vs. Value" report continues to list replacing entry and garage doors, siding and windows as upgrades that provide the greatest return on investment.  However, sprucing up the landscaping, making necessary basic repairs, a fresh coat of paint for the front door and some seasonal potted flowers will go a long way to make a great first impression.

Guest post by Patti Stern