Even if your home is dated, you don't have to invest a fortune in expensive renovations to make your rooms pop for potential buyers. By focusing on simple, inexpensive projects in a few key areas, you can get the most return on your investment and add significant value to your home. 1. Make a Memorable First Impression
Make a statement to buyers as soon as they step into your home by sprucing up the entryway. Installing an impressive new light fixture is a quick and easy way to add luxury and entice buyers to see the rest of your home. A "statement" chandelier in your front hall or foyer sets the mood and tone for the house and adds bright light in what could be a dark or undecorated area. Pro Tip:
Turn on your lights before showing your house to a potential buyer. A properly lit home gives a welcoming feeling and makes the house seem larger. 2. Give Kitchen Cabinets a Facelift
According to a remodeling report from the National Association of Realtors, you could recoup as much as 67 percent of your investment if you remodel your kitchen.1
But who has the time and money for a full kitchen renovation when selling? Instead, focus on your kitchen cabinets. Add a few glass-front doors, give them a fresh coat of paint, and add updated hardware. These easy upgrades are quick and affordable, and will give your kitchen the illusion of a complete makeover. Pro Tip:
When painting cabinets, choose a color that complements your appliances and the rest of the kitchen style. With the right shade, eyesores can blend right in. 3. Paint Everything
Painting is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to give your house a brand-new look. A new coat of paint will leave your rooms looking fresh and clean, which appeals to buyers and gives them the confidence that you've properly maintained your home over the years. When choosing paint colors for resale, keep things neutral. But that doesn't mean you have to paint everything builder beige. The right shade of yellow, green, or blue can be neutral but also adds pizzazz. Don't forget your baseboards and ceilings - a clean coat of white paint on these often-overlooked areas can make your house look fresh. Pro Tip:
Not sure which paint color to pick? Buy a variety of small paint samples and paint the different color options on large pieces of paper that can be easily moved from room to room. 4. Add Bling to Doors and Cabinets
Think of hardware as jewelry for your doors and cabinets. Upgrading doorknobs and drawer pulls gets your doors and cabinets ready for their big date with a buyer. Updated hardware is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to modernize your entire home. And you don't have to worry about matching every handle to the plumbing or lighting fixtures in a room. Not everything has to match.
5. Fix Up Your Floors
Life happens - and your home's floors often bear the brunt of it. Potential buyers won't overlook worn or dirty carpet, scratched hardwood floors, or cracked tiling. But you don't have to invest a lot of money to make your floors a prime selling point.
Carpets absorb dirt, odors, and allergens, so in rooms with heavy traffic, it's best to replace the carpet or upgrade to hardwoods if you can afford it. You'll get a big return of more than 90 percent of your initial investment.2
If you already have wood floors but they're old and dingy, you should have them refinished. Refinishing will be money well spent, too, when you sell - the National Association of Realtors says you'll get 100 percent ROI.2
It's cost-effective to fix cracked, scuffed, or stained tiles because there's no need to replace the entire floor. Simply swap out the problem tiles and give the rest a good polishing. 6. Don't Leave It to the Buyer's Imagination
Return your converted rooms back to their original use
. You may love your custom office space, but if it used to be a bedroom or a dining room, potential buyers won't be able to see past the new use. All they will see is an empty checkbox on their list.
It also helps to clarify any confusing areas in your home. Don't make buyers guess the purpose of a funky alcove, add a desk or other simple suggestions to help buyers envision how they could use the odd space. 7. Remove Popcorn Ceilings
Popcorn ceilings, also known as stucco ceilings, can be a deal-breaker for many homebuyers since they significantly date a house. Replacing popcorn ceilings is a labor-intensive project, but well worth the investment of time, money, and elbow grease if you can afford it.
Many homeowners opt to do the work themselves, which is the most inexpensive option. But make sure you get a professional to come out and test the ceiling for hazardous materials before you get started. Asbestos was banned from most building materials in the late 1970s, but there's no way to know for sure if it's in your popcorn ceiling without getting it tested.2
If asbestos is found, removal must be done by professionals. Pro Tip:
If your ceilings are high enough, you could simply drywall over the popcorn ceiling to save on time and money. 8. Out with the Old, In with New Fixtures
Even if your home's plumbing, lighting, and other fixtures are in good condition, their style alone can date your house and decrease its value. To ensure the best sale price, take a survey of all fixtures throughout your home. Assess their style based on color, finish, and overall design. Replace the most outdated fixtures first, followed by the ones with the biggest impact during a home tour and the most contrast with the rest of the room. 9. Focus on the View
Windows and the light they let into your house are important selling points. So, you shouldn't cover them up with old, outdated window treatments that a potential buyer can't see past. You'll increase buyer appeal by investing in window treatments that complement the shape of the window, size of the room, and the view outside. If you don't want to invest in new treatments, simply remove the old ones. This will eliminate the potential for deterring buyers, while allowing natural light to filter into your home and open up the space. 10. Tiny Tile Improvements
Tile projects are valuable investments that can help attract buyers. In fact, a study found that house listings that included the word "backsplash" sold for 4 percent more than those without.3
Tile backsplashes can help you reimagine your kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor kitchen.
Tile that is outdated can also be a big turn-off for buyers. Consider replacing the dated material or masking it with a fresh coat of paint or other decorative updates.
Just remember, you don't have to invest a fortune to make your home look like a million bucks. By focusing on a few, inexpensive projects, your home will be appealing to many potential buyers.