Millennials, who make up the largest share of homebuyers, are looking for “move-in condition” properties and therefore want to avoid the expense of significant repairs, based on the latest National Association of Realtors study. The bottom line for today’s sellers is to look through the lens of selective buyers and invest in updates that will be most appealing to them. Our list below features the top modest home improvements to get your home noticed and boost its perceived value in a competitive market.
Enhance Curb Appeal
Make the best first impression for buyers even before they step foot in the door by investing in the exterior of the property by sprucing up curb appeal:
- Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report lists replacing siding, garage doors, entry doors and windows as the upgrades with the greatest return on investment.
- Refresh landscaping by trimming bushes, weeding, eliminating dead shrubs/trees and manicuring the lawn.
- Power wash and make any necessary repairs to siding, windows, walkways and steps.
- Enhance the entry with a fresh coat of on-trend paint color for the front door and update or clean all outdoor light fixtures. Finish with a colorful welcome mat, fresh wreath, potted plants, and seasonal potted plants.
Refresh the Heart of The Home
The 2020 Cost vs. Value Report also lists minor kitchen remodels as a top investment for resale. Our top kitchen upgrades for an instant boost include:
- Introduce modern lighting options with fixtures in different materials (metals, woods, rattan) and geometric shapes.
- Swap out dated faucets and cabinet hardware for more contemporary, full-functioning styles in trending finishes such as matte black, brushed brass, or polished nickel.
- Rather than completely replacing dark, dated and worn cabinets, simply repaint them in a bright white or soft gray hue to brighten and enlarge the space.
- Replace or refinish damaged or dull hardwood floors to make the room shine.
Give the Bathroom a Boost
Potential buyers evaluate bathrooms both functionally and visually — the colors, the style, the layout, the amenities and the fixtures.
- Start by fixing leaky faucets and showerheads, worn caulking, broken toilet, chipped tile.
- Replace outdated lighting in modern designs and finishes to instantly set the mood and add sophisticated style. Pair with matching hardware and faucets to complete the look.
- Change out damaged and dated countertops with marble or quartz and/or paint darker colored vanities with an on-trend neutral or soft color (the robin egg blue pictured above is a perfect example).
- Be sure the wall and/or tile color is soft and soothing to give the room a spa-like appeal.
Revive the Dining Room
Buyers want to envision where they can entertain guests so be sure to present it as spacious, inviting and elegant.
- The best way to make the space feel larger and enhance the room’s features is by covering dark walls with neutral paint. It will also pair well with bright white crown molding and/or wainscoting, an added touch of elegance.
- Replace traditional chandeliers with chic, contemporary fixtures to set a more sophisticated tone.
- Spruce up your dining room table with a stylish table setting to help buyers envision their own dinners here.
Create a Master Bedroom Retreat
Make the master bedroom feel like a cozy getaway with these simple changes:
- Remove and/or replace heavy draperies with simple, sheer white curtains or shades that allows for a little privacy while letting in natural light.
- Install stylish ceiling and bedside table lighting.
- Deep clean soiled carpeting to restore plushness or add a neutral, textured area rug to hardwood floors.
- Layer fluffy, white bedding with accent pillows and soft throws in different colors and patterns.
When all the above updates are complete, don’t forget to hire a professional home stager to add inviting, modern furnishings and accents to help buyers emotionally connect every step of the way!
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Although the cold winter months between Thanksgiving and New Years are traditionally slower for the housing market, it can actually be an ideal time for sellers to stand out among the competition. Here are the key reasons sellers shouldn’t put off listing their properties this winter.
Winter Buyers Are Ready to Purchase
“Buyers who urgently need to find a home due to a change in job, retirement or family situation are usually serious, eager and qualified,” says realtor Mela Veltri Case of Re/Max Right Choice Real Estate in Trumbull, CT. “When a home is staged, it’s even more attractive and typically sells much quicker and for top dollar!” And those who were on the fence during the summer, will usually make an offer in the winter to avoid an increase in mortgage rates in the new year.
Less Inventory Equals More Attention
In general, lower housing inventory in the winter months means less competition for sellers to stand out and attract prospective buyers than when the market is saturated in the spring. Not only will there be an increased likelihood for more showings, also a greater chance of receiving a top dollar offer for your property.
Online Home Searching Has No Seasons
No matter what the temperature is outside, today’s younger buyers typically don’t connect with a real estate agent until after they narrow down their search online. According to a recent NARS report on the digital age, nearly all buyers (93%) used the internet during their home search in 2018. So even though the weather may be changing, serious home buyers won’t stop shopping since they are always on the lookout—checking the latest listings on their mobile devices in their spare time.
Spring Is Just Around the Corner
Even if you don’t find a buyer during the winter months, spring is just a few months away and you will then be ahead of the game in terms of being prepared for when the early spring market kicks off just after the Superbowl. The key is to keep the house staged and decluttered so it looks fresh and show-ready for the flood of buyers who will soon be actively searching.
A great way to add personality and warmth to your spaces is with artwork but sometimes the hanging and arranging can be a challenge. Check out some of our go-to guidelines to simplify the process and help you achieve the right overall balance for a well-designed room. Happy hanging!
(Click here for downloadable PDF for future reference)
- Artwork arrangement should span approximately 2/3 the width of the furniture it sits above.
- Treat multiple pieces as one.
- Keep height at eye level, roughly 60” from the center of the grouping to the floor which will create balance throughout the home if all the art shares the same visual midline.
- Leave 2-5” between each frame for spacing.
- Use craft paper and low-adhesive tape for figuring out arrangement and nail placement.
Photo Source: Ballard Designs
For even number groupings, keep pictures in the shape of a square with even spacing in between for symmetry.
Photo Source: Pottery Barn
For three in a row, choose vertical images so it doesn’t appear overcrowded.
Perfect for hallways or above sofas.
Photo Source: Pinterest
For an asymmetrical grouping, stagger by varying the height and distance so they create a visually balanced arrangement.
Photo Sources: Pinterest
For a large gallery wall with multiple types of styles, frames and sizes, try hanging larger pieces at the bottom left, small pieces in the upper right and mid-sized pieces in between for a unique look. Or start with the largest piece in the center as a focal point and arrange around it.
We are loving the two hues – indigo and black – that are taking center stage as the “new neutrals” in home decor. These two “it” colors pair well with a range of color palettes, metallic finishes and materials and are being shown in everything from modern kitchens to lighting, hardware, rugs, sofas and more. Check out our picks below for some styling inspiration for adding these colors to your own home.
Rich, serene and bold, indigo blue’s versatility makes it ideal for both contemporary and traditional interiors. When used as a wall color, it can create a cozy and moody vibe and when used as an accent feature, it feels lighter and more playful. Mix and match it with a soft cream sofa for a soothing, coastal feel or create some energy with pops of red, yellow, chartreuse, coral or brown in pillows, art or rugs.
Black is also a great foundation color that adds depth and elegance to any space when paired with crisp white, creams, and gray. It is being shown in every texture and finish, from velvet and leather to natural wood and heavy rug weaves. Try using it for light pendants or hardware in a kitchen or for furniture, wall art and rugs for a dramatic style.