Home Improvements You Should Be Making Before You Sell


When you're planning to sell your house, there are a lot of things that you will need to consider, especially if you are hoping to make a profit off of it. For many, figuring out everything they need to take care of to optimize their appeal on the market can feel like a big task. However, even though the process of selling your home can feel stressful at times, and there can be a lot of bases to cover, the reality is that you don't need to feel overwhelmed. By taking some time to assess your house and its weaknesses and strengths one by one, you can more easily zero in on the things that need work, and help boost your home's appeal to buyers in a way that will translate into a successful sale.

Replace Old Appliances 

One of the primary things you should do when readying your house for sale is assess how old your major appliances are, and whether or not they will need to be replaced. Appliances like water heaters, water softeners and furnaces in particular should either be checked out, or preferably  given a professional inspection. These kinds of appliances can be expensive to replace, and can also have a major impact on the basic livability of the home.

Most people looking to buy a house are going to want to know that these appliances are in good working order, even if they aren't brand new. If your appliances don't need to be replaced, or seem to be working fine, it can still be a good idea to have them serviced before you sell your home, so that you can reassure potential buyers that they have been checked recently and are functioning well.

Repair and Update Your Pool

A pool can be a big amenity that draws buyers to your home, but if it is damaged or needs to have extensive work done to it before it can be enjoyed, then it could actually be a turn off. This can be true particularly if there are any potential safety issues with your pool or pool area. Also, besides making sure that any major repairs are taken care of, it can be a good idea to contact pool builders near me and have it checked out, maintenance, and cleaned before you have prospective buyers at your home.

Give Your Kitchen an Overhaul

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home, for good reason. This is the place where families most frequently gather, and because of this, it tends to experience more wear and tear than other rooms. Not only that, but it's the room with the highest concentration of appliances, as well. When you consider these things, along with the fact that kitchen trends tend to change at a faster rate than other home design trends, there can be a lot to gain from updating your kitchen before you put your home up for sale. Initially, you should assess your major appliances and decide if they need to be replaced. After that, looking at your cabinetry, hardware and lighting and deciding if any of it needs changing up should be your next step.

Freshen Up Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is another room that undergoes a lot of wear and tear, and a bathroom that is dated or that has a lot of repairs that need to be made like a cracked tub or a leaking faucet can be off-putting to buyers. To avoid having a buyer lose interest because of your bathroom, you should make sure that your sink, toilet, and shower or tub are in good working condition, as well as free of obvious flaws. Switching out old lighting and cleaning fans in your bathroom can be good ideas, too. Applying a fresh coat of paint, especially paints that tend to be more water resistant, like semi-gloss can be a good idea as well.

Take Note of Your Color Schemes

After you've taken some time to assess the more high-traffic areas of your house, it can be beneficial to consider how your home's interior looks as a whole. One thing that plays a huge role in the overall cohesiveness of your home's appearance is its color scheme, or lack of one. Although abrupt color changes, or clashing color schemes may not bother you, especially if you're using some of your favorite colors, you will need to think about how it would look to an outsider. By switching from especially bright or bold colors to more neutral ones like beige, gray, cream and taupe, you can help ensure that your home looks more put together, and has a more universal appeal.

Upgrade Your Lighting

Similarly to your color schemes, the consistency or lack thereof in your home's lighting can stand out to a potential buyer. If you have a chandelier in one room, and a modern light fixture in the next, it may look fine to you, but to others it could look like there are a lot of conflicting styles in your home. While some may think that this could lend a unique appeal, the reality is that it will be more likely to be mismatched or tacky to a buyer. By selecting coordinating light fixtures, you can help make sure that your home looks polished, updated and put together.

Finish Your Basement

If you're looking for a way to give your home's appeal a major boost, finishing your basement could be the right project for you. One of the primary benefits of finishing your basement is not just that it can help your home to look more polished overall, but that it can add valuable living space to the home. Not only that, but it's a living space that can have a lot of possibilities, whether it gets used as a home office, a play area for children, as a recreational room, or as a home gym.

When finishing a basement, one of the things that should be kept in mind is the kind of color palette you choose. Because there usually isn't much natural light in a basement, selecting light, airy colors can be an effective way to help create the illusion of light and space. Also, the lack of natural light means that you will have to pay extra attention to your lighting, so that you can ensure it's bright enough to spend time in comfortably.

If you don't have a basement that you can finish, however, that doesn't mean that you should feel concerned. By taking care of leaks, maintaining appliances and keeping your basement clean, it can still hold appeal for buyers and be a valuable storage space.

Replace Old Windows

When you're preparing your home for sale, it isn't just what's inside that matters. If you want to attract the right buyer, you will have to consider your home's exterior as well. One component of this is making sure that your windows are up to date. Not only do old windows look bad, especially if they are cracked or damaged, but they can have an impact on the quality of life of those in the home, and on the energy bills as well.

Old windows often mean more drafts, and if they are difficult to open, or don't open at all, they can quickly make your home feel uncomfortable, no matter what the season is. Beyond that, windows that leak air will make it harder for you to heat or cool your home properly, which can drive up energy bills quickly. Needless to say, this can be a major detractor to a prospective buyer.

Show Your Roof Some Love

Your roof is another important part of your home's exterior that needs to be looked at before you list your home for sale. A typical asphalt roof will need to be replaced generally between 10 to 15 years. Because of this, if you've been living at your home for a while there's a good chance that the roof is due to be replaced soon, even if it appears to be in decent condition.

If you think you may need to replace the roof, it can be a good idea to explore newer, more modern options for roofing that need to be replaced less frequently than asphalt shingles, like metal roofing. If you aren't in a financial position to replace your roof, though, doing small repairs where necessary and fixing any trouble spots can still help improve the appeal of your home.

Tidy Up Your Siding

When you are looking at things like your windows and your roofing, you should also be taking stock of what your siding looks like. If your home's paint is chipping, then applying a new coat of paint should be on your to do list. If you have vinyl siding, you may want to consider power washing it, even if it seems to be in good condition.

Sometimes stains and dirt are obvious, but at other times, your home's siding can accumulate a lot of dirt that you may not have even realized was there until you washed it off. If your siding is on the older side, though, and you're considering replacing it, this can be a good time to do some research about home trends and update your house's look with a more modern color.

Fix Up Your Garage

How much prospective buyers like your home isn't just about your home itself, the other buildings on your property can have a big impact on their opinions, too. This can be particularly true when it comes to your garage. For some a garage may just be a place to park cars and store old Christmas decorations, but for others it can be a place where they spend time on their hobbies, do work, or just hang out.

Because of this, taking some time to fix up your garage and make sure that it is just as put together as your house is can make a difference. One of the first things you should do is make sure that your garage door is in good working order, as a faulty or non-functioning garage door can be one of the biggest detractors for a buyer. Additionally, you should also address any issues like broken windows, sticking door knobs, or faulty wiring, so that you can be sure your garage is fully functional.

Landscape Your Lawn

Along with your garage and other outbuildings, your lawn can have an impact on the buyer's view of your property overall. For those that enjoy spending time outside, a neat and well cared for outdoor space will often be important. If your lawn has large patches of dead grass, is filled with weeds or is otherwise unkempt, it could give a potential buyer a negative view of your outdoor space, and ultimately your home, too. The good news is, though, that it doesn't have to be difficult to have an appealing yard. One of the first steps to doing this is simply performing basic lawn maintenance. You can do this by keeping it mowed, eradicating weeds, and keeping your shrubbery well trimmed.

If you want to step up your game, though, and make sure that you catch the buyer's eyes, doing some basic landscaping can be a good idea. Adding mulched sections around the perimeter of your home, or in a small section along the front or back can automatically give your home a more polished look. Adding a flower bed is another great option for beautifying your outdoor space, as is adding a small stone path if you don't have a path already. If you're looking to do a bigger project, adding a fire pit to your backyard can boost its charm and possibilities for entertaining, as can installing a patio.

If you're feeling really ambitious, building a back porch can be another effective way to make your backyard more enticing. Additionally, making all these changes may not be as helpful if you don't take them all the way. After you have added a patio or built a porch, it can be important to decorate it properly and have it outfitted with furniture that fills the space well, so that a potential buyer can easily imagine how the space could be used.

Consider Your Curb Appeal

While you are making improvements to your home, particularly to your home's exterior, it can be easy to get caught up in how it looks from your angle, or what you think of it. When this is happening, it can be easy to lose sight of how it may look from farther away, or how it will affect your curb appeal. You don't just want to spruce up the outside of your home, only to realize that it doesn't have an impact on your home's curb appeal.

By taking a moment to assess how your home looks from different angles, you can help get a better idea of how it will look to others, and how effective the changes you're making actually are. Also, when you're assessing your home's curb appeal, it can also be a good time to take care of other little things that can have a big impact on your curb appeal. These things can include upgrading an old or dented mailbox, as well as making sure that your garbage cans are stored away tidily, and that your house numbers are easy to read.

Deal With the Little Fixes

When you are so busy making sure that all of the bigger issues with your home are resolved, it may be easy to lose sight of the smaller problems that still need fixed. What many don't realize, though, is that small problems can have a big impact on how excited a potential buyer gets about your home. So, whether it's broken blinds or a burnt out light bulb, making sure that you stay on top of the small things can still be significant. Additionally, this is also a good time to take care of any of the small projects that you started around the house but never finished, as well as to put the finishing touches on your home. This could mean replacing old switch plates that appear dingy, or replacing sticky door knobs.

Declutter and Deep Clean

After you've done all the major work, replaced all the things that need to be replaced, and put the finishing touches on your home inside and out, you will need to start thinking about the viewing process in earnest. When your home is up for sale, depending on the market, you may have many people coming in and out of your home. Because of this you will need to prepare your home and your belongings for the extra traffic, and do what you can to ensure that your home is ready to be viewed at any time.

The best way to get ready for this is to do some major decluttering and deep cleaning. This can also be helpful when you do finally sell your home, as having less to move will make the process easier and less stressful. When you're decluttering, you should get rid of anything that you don't absolutely want to take along with you to your new home. After that, you should then organize and store away all of your possessions that you don't use frequently. The more that you can pack away at this stage, the better. This is not only because it will make your eventual move easier, but also because the more of your possessions that are on display in your home, the harder it will be for buyers to view themselves and their possessions in it.

After you've completed your decluttering and some of your organizing and packing, it's time to give your house a deep clean. This means washing walls, dusting hard to reach places, and scrubbing down surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen. Not only does it make your home look better, but when you have been living in a space for a long time, you may easily become oblivious to scents that could be lurking there, which deep cleaning will help eradicate.

Take Time To Stage Your House

By the time that you've done all the work to fix and clean your house, you may feel like you should be done putting in effort to sell your home. The reality is, though, that if you don't take some time to stage your home, you could find it more difficult to sell it. While some may get intimidated by the idea of staging their house, it can actually be very simple. For many, it can be as easy as arranging their furniture in a way that helps show off the space, and adding in a few well-placed decorations that coordinate with your home's color scheme.

Put Effort Into Your Photos

Lastly, all the effort that you have put into sprucing up your home won't mean much if you don't also put some effort into your photos. In the age of the internet, many prospective buyers will get their first impression of your home from a listing online. If you can't make a good impression there, then there could be many potential buyers that don't even give it a chance. While the task of taking great photos may seem like a daunting one to some, the good news is that you don't have to be a professional photographer to take decent photos.

By making sure that there is plenty of natural light, you can help ensure that your home looks bright and pleasant. Additionally, you should also pay attention to the angles that you're taking your photos from. Taking photos from angles that show off the full expanse of the room is important, that way those viewing don't get the impression that the rooms are small or cramped.

Bottom Line

Putting your home up for sale can be stressful, and there can be a lot of things to consider and take care of before you finally list it. That doesn't mean, though, that you need to let yourself feel overwhelmed. By taking the process one step at a time, and being honest with yourself about the fixes that your home needs, you can help ensure that you have success in selling your home.