Posted in: Selling a home

Selling an outdated house? Five fast fixes buyers love

Removing popcorn ceiling

Key insights:

  • Buyers are searching for homes in peak condition. With some simple upgrades, your pre-loved house can become a competitive listing.
  • Rather than undertaking an entire home renovation, select a few updates that are inexpensive or that you can do yourself.
  • Pay special attention to additions that buyers are known to love, like hardwood floors, exterior light fixtures and painted cabinets.

Wondering if you need to remodel your entire house before listing? Thanks to a recent study, “What Home Buyers Really Want,” conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, you don’t have to guess. Now, you can appeal to today’s buyers by making a few easy tweaks to your property.

Plus, according to findings from the National Association of REALTORS®, 85% of today’s homebuyers purchased previously owned homes. So, if you’re questioning whether or not your pre-owned abode can compete with newly constructed properties, think again! Today’s market is hot and many buyers are searching for homes like yours — and they’re likely paying full price, too.

Below, we’re featuring five home projects that are smart, inexpensive and can help polish an outdated space.

1. Hardwood floors

Rated as essential or desirable by 81% of homebuyers, hardwood floors are a go-to renovation for soon-to-be sellers. If your home already has hardwood floors, you’re in luck. Simply give your floors a clean and fresh shine by refinishing or resealing the wood.

If your property currently has carpet, linoleum or other flooring, though, it may be time to upgrade to hardwood floors. Laminate options are available for less money, while true hardwood will cost more (and may be more appealing to buyers).

2. Painted cabinets

Dated cabinets don’t need to be an eyesore in listing photos, and they don’t have to be completely torn out, either. If your cabinets are beginning to feel worn or out of style, simply paint over them. That’s right, a new coat of paint is enough to brighten cabinets with a more modern look. Use this trick in your kitchen, laundry room or any other place with cabinets.

Keep in mind, it may work to your advantage to opt for neutrals when choosing a paint color. Neutral colors are timeless and tend to translate well while staging your home for sale. A white, gray or even a subtle green paint (which happens to be the 2022 Color of the Year) can help refresh cabinets that would otherwise appear aged.

Painting cabinets can be a multi-day affair, so be sure to make a plan to complete this project well before you list your home for sale. Here’s a guide to get you started.

3. Texture-free ceiling

While popcorn ceilings may have been all the rage in the past, many agree that this style is long gone. If your home has popcorn or textured ceilings, it could benefit your sale to smooth out the surface before listing your property.

Typically, a popcorn ceiling is removed by a professional. However, it is possible to remove the texture from your ceiling yourself. Just be sure to do your research ahead of time if you choose to take on DIY popcorn ceiling removal. The process can be quite lengthy and involved, which is why many find that using a contractor is best for this project.

4. Exterior lighting

Out of over 200 features, exterior lighting ties as the first item buyers want. In fact, 87% of homebuyers are searching for a home with exterior lighting. Not only will exterior lighting add visibility and safety to the property in the long haul, it will also improve your curb appeal as you sell your home.

Here are a few creative ways to install additional lighting to the exterior of your home:

  • Replace front door lighting fixtures
  • Add uplighting under the front porch
  • Insert in-ground lighting along walkways
  • Illuminate a pergola or deck with cafe lights

5. Eat-in kitchen

Eat-in kitchens appeal to buyers for a variety of reasons, including the potential for increased family time, convenient food preparation, optimized usable space and so much more.

To add an eat-in kitchen to your existing space, consider removing a hutch in favor of a small table with two chairs. This simple switch will show buyers that the room can be an eat-in kitchen, if they choose.

Or, if your kitchen has an existing center island, consider:

  • Removing the countertop from the existing island.
  • Extending the new stone or granite to be approximately eight inches longer than the island’s base.
  • Nesting bar stools below the newly elongated area.

Not sure this project is worth the cost and effort? Keep in mind that center islands rank within the top five features that homebuyers are looking for. A recorded 77% of homebuyers would like to see a center island in their kitchen.

Moving forward with a home sale?

Looking for more tips about the selling process? Download “The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home” to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about listing your house for sale.

And, by moving forward with one of Edina Realty’s Realtors, you can rest assured that you have a market expert guiding the path to a successful home sale. Reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents today for help on choosing smart home updates and posting your “for sale” sign.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

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Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings