Home Home Improvement Home Improvements That Attract Buyers – Forbes Home

Home Improvements That Attract Buyers – Forbes Home

Home Improvements That Attract Buyers – Forbes Home

Discover the big investments and small tweaks alike that’ll leave buyers wanting to buy your home and the features and situations that’ll have them second-guessing a purchase.

Attract: Updated Bathrooms

Agent Jennifer Riccolo DeBower of @properties, Christie’s International Real Estate understands that bathrooms and kitchens are the first to come up in anyone’s search for the most attractive home improvements, but it’s simply the truth. “Adding timeless, light, bright and airy details to a kitchen or bath renovation attracts today’s buyers,” she says, adding that despite the stress of supply delays and prices, the returns are still there. “A new vanity and tile go a long way. Keep it simple, add the color of the year in paint and pillows instead of cabinet color choices and everyone wins.”

Detract: Outdated Kitchens

John Gluch, owner at Gluch Group, states that bedrooms and living rooms often get a pass if they’re not up to par for today’s style standards, but kitchens are a different story. “If your kitchen is out of date and needs new appliances, tile, countertops, cabinets and more, then buyers take stock,” he says. “Most times, they realize it’s too big of an expense to commit to and it changes their mind completely, even if they love the rest of the home. One reason why buyers get hung up on outdated kitchens [is] because a kitchen is a huge investment. It costs a lot to renovate a kitchen and it’s a big, big job.”

Kitchens are high traffic places, too, and if it’s not cut out for a smooth cooking or entertaining experience, buyers might walk out.

Detract: Outdated Window Treatments

Erica and Laurie Davis, co-founders of Eralyn Interiors note that “outdated window treatments can kill a room’s vibe.” In fact, this is one of the most important factors, following lighting and painting according to the duo. Fortunately, window treatments “can be easily changed to improve the look of the home,” and they’re typically not too expensive either. Outdated typically means overwhelming or dramatic curtains and drapes (try to stick to neutrals) and treatments that are broken or visibly dirty.

Detract: A Cluttered House

Though this isn’t necessarily a home improvement feature, it might take installing some new organizational features to make it prepped and primed for a new owner. “Tidying up every room, cleaning and throwing away the clutter is also imperative,” says Carolyn Gagnon, a licensed real estate salesperson with Compass in NYC. Even though your personal belongings will be out of the house when a new person moves in, it’s hard to look past unorganized spaces.

Attract: A Fresh Coat of Paint

There is no better (and more simple) improvement than this, according to Rodgers. “A neutral-colored, fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference when buyers walk into a space,” she says. “Sometimes the smell [that] fresh paint emits can convince a buyer that they’re getting something new rather than dated.”

Don’t let a new coat of paint become a deterrent either. Rodgers also cautions that bright colors of paint and wallpaper might not appeal to everyone’s tastes and more timeless shades are best.

Attract: A Well-Maintained Yard

Curb appeal is very real, and there is a major difference between seeing a poorly maintained lawn and one that’s clearly taken care of. “Landscaping is the very first impression buyers [will] have when driving up to their future home,” says Rodgers. “It should be lush but trimmed. Over planted flower beds can feel like a lot of work for new homeowners so the secret ingredient to a well maintained yard is weeding flower beds and keeping your lawn cut.”

Detract: Dark, Dingy Spaces

Deborah Solo, owner and broker from Solo Real Estate notes that “Carpeting, drop ceilings and dark spaces are big deterrents for prospective buyers—most buyers want light, open spaces.” Drop ceilings, in particular, can feel less like home and more like an office or commercial space.

“They also lower the ceiling height and can make the space feel dated and less spacious,” explains Solo. “The vast majority of buyers are willing to paint, but they don’t want to undertake an extensive rehab, so making some upgrades to a home before putting it on the market can help attract more potential buyers.”

Detract: Carpeting

Carpeting around the home is fine in some instances, but it should be impeccably clean and nothing too bold. As Solo mentioned, it’s typically a turn off, mostly due to how difficult it is to keep carpets clean and how easily they can exacerbate allergies. “Buyers like tile for entry areas and bathrooms because they are easy to clean,” says Solo. “In new construction, however, there is often wood in the kitchen so the living room, dining and kitchen areas feel connected.”

Attract: Fresh Furniture and Decor

Buyers picturing themselves in a home is huge, therefore, Davis notes, that staging your house is a worthwhile investment. If you decide against staging, make sure couches, chairs and other features are in good condition and well styled. “Remove any worn out or tired furniture,” says Davis. “If necessary, rent furniture and accessories. Position sofas, chairs and tables away from your walls. This is called floating furniture.”

Be sure to clear out any personal mementos, too. “Remember, you want the buyer’s to see themselves living in the space—this is not easy to do with family photos and memorabilia hanging around.”

Detract: Old Light Fixtures and Burnt-Out Bulbs

You may adore the unique pendant hanging in your dining room, or aren’t too bothered by the burnt out bathroom light, but people will pick up on all of this during viewings. “Replacing dated light fixtures is another eye catcher for buyers and can make photos of the space sing,” says Rodgers. Though, try to side-step anything too hulking or over-the-top. Don’t forget those slightly more obscure places either.

Davis points out: “Updating small items, such as an entry light, will say to the buyers: If they are invested enough to make changes like this, then the whole house has been maintained properly.”

Detract: A Tired Exterior

Isaiah Henry, the CEO of property management company Seabreeze, says that interiors are typically the main focus, but it’s detrimental to forget its outside appearance—and not just the lawn or surrounding landscaping. “If you have a lackluster exterior, it doesn’t matter if your interior is beautiful,” he notes. “I’d suggest painting the outside of your home, replacing your garage doors and updating your siding. These three areas can have a huge impact on attracting buyers.”

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Attract: Outdoor Living Spaces

Though it’s a hefty price to pay up front, outdoor kitchens, pool areas, decks and patios are all worthy investments when it comes time to sell. Even the tiniest balconies can make an impact with a well-styled bistro set or a few planters set out. This can help potential buyers envision their own lives in the home and many are attracted to the idea of having some way of connecting with the outdoors, no matter how small that space might be.