Do’s and Don’ts: What to Remodel Before You Sell Your Home

Do’s and Don’ts: What to Remodel Before You Sell Your Home

It’s time to sell your home. You’re ready, and you’re eager to find a buyer and move on to the next phase of your life. You may be wondering how much money you need to put into your home to get it ready to sell. With the orange paint in your son’s bedroom turn buyers away? How about the ancient, ugly appliances in the kitchen? Some projects pay off, giving your home the facelift it needs to attract serious buyers. However, taking on other projects can simply drain your savings without adding any resale value to your home. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to help you get your home ready for buyers.

Don’t Over-Customize

Heated floors, specially designed closets, a wine fridge in the bedroom— these are all items you don’t need to add. If they are already in place, leave them alone, but don’t put your money into new upgrades that are too unique. You may actually turn off a buyer who doesn’t drink wine, hates heated floors, or would prefer a more standard closet. Buyers need to be able to see themselves living in the home, and when you make the place too personal, it’s harder for them to catch the vision.

Do Upgrade the Kitchen

We’re not talking a full-on remodel here; that takes large amounts of time and money. However, you can give your kitchen an inexpensive facelift. Perhaps you could paint the oak cabinets a clean, bright white and swap the outdated drawer pulls and cabinet handles for newer, more modern ones. If your cabinets already look good, consider adding a fresh tile back-splash. Maybe your counter-tops are scratched and stained. Check out a remnant yard that may have pieces of quartz or granite available at a discount.

You may choose to do just one of these improvements, or all of them, depending on your budget and the current state of the kitchen. Just remember— the kitchen is generally considered to be the heart of the home. Any money that you spend here will have a positive impact on the home’s resale value and its appeal to buyers.

Don’t Add Rooms

You may be thinking, “With just one more bedroom or bathroom, this place would be perfect, and it would sell so much faster.” The trouble is, adding a room to your South Florida home will cost you tens of thousands of dollars; and it will likely take weeks to complete. Obtaining all the necessary plans and permits adds more weeks to the timetable, until you’re looking at months of construction before you could even sell the home.

Do Replace the Roof

If your roof is old, or if there are parts of it that are damaged or leaking, invest in a high-quality repair job or an entirely new roof. Buyers love to hear that the roof is new; to them, it means a dry, snug home that probably won’t require a costly roof repair for years. Even if you don’t have the budget or the need for an entirely new roof, a well-done repair eliminates potential issues and keeps buyers satisfied. A crisp, clean, new-looking roof boosts buyer confidence and improves curb appeal as well.

Don’t Gut the Bathroom

Have you been living with ugly, outdated bathroom tile, old fixtures, and faded wallpaper? Maybe you feel like a gut job is in order before you sell. Unfortunately, overhauling the bathroom completely is one of the most expensive remodels you could undertake, especially if it involves moving plumbing and wiring in order to achieve an optimum arrangement. Plus, what if you do the remodel and the prospective buyers hate the tile and fixtures that you chose? Better to leave the bathroom alone and let them alter it to their taste after they purchase the home. If the bathroom truly looks terrible, consider removing the wallpaper, adding a coat of neutral paint, and replacing cracked tile with vinyl flooring. It won’t be luxurious, but it will look a little better, and it won’t cost too much for that minimal facelift.

Do Re-Paint Main Living Areas

Add a couple coats of paint to the areas of your home that endure the most wear and tear. Keep the paint in neutral colors, like white, ivory, or beige. Those shades might seem bland, but they help buyers envision themselves and their belongings in the home. A bold shade, like red or blue, could turn some buyers away.

Do Boost the Curb Appeal

While you’ve got the paint cans and brushes out, give your front door a fresh coat of paint as well. It has probably suffered quite a beating from those strong South Florida storms, so give it a little TLC and you’ll be surprised how much fresher your home looks from the curb. A strong color that complements your siding is okay here, since buyers tend to like a unique front door.

If your siding or brick is looking drab, pay someone to give it a thorough cleaning. You may even want to have the siding repainted if it still comes out looking tired afterward. Prune bushes and hedges neatly, pull the weeds out of the flowerbeds, and trim the trees. Mow the lawn evenly and water it often to keep it green. Looks matter, and the buyer needs to like the outside of your home enough to step inside.

Do Add Light

Natural light is highly prized among home buyers. Windows open up the space, allow for better views of the South Florida landscape, and bring in light throughout the day. If you feel that a particular room in your home is dark and lacks windows, go ahead and make the investment, widening the existing windows or adding more windows. In rooms with little exterior wall space, consider adding a skylight or a powerful, beautiful light fixture that can make up for the current lack of natural light. You could also turn a plain, solid door into a wide archway or a pair of French doors, bringing in more light from another room.

When you first consult with your realtor, get his or her professional advice about any tweaks or changes you need to make to your home. Once your realtor shares some tips or ideas, sit down with your spouse or your significant other and figure out how much you are willing to invest in getting your home ready to sell. The more quickly you can spruce it up, the faster your home will be on the market, ready for prospective buyers.

Don't miss out

The latest happenings in Fort Lauderdale and top 10 LOCAL picks
delivered to your inbox

Related posts

5 Simple DIY Hacks to Increase Your Home’s Value

These easy do-it-yourself home improvement projects will save you money and increase your home’s...

Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to Boost Your House’s Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything. Improve your curb appeal and grab attention with these five easy...

Continue reading

8 tips to sell your house fast

1. Price It Right Selling a house is actually not that different from an eBay auction; people bid...

Continue reading

2 thoughts on “Do’s and Don’ts: What to Remodel Before You Sell Your Home”

Join The Discussion