Insurance and Finance

9 Upgrades to Make Before Selling Your Home

By Staci Parks 4.16.20

First impressions matter. That’s especially true when prepping your home for Texas’ competitive real estate market. Making the right upgrades can increase your home’s value and help it sell faster.

But before you spend a dime, do some research. Note the condition of other homes listed in your area. If most of them have upgraded kitchens and fresh exterior paint, you might want to follow suit. But choose your upgrades wisely and try to hit the financial sweet spot: Typically, spending between 6-10% of the home’s total value can attract a fair return.

In 2019, a majority of Texas buyers said finding the right home was the hardest part of house-hunting, and many sought out new homes to avoid renovations, according to a Texas Realtors homebuyers and sellers report. Entice potential buyers by considering these nine upgrades before selling your home.

1. Curate Curb Appeal

What’s on the outside counts, and small enhancements go a long way. Plant colorful, low-maintenance flowers or paint the front door. Keep the lawn mowed, trees trimmed, and gutters cleared. If your home has siding, use a pressure washer for instant results.

2. Create Neutral Territory

Freshen up your walls with neutral colors such as pale blues, warm browns, or soft grays. Cool undertones cut down on distraction, allowing homebuyers to easily envision their decor in your home. Bonus points for removing wallpaper.

3. Tighten Up Loose Ends

Limp door handles, chipped tile, and missing light bulbs may not seem like a big deal. But these small annoyances can leave a buyer thinking, “What else needs to be fixed here?”

4. Wrap Up Unfinished Projects

Do that task you’ve been putting off. A missing ceiling fan or a crack on the back patio can create an unwelcome distraction for potential buyers touring your home.

5. Get Enlightened

New light fixtures are a quick, affordable way to instantly give your home a modern look. While you’re at it, install the brightest bulbs possible. A well-lit home signals transparency to buyers.

6. Rethink Eccentric or Personal Features

It’s a good idea to remove any deeply personal touches to your home before placing it on the market. While you may have an affinity for Big Tex bobbleheads, the goal is to keep the space as neutral as possible so buyers can project their own ideas.

7. Surface Level

The condition of a home’s master bathroom and kitchen can make — or break — a sale. Consider replacing kitchen countertops with granite and adding a larger soaking tub to the bathroom. Or keep it simple by replacing cabinet hardware and faucets with a stainless steel or chrome finish.

8. Target Pet Smells

Our pets bring us love and joy, but they also leave behind hair and smells. If your furry best friend has had free rein over your home (we’d understand), deep-clean the carpet and scrub hard-surface floors. Even if you think you’ve eliminated any pet odor, enlist an outside nose to do a smell test.

9. Fix the Flooring

Consider replacing or rejuvenating the flooring in high-traffic areas such as the living room and kitchen — especially if you’ve lived in your home for several years. In good condition, hardwood floors are an instant asset to many buyers, while drab carpet can have the opposite effect.

Before buying your next home, ask your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent these eight property insurance questions.

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