By: Kareen Kinzli Larsen, Realtor, RE/MAX Alliance
It happens every time. Home sellers who have spent the time and a little money to spruce up a house prior to putting it on the market, stand there looking at the fresh paint, new flooring, and a few subtle upgrades and realize their home has been transformed. Then, without fail, they look at me and say, “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”
Take their advice. Invest in these home improvements now so that you can enjoy them. I have counseled hundreds of home sellers and I have seen countless homes transformed. Here are my top recommendations.
- Install congruent flooring throughout the main living space. The builders of the 1990s and 2000s loved their transition flooring. Tile in the entry, carpet in the living, tile in the kitchen. All of these flooring transitions only serve to make your home look smaller. Wood floors are luxurious, but if you are on a budget, today’s waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) flooring is inexpensive and easy to install and can be used in an entryway, kitchen, and even bathrooms. Installing congruent flooring will make your home look and feel larger. It will also help open up a variety of furniture configurations, especially in a smaller living room.
- This may be a no-brainer but fresh paint makes a world of difference. Start with a light base color throughout the house. Be careful to not go too grey in today’s cool color schemes. If you choose to have an accent wall, replace the dark red and goldenrod accent walls of the early 2000s with a lighter soothing color such as sage green or antique blue. Keeping the wall colors neutral allows you to decorate with a pop of color and even change your accent pieces throughout the seasons.
- Lighting is one of the easiest ways to upgrade and update the look and feel of your home. Can lights are easier to install than in the past and modernize the look of your home. Replace that box light fixture that protrudes down from the ceiling in your kitchen with sleek LED can lights. Many homes built in the 1970s do not have overhead lighting in the living room and bedrooms. This is a quick and easy job and will make your home lighter and brighter. One tasteful feature light fixture, most commonly in the dining area, will make your home feel luxurious.
- What is the difference between a high-end home and an entry-level track home with the same square footage? The answer is the quality of the doors and trim. This upgrade can be pricy, but few things are as transformative for a home as installing new, quality trim and doors. Want to go the extra mile? Install solid core doors and a minimum of a 4” base trim.
- This is a great time of year for a quick update of your landscaping. A little effort spent will go a long way. Tame those overgrown trees and bushes surrounding your home to let the light in and enjoy the view. A few new plants and a new layer of mulch will clean up your garden beds. Don’t forget about your front door. Welcome your friends and family with a bright accent color and a seasonal wreath.