If you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, you might be on the hunt for the best moves you can make to upgrade it before selling. Whether you have the budget for small upgrades or larger improvement projects, there are a variety of proven ways you can give your home a facelift at a price you can afford.
From hardware upgrades to full room renovations, there are many options to make your home more desirable to potential buyers while giving your space a more luxurious feel. To help you get started, check out these home improvement ideas from real estate agents and interior designers who have current and proven tips to share.
Upgrade Knobs, Handles and Faucets
Easily rejuvenate your home by switching out the knobs and faucets around your residence. This simple touch is fairly affordable and gives an immediate facelift to your home’s appearance, while also offering you new and improved hardware that likely works much more efficiently than what was previously installed.
“I love how luxurious yet sophisticated metallic gold door knobs, handles and faucets look in a home,” said Chenise Bhimull, an interior designer at ZFC Real Estate. “They complement all types of furniture. Changing door knobs, handles and faucets is budget-friendly, and one can do it at home without the help of a professional.”
Install French Paneling
paneling can feature designs of your choice, and you can choose to add this feature on as many — or as few — walls as your budget allows.
“French paneling adds an intricate finish to your walls,” Bhimull said. “I love how it is an amalgamation of both vintage and contemporary interior design. One can get a fancier French paneling with floral detailing on the corners. French paneling can also be done at home as a fun DIY project as long as you have the right tools.”
According to Porch, the national average cost to install wood paneling is $1.88 per square foot, with the total price for labor and materials falling between $4.26 and $6.44 per square foot.
Add Livable and Functional Square Footage to Your Home
To potential buyers, more square footage and usable space are incredibly valuable — and something they are willing to fork over some serious cash for. Consider making some updates to your home in order to create more space and increase your home’s value.
“This could be in the form of a finished basement, an additional bedroom or even just a larger kitchen,” said Rinal Patel, co-founder and licensed realtor at We Buy Philly Home. “You can also renovate unused areas, like the attic or basement, and turn them into livable spaces. For example, you could turn your basement into a game room or your attic into a guest bedroom. Potential buyers may see the extra space as an added bonus, and will be willing to pay more for a home that already has it.”
Renovate Your Kitchen
Renovating your kitchen doesn’t need to be a million-dollar ordeal. Simply making a few aesthetic and practical updates with higher quality materials and a more modern look can help your home stand apart from others while significantly increasing its value.
“By renovating the kitchen and making it more modern and up-to-date, you can significantly increase your home’s value,” Patel said. “Even something as simple as painting the cabinets or installing new countertops can make a big difference.”
Landscape Your Yard
Draw potential buyers to your home by giving your yard a makeover. Be as basic or as extravagant with this one as your budget allows, as any small yard improvements will leave buyers willing to pay extra to avoid having to do the landscaping themselves.
“By adding some curb appeal and making the outside of your home more attractive, you can increase its value,” Patel said. “This could involve something as simple as planting some flowers or shrubs, or it could be a more involved project like building a deck or patio. Either way, potential buyers will be impressed by a well-landscaped home and will be willing to pay more for it.”
Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
If there’s one thing valuable to new home buyers, it’s a home with low energy costs. Consider making these upgrades to your home to conserve energy and increase your home’s worth.
“Adding insulation, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and installing solar panels are great ways to make your home more valuable,” said Patel. “These upgrades will not only increase the value of your home, but they will also save you money on your energy bills each month. This could be a great selling point for potential buyers looking for a home that is both eco-friendly and economical.”
Add a Wine Cellar, Storage Closet, Cabinet or Cellar Space
You can easily make your home more desirable to potential buyers by creating storage spaces and touches of luxury.
“Are you wondering what to do with that extra broom closet off the kitchen or that unused section within your kitchen island? Install an expert wine rack, cooler or cellar space to store a few dozen or more bottles of wine properly,” saidRealtor Baron Hanson. “The custom carpentry and equipment may range between $400 to maybe $800, yet the perceived value added to your home is far more.”
Use a Luxury Paint Combination
Enhance your home’s appearance by covering your space in a fresh coat of paint and complimenting a classic neutral color with a harmonizing accent tone to add a sense of opulence and cohesiveness to your home.
“Use a luxury paint combination that is contextual yet exclusive in your neighborhood,” Hanson said. “For example, painting everything white, inside and out, with a fire-engine-red painted door and black or gray painted shutters is a classic New York and New England color combination that exudes timeless luxury and elegance. Resist painting your home with some quirky or garish color combination just to attract attention. The idea is to add perceived value by painting your home the most elegant color combination in your neighborhood.”
Install a Fireplace
A fireplace delivers instant luxury appeal and adds value for potential homebuyers. Opting for an affordable electric fireplace insert rather than a costly traditional build-out keeps costs low while still providing beautiful ambiance and a coveted focal point.
An electric insert seamlessly fits into an existing space and looks remarkably realistic with flickering flames and logs. The maintenance-free electric option is budget-friendly, energy-efficient, and instantly makes spaces feel more upscale.
Build an Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens vastly expand living and entertaining possibilities. Constructing a simple outdoor cooking space elevates your backyard without breaking the budget. Use affordable cinderblocks and wood to create counters and cabinetry. Include outdoor kitchen essentials like a high-quality grill, mini-fridge for drinks, and a bar area for serving. Finishing the space with weather-resistant rugs, lighting, and barstools completes the luxurious oasis.
With minimal investment, your basic outdoor kitchen provides additional square footage to enjoy the outdoors in luxury. Plus, it shows potential homebuyers the extended living possibilities. The small expense now pays big dividends through increased home value and enjoyment.
Update Light Fixtures
A lighting overhaul instantly elevates the look and feel of spaces. Swap outdated or builder-grade ceiling fans, chandeliers, sconces, and vanity lighting for elegant new options that align with your home’s style. Seek quality fixtures with on-trend finishes like black nickel, brass, or chrome for lots of luxury appeal at affordable prices.
The transformation new light fixtures bring is incredible — rooms feel brighter, more modern, and highly-designed. For the biggest visual impact, replace old fixtures in main rooms and areas like entryways, the dining room, and master bedroom. Elevating your lighting elevates the whole home’s luxury quotient in the minds of potential buyers.
Add Architectural Molding
Installing architectural trim molding easily converts basic walls into elegant design features. Traditional options like crown molding along edges or chair rail halfway up walls instantly provide depth and sophistication.
For affordable luxury, use synthetic molding materials like polyurethane or PVC which mimic the carved details of real wood at a fraction of the cost. Upgrade moldings to wider and more intricate styles for striking visuals that feel custom. Accentuating the existing architecture with quality trims makes spaces feel grand and designer-done. Homebuyers appreciate when tasteful finishes boost a home’s character and curb appeal. The right molding details do just that.
Create a Spa Bathroom
Infuse hotel-style indulgence into your bathroom for a spa-like retreat. Start by replacing the vanity with a sleek floating style dresser and modern vessel sink. Introduce a nature-inspired feature wall showcasing stacked stone or marble tile. Swap the shower/tub combo for a frameless glass stall-style shower. Upscale accents like woven blinds, woven baskets, and neutral tones reinforce the lavish spa vibe. Small luxurious touches like ultra-soft towels, aroma diffusers, and mirrored cabinets elevate the experience.
Decadent materials, refined finishes, and soothing ambiance convey luxury far above the modest investment required. A spa bathroom becomes a homebuyer’s oasis that warrants top dollar.
Laura Beck contributed to the reporting for this article.
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