10 Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Home
Melody Hashemi

Melody Hashemi

Jul 14, 2018

DIY | ForSaleByOwner | Remodel

Getting your home ready to sell can feel daunting and overwhelming with all of the checklists, cleaning, paperwork, and staging. Then your real estate agent chimes in with suggestions and wants you to spend how much?!

Fear not. Sold.com is here to help you prepare your home for sale. Here’s a top ten list of suggestions to help you make inexpensive updates to your home that will make it feel fresh, new, and ready to sell.

Replace Your Fixtures

Fixtures are the hardware in your home. They’re the faucets in the sinks and tubs and handles on the doors and drawers. These fixtures tend to wear down and oxidize over time. Styles and trends also change.

Replacing old and dated fixtures with a classic design, such as a neutral material like brushed nickel, can help give an updated feel to every room in your house. Adding new fixtures adds value to your home and can help you sell it at a higher price.

You can also use fixtures to add a little flair to your interior design. Just make sure not to pick something too distinctive to your personal taste because the fixtures may not appeal to the majority of people viewing your home.

Update Your Lighting

Turn on all of the lights in your home and walk into each room. Do any of them feel dark or gloomy? If so, you may need to update your lighting. This especially applies to the kitchen area where most buyers focus their attention. If you have a singular pendant light hanging over the kitchen table or counter, you can replace it with a modern chandelier or a string of pendants. Not only will you add more light, but the light fixtures will be more attractive to look at as well. For more information, read To Sell Your Home, Get The Lighting Right.

Add a Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint or some brush-applied touch-ups can easily fix those scuffs and marks that homeowners don’t seem to notice, but home buyers will instantly recognize. Best part? Painting is a job anyone can handle, no professional necessary.

In fact, you can update your bathrooms without going through a major remodel, by simply painting them different shades of blue. According to Zillow’s 2017 paint colors analysis, homes that had blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more than expected which is an incredible value-add for a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-do update. (Read here for more on How Paint Color Can Affect Your Home’s Value.)

Update Your Toilets

You may think all toilets are the same but trends and efficiencies have changed in recent years. Replacing your toilets with high-efficiency and low-flow options provides water usage savings to the buyer.

Sand and Paint the Kitchen Cabinets

Most buyers are willing to pay more for a home with new cabinetry, but that’s an expensive upgrade for the seller. You can give the illusion of new cabinets by sanding and painting the doors and drawers yourself. Everything you need can be picked up at the hardware store and with a little elbow grease, in two weekends you’ll have what feels like a brand new kitchen.

Don’t just repaint the cabinets the same color they’ve been for years. Choose a color that goes with the kitchen, such as a dove grey, to give the room an updated look.

Add a Colorful Backsplash

Nothing gives a kitchen more energy than a pop of color and texture. Installing a backsplash costs less than replacing the countertops and can improve the overall impression of the kitchen drastically. Just keep it classic and don’t go too crazy with the color or pattern.

Create an Accent Wall in Your Living Room

Accent walls are meant to frame a certain area or feature of the room and can be created with paint or wallpaper. If using paint, choose a color that is darker, brighter or more saturated than the surrounding walls. If using wallpaper, choose a bright, vibrant pattern that complements the furniture in the room.  

Move Furniture Away from the Walls

This is a little interior design trick that helps a room feel instantly updated. Prospective buyers will also perceive the room as bigger than it actually is if the furniture is closer to the center of the room than at the edges. For more DIY staging tips, read 5 Inexpensive Ways to Stage Your Home on Your Own.)

Modernize Your House Numbers

You may not have thought much about the numbers on the outside of your house but it’s one of the first things a prospective buyer will see since they’re looking for a specific address. These are easy to update with a trip to the hardware store and an electric drill.

Replace Dead or Dying Plants with Colorful Natives

The most popular landscaping trend is planting native plants, which are plants that naturally grow and thrive in the regional environment. Buyers like these because they lower landscaping maintenance costs and they require fewer resources. For drier climates, plant succulents and place smooth stones to create a Zen garden feel. For wet environments, choose plants that tolerate standing water like canna, elephant’s ear, and iris. (More tips at 5 DIY Landscaping Ideas for FSBO Sellers.)

Conclusion

Even small updates can lead to a big difference in sale price so don’t feel like you have to put your home (and yourself) through a major remodel. Go room by room and assess what needs freshening up. Then do it in the least expensive way possible.

Here’s a quick recap of our top ten inexpensive home updates:

  •         Replace fixtures
  •         Update lighting
  •         Add paint touch-ups
  •         Replace toilets
  •         Sand and paint kitchen cabinet doors and drawers
  •         Add a kitchen backsplash
  •         Create an accent wall
  •         Move furniture from walls
  •         Update exterior address numbers
  •         Landscape with native plants