1. Popcorn Ceilings
I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who liked popcorn ceiling. I mean really, who invented this in the first place? It’s hard to clean and generally just an eye-sore. Popcorn ceiling is also challenging to remove. You must wet it, scrape it, and then repair/paint the new ceiling. Depending on your timeline and budget, I may not even recommend taking the time to remove it. However, if you can work it into your timeline, buyers will thank you!
2. An Ugly Yard
Is your yard over grown and unruly? Do you have weeds the size of trees? It’s vital that your home gives a great first impression. You want people to be enticed to look inside your home, and the first step to this is making sure your curb appeal is A+. Mow the lawn, trim your shrubs, blow dead leaves and consider adding colorful flowers to lure those buyers into your home!
3. Distracting Walls
An accent wall here or there may actually be beneficial to your home’s appearance. However, if your home has a rainbow of bright colors in every room, you may want to consider painting. There’s nothing wrong with your purple bathroom, but I recommend neutral colors. You want your home to appeal to all buyers. By using bright colors, it is highly likely you will turn off a majority of prospective home buyers. If you have outdated wall paper, it’s also time for an update. Strip the archaic floral prints, and add a coat or two of a neutral paint to remind buyers that your home can still be lived in this century.
4. Carpet, Carpet Everywhere
Shag carpet in the bathroom? Hell NO. Carpet in the bathroom or kitchen is a major negative for today’s buyers. Truthfully, most buyers today don’t want any carpet! If you have hidden gorgeous hardwoods under that ugly, worn out carpet, pull it up today! If you uncover, concrete, you may consider staining it for an affordable improvement. There are also a number of inexpensive laminates and tiles that look like wood that buyers will love. My one recommendation for flooring is try to keep it consistent. Buyers prefer a single flooring type across the home. If budget is a concern, consider replacing the flooring on one level of the home, or leaving carpet in the bedrooms only.
5. Outdated or Incongruous Fixtures
Lighting and plumbing fixtures can easily be swapped out to give your home a new look. Outdated or dirty faucets can be replaced for around $100. Maybe your fixtures are modern, but they simply don’t match one another. If you have light fixtures in a mix of shades, you can even remove them and spray paint them the same color to give your home a more congruous feel. Remember how I said no one likes popcorn ceilings. I’m pretty sure no one likes overhead fluorescents with Plexiglas either. Consider changing out your overhead fluorescents with pendant, track, or recessed lighting.
Clutter is by far the easiest item on this list to tackle, and it will have profound results. Make your home look like a hotel room. There should be very minimal items on any countertops. I recommend homeowners keep a box or caddy under the sink with all of their essential items. This way it is easy to take out and use, and then out back under the sink away from sight before showings. Remove personal items! There should be no stacks of bills on desks or dirty laundry on the floor. I once showed a home, and there were feminine care products on the bed! It certainly made a lasting impression, but not the right kind.
Prospective home buyers will misconstrue a dirty home for a poorly-cared for home. You want buyers to see your gorgeous quartz countertops, not stains from this morning’s coffee mishap. Imagine how your mother in law would view the appearance of your home. Do you hear her nagging voice in the back of your head? Tidy up your home, so buyers can truly see the property instead of disregarding it due to the scum marks taking over the shower.
Ready to start discussing which projects you should tackle before putting your house on the market?
Erika Rae Albert
Sharing my Austin real estate updates, home owner tips, & more.