From renovating the kitchen to adding the right kind of lights, there’s a lot you can do to increase your apartment’s appeal. Whether you are looking to sell an apartment or just living in one, it always helps to have add-ons that will not only enhance your lifestyle but also add to its market value. So plan ahead and make wise moves. Expert’s opinion that it is better to spend a little extra right at the beginning to reap rich benefits later on.
Buyers want to picture themselves in a home and highly individualistic touches can get in the way of that. When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to put things in pristine, move-in condition and remove all of the individual touches that made your house a home.
After all, your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in the home and they won’t be able to do that if your decorating style still dominates.
Here are seven repairs and upgrades you should consider when selling your home.
- Let there be light
Keep your apartment well ventilated. Homes that let in a lot of light and air are undoubtedly more appealing than ones that are closed up and seem claustrophobic. A lot of old apartments have closed kitchens. These days’ people prefer open kitchens. It would be a good idea to open up your kitchen and maybe even add a few bar stools across a counter, giving it a contemporary look. You can also add mesh doors above your bedroom doors. It will bring in a lot of light and aid cross ventilation. Add mesh doors to your wardrobe too and let your clothes breathe.
- Renovate a little
Renovating the house to add better tiles (vitrified tiles are in now) and the toilets in particular will also go a long way. Adding water-saving flush systems in the toilet, creating wet and dry areas and even adding a glass enclosure to the shower can help. But most importantly, make the living space appealing. Don’t paint the house in any off-beat colors if you are looking to show your apartment to potential buyers. “Your home has to look better on the day of the open house than it’s ever looked before,” says Steve Clark, a real estate professional in Los Angeles. “If the back door is covered in scratch marks from the dog, you have to fix that.” It’s best to go with off-white or beige for wall colors as these are neutral.
When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!
- Wire it right
Wiring is another important area when it comes to home improvement. “Upgrading all the electrical wiring in your home will certainly add to its value”. Adding appliances that save electricity such as star-rated air-conditioners and geysers may also help. “Be sensible about lighting”, “Most often, if you keep your home ready-to-move-in, its appeal increases.”
Outdated light fixtures or poor lighting can take attention away from your home’s most attractive features. Spending as little as $100 on new fixtures can give the house a more modern feel and keep buyers focused on its best attributes.
When you’re replacing fixtures, don’t forget to swap out your old light bulbs for ones with a higher wattage. You want buyers to be able to see all of the highlights when they walk through your home and if you’ve got dim lighting, they may be missing out on some key selling points. “These enhance a room’s look while offering long-term savings.”
- Invest in good photos
Make sure your real estate agent offers great photos that show your home in its best light when it comes time to list. Home buyers seeking a new place to live will see the pictures online before ever making a decision to visit.
And when it comes to open houses and showings, Irving suggests you “absent yourself” because sellers can sometimes get in the way of a sale by taking things too personally.
- Furnish thoughtfully
If you are thinking of leaving behind furniture for your buyer ensure that the house is thoughtfully furnished. Don’t overcrowd the space and add furniture that is both functional as well aesthetic.
When buyers walk through a house, they want to be able to visualize themselves living in the space. If your home is full of clutter, buyers will be too distracted by your stuff to imagine where they’ll put their belongings. Getting rid of unnecessary items makes it easier for buyers to see what you’re selling and it also creates the illusion of additional space.
Buy furniture which will also increase in value over time, such as rosewood and teak cupboards or tables. You can even invest in a good carpet such as hand-made that will gain value over the years.
Take a weekend to go through your things to figure out what you need to keep in the home, what can go into storage and what you can get rid of. Clearing off counters, organizing your desk, straightening up bookshelves and rounding up the kids’ toys can instantly make your home more appealing to buyers and more comfortable for you and your family.
- Refresh your kitchen and bath
Don’t forget two of the most important rooms in your home: the kitchen and bathroom. Buyers of all kinds have long focused on the kitchen & bathroom, but it holds particular sway over the newest wave of first-time homeowners. A “modern/updated kitchen” topped the list of ideal home features in our survey of millennials, registering as most important to more than a third of respondents. If you plan to sell, don’t rip your kitchen down to the studs; a smaller investment can have serious impact. Consumer Reports estimates that you can increase your home’s value by as much as 7% through renovation.
Choose a neutral palette to increase the appeal to as many tastes as possible; buyers need to be able to easily visualize themselves living in the home, and bright colors might turn them off.
Stainless steel: Though it has been around for decades, this appliance finish conveys clean, contemporary design, so it will signal “updated” in the mind of the buyer. For the latest spin on stainless, look for new versions of black stainless steel from KitchenAid, LG and Samsung, each with a softer, less reflective finish but the same cachet as the original.
Quartz countertops: Engineered from stone chips, resins, and pigments, quartz has started to challenge granite and marble as the go-to material in higher-end kitchens. It shrugged off heat, scratches, cuts, and stains in our tests, and it requires none of the upkeep of comparably priced natural stones. Expect to spend $40 to $100 per square foot, installed.
- It’s in the woods
Adding woodwork to your apartment will reduce the burden on the next buyer and in turn, increase its appeal. Since this a one-time investment, those buying the home from you will appreciate not having to spend on woodwork. Decide on the wood, laminate, etc, based on your budget but choose something that will require low maintenance. Add wardrobes and close all lofts in your bedrooms as well as the kitchen.
But spend wisely. While these additions can increase the appeal of your home it may not always be possible to recover all your costs.