Author: Gina Rodrigues

1. Add crown molding to the primary living areas

Plain rectangular rooms can be yawn-inducing. Crown molding adds architectural dimension to a space, just like a gallery frame enhances the artwork it encases. And while Sharma admits that molding isn’t a must-have for most buyers, they do appreciate this detail in main living spaces such as the formal dining room and living room.

In most rooms, white trim accents most color schemes and gives rooms a “finished” look. But in rooms with low ceilings, white trim can make the space feel smaller. For these rooms, paint the crown molding the same color as the wall instead of white.

2. Replace the front door

First impressions are lasting impressions, and your home’s first impression happens at the front door. When choosing a new door, the style should accent the architecture of your home. A steel contemporary door would look out of place on a 100 year-old Victorian home, for example.

Also, keep your neighborhood in mind when choosing a new door. Azure green and burnt orange shades may suit areas with a quirky vibe, such as Austin, Texas, or Santa Cruz, California. In regions with more traditional homes, red or black may be more suitable.

If you’re looking to appeal to a wide range of buyers, Sharma suggests sticking with darker, traditional colors. Black, dark gray, and brown are classic choices. “It should flow with the color scheme,” she says.

As far as materials go, fiberglass is one budget-friendly and weather-resistant option. Another benefit? Some fiberglass styles are hard to distinguish from real wood doors. And the material holds up well against water and sun exposure.

3. Modernize light switches and outlet covers

If you’re looking to modernize an older home, all it takes is a simple switch — quite literally. Swap out your beige toggle light switches to white rocker switches for a modern glow-up.

You can also take it a step further by integrating home automation. Upgrade to WiFi-enabled switches and outlets that you can control with a smartphone or home automation device, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Nest. With smart outlets, you can remotely turn lights on and off, and program a randomized lighting schedule as a security precaution when you travel.

4. Scrape off popcorn ceilings

The textured, cottage cheese look of popcorn ceilings has been a design faux pas since it fell out of fashion in the late 1980s. While the bumpy texture has its benefits as a sound dampener and camouflage for ceiling imperfections, its lumpy look remains disagreeable to many homeowners.

Sharma notes that most buyers she tours with will comment on popcorn ceilings in a home. “People don’t want popcorn ceilings these days,” she says.

Before you start any popcorn ceiling project, you should first hire a licensed pro to test for asbestos. The government banned asbestos in the late 1970s, but builders continued using ceiling materials containing asbestos into the 1980s. Due to the extra precautions necessary for removing popcorn ceilings containing asbestos, the cost for removal can triple that of non-asbestos ceilings.

5. Illuminate living space with recessed lighting

If you’re looking to brighten up a space that reads more bat cave than sunroom, recessed lighting is an elegant and modern solution. Extra lighting can illuminate a home to convey warmth and welcome, while gloomy spaces can feel bleak. And additional bulbs can be particularly beneficial for sun-deficient northern states or perpetually overcast regions such as the Pacific Northwest.

Sharma attests to the benefit of recessed lighting in a home, particularly if you’re getting ready to sell. She recently advised a client to install recessed lighting in their home’s main living space, which lacked light. Buyers don’t like dark spaces, Sharma explains. “[The recessed lights] helped tremendously. We sold the house for a much higher price, and fairly quickly.”

What type of lighting is best? Sharma recommends LED, which delivers plenty of lumens without much installation fuss. “LEDs are very bright and are nice and easy to install,” she says.

6. Replace the garage door

Sharma says that most homebuyers don’t scrutinize the garage door when they tour a home, so there’s no need to splurge on a new style if the one you have is functional. However, if your garage looks worse for the wear, you could up your home’s curb appeal and value by replacing a shabby-looking door.

Modern garage door trend leans toward darker hues that accent your home’s style and color scheme. Stately grays and browns have edged out bright whites, and black doors have become the new favorite neutral.

For added style, upgrade to carriage doors or a garage door with glass windows. Just know that you’ll need to bump up your budget for specialty designs. Decorative styles often cost two to three times more than an average garage door.

7. Re-tile flooring in the guest bathroom

If your bathroom features pastel tile floors from a bygone era or linoleum installed circa the invention of the microwave, it’s probably time to upgrade.

Thankfully, guest bathrooms are usually on the smaller side so revamping the space will likely take less material, time, and money than an owner’s ensuite. Despite its petite size, investing in a high-traffic area like the guest bathroom can add to your home’s marketability.

In a 2019 NAR® survey, 46% of Realtors® thought it was either somewhat important or very important to stage a home’s bathroom, suggesting that bathroom finishes could hold significance for homebuyers.

While you have a multitude of choices at Home Depot’s flooring aisle, two types stand out for durability and budget-friendliness: ceramic tile and luxury vinyl tile.

Pricier than luxury vinyl, ceramic tile is still relatively low cost compared to high-end finishes such as marble, which can stretch the budget at up to $47 per square foot.

An alternative to ceramic, luxury vinyl tile is enjoying its moment as an interior design darling. Current vinyl options can mimic the look of higher-end materials such as exotic hardwoodmarble, or sandstone without straining your budget.

8. Freshen up interior paint

Sharma says that if you’re looking to make one change, freshening up your interior paint gives you the most bang for your buck. “It’s the easiest and cheapest way to enhance the value of a home,” she notes.

While some homeowners delight in canary yellow doors and cherry red accent walls, Sharma recommends toning it down if you’re getting ready to sell. “We always advise our sellers to have a neutral paint throughout,” she says.

Struggling to find a neutral color that doesn’t put the blah in bland? Current color trends include earthy tones such as the moody Urbane Bronze by Sherwin Williams and the pale warmth of Almond Wisp by Behr. Neutral grays also make the cut: Granite Dust by Valspar accents well with both warm and cool color palettes. You won’t have to second-guess whether it works with your existing color scheme.

And if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, painting is a great beginner project that can save you more than a couple of bucks. While professional painters may charge $200 to $800 to paint a 10-foot-by-12-foot room, you can DIY for $100 to $300.

For whole article: HomelightBlog