So you’re thinking about selling your home?

Congratulations! It’s a great time to sell.

And it’s an even better time to sell if your home has the features today’s buyers want.

We’ve been successfully assisting buyers and sellers for many years now, and although many things have changed over the years, there are some “wish list” items that remain constant: kitchens and bathrooms that are both beautiful and functional. We’ll get to that in a minute. But first …



And the very first thing to do before undertaking a remodel if you are planning on selling is to involve your real estate agent.

Yes, you heard that right. Involve your real estate agent right from the get-go.

Good real estate agents understand not only the nuts and bolts of sales, marketing, and contracts, they also have a keen awareness of what buyers are looking for in your neighborhood and which home improvements have paid off for past clients (and which have not!),

Ideally, involving your agent six months to a year before you plan to sell will yield the best results. Why so far out? If you’re planning a substantial project it could take 3 to 6 months to finish! You want to have plenty of time on the front end to get input from your agent prior to making important decisions.

If all you have to do is clean up your yard and make a few repairs, even that often takes longer than you think.



These spaces continue to be critical to buyers. The kitchen, in particular, is the emotional (and often the physical) heart of many homes. As such, having an appealing kitchen is important when selling your home.

Kitchen upgrades you might want to consider include:

  • New or repainted cabinets (white remains the most popular choice)
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Quartz counters (granite is no longer the counter-top of choice)
  • Brushed chrome or satin faucets and hardware
  • Under-mount or apron sink
  • Recessed ceiling lights, supplemented with pendants over your cooking area

While all bathrooms are important, improving the master bath will offer a better return on your remodeling dollar than other bathrooms.

Here, think about upgrades such as:

  • Converting an existing tub to a deeper soaking tub
  • Removing an existing Jacuzzi-style tub
  • Adding a freestanding “slipper” style tub
  • Converting an existing tub to a large walk-in shower
  • Replacing the vanity
  • Replacing an older toilet with a low-flush and/or dual flush model
  • Quartz counters
  • Brushed chrome or satin faucets and hardware
  • New mirrors and towel bars
  • Heated floors



It’s not all about the kitchen and bathrooms!

Perhaps your kitchen and bathroom(s) have already been updated. Perhaps you simply don’t have the funds necessary to make changes in those rooms, which typically carry the highest price tags of any updating projects.

If that’s the case, don’t worry! There are still upgrades you can make to entice buyers. Research shows buyers have specific items they’re hoping to find in their next home.

As you can see, a large percentage of buyers indicated these were important. Here they are, in order of importance:

  • Dedicated laundry room – 91%
  • Energy Star-rated windows – 89%
  • Patio – 87%
  • Energy Star-rated appliances – 86%
  • Ceiling fans – 85%
  • Garage storage – 85%
  • Exterior lighting – 85%
  • Walk-in pantry – 83%
  • Hardwood flooring – 83%
  • Double kitchen sink – 81%
  • Whole home Energy Star certification – 81%

If a complete renovation of your kitchen or bathrooms isn’t possible, perhaps adding one or more of the items on this wish list is!



Over the years we’ve seen many sellers invest in upgrades to improve the sale-ability of their homes without taking two other critical steps – cleaning and staging.

Having your home professionally deep-cleaned before putting it on the market is always a good idea. Not only does it save you potentially hours and hours of back-breaking work, a deep clean also provides the impression that a home is well-cared for.

Staging is an additional area where a modest investment can go a very long way. There are stagers who specialize in vacant homes, and those who work with sellers who need to “stage in place”.

A well-staged home helps a buyer to envision their life in that home – and a really good stager draws eyes to a home’s best features while detracting attention from those that are less desirable.



Finally, if you’re preparing your home for sale, be sure to save a little of your budget for curb appeal.

The exterior of your home is the first impression a buyer will have. Clean your roof, paint the exterior if needed, tidy up your lawn by edging and adding beauty bark, and yes – potted flowers are a great idea at the entrance. Even a fresh coat of paint on the front door can be the perfect introduction to what might be someone’s new home.

Each home is unique. If you’re wondering what improvements will increase the value of your house, drop us a line or give us a call. We’d love to come take a peek and give you the benefit of our many years of experience.


Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker