We see a lot of homes and one of our main goals is to help our clients update their properties so that their prospective buyers will value and admire each space. We make recommendations every day for things that home owners can change out so that their homes appeal to the modern and design savvy millennial generation. We know that the more a home owner can do before they list the home for sale, the better chance they have for selling quickly and either at – or above – market value.
So here are our top 10 things that we know instantly date a home – and which should be addressed prior to listing. Some of these are fixtures or finishes and some are furnishings but ALL of them have an impact on a buyer’s perception of the home!
Brass .. Anything!
Brass is a finish that we see every day in light fixtures, door knobs, faucets and more. Currently on trend is brushed pewter or platinum finishes so a great way to visually update a home is to replace these design elements. By doing so, your home tells buyers that it’s been both well maintained and updated.
Dated Tubs & Tiled Surrounds
Gone are the days that homes featured tubs and tile surrounds in an array of colors. For homes that still feature this kind of design element, having the tub and tile reglazed white is a great option for inexpensively updating this key bathroom feature. If the fixture isn’t in great shape or the tile needs replacing, stick with classic tile like subway for a clean, modern aesthetic.
Light Hued Wood Cabinetry
Light maple or oak cabinetry used to be much in demand but times have changed. Younger buyers are looking for modern kitchens featuring white or gray cabinetry, shaker or slab style doors and expansive sold surface countertops. If your home features dated cabinetry, give it a facelift by having it professionally painted. If the cabinet doors aren’t in great shape, have them replaced and reface the cabinets themselves. The kitchen is a key decision-making area so be sure to invest in making this room look as modern and updated as possible!
Too Many Collectibles
The emerging buyers are looking for homes that feature spacious rooms with minimal furnishings and decor. They are very different from the baby boomers who collected items and loved displaying them everywhere. This is why, when you go to sell your home, that it’s really important to pack away most of your personal treasures, knickknacks and pictures. By doing so, you give your buyers the opportunity to mentally move in and imagine themselves living there without being distracted by all the stuff on display.
Antique or Overstuffed Furnishings
Huge furniture pieces with overstuffed or rolled arms were on trend in the 80’s and 90’s. They dominate rooms and unless a space is generous, often make rooms look small and cramped. Ideally, when you are selling, these types of furniture pieces should be replaced with modern, streamlined pieces that will show off the size and scale of the space without overpowering it.
Even though furniture doesn’t stay with the home, it still impacts how buyers perceive it. Homes that feature antiques and maple or oak furniture pieces automatically make a home look and feel older. Editing out many of these pieces and introducing some new modern furnishings goes a long way to updating a property visually, for your buyers. Modern furnishings also tell buyers that the current owners have invested in modernizing the home which will in turn raise its value in their eyes. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Wallpaper is a great design element and it’s something we use for clients who are opting to live in their home. The reason? Wallpaper often is a very personal choice and is selected to fit the tastes of one individual or family. Most buyers hate it. In fact, it is the #1 buyer objection when they are house shopping and buyers would rather keep house hunting than buy a home where they are going to have to strip it off the walls. Want to add value to your home? Remove the wallpaper and paint the walls a neutral hue!
Old Fashioned Cabinet Hardware
In addition to dated cabinetry, the door hardware is another element that can date a home. With swirls and knots, old-fashioned hardware often looks like jewelry your grandmother might have worn. Today’s buyers are looking for sleek, streamlined hardware that are all about simplicity. In finishes of chrome, brushed pewter and rubbed oil, this cabinet hardware gives any kitchen or bathroom a modern update.
Personal Paint Colors or Textured Wall Designs
Whenever it comes time to sell, it’s important to give a home a paint refresher. We all have unique decorating styles but when you want your home to appeal to the most buyers possible, neutral is best. Neutral doesn’t have to mean boring, but it does need to work with a wide range of buyer’s tastes. Right now, shades of gray are very on trend so if you are painting, stick with this hue. This gives buyers a turn-key property that they will value and pay top dollar for.
From funky shag carpets to pink or blue or green plush carpets – this feature is often overwhelming to a buyer, even if the rest of the space has been neutrally updated. Today’s buyers are looking for hardwood floors or similar flooring that will add a modern style note they aspire to have. In key selling spaces, this is an important dated element to change out before you list to add to a home’s overall value and keep buyers from shopping your competition.
Old style formica countertops which were all the rage in the in the 50’s and 60’s are most definitely a design element that should be updated before a home is listed for sale. Depending on the home’s price point, a modern laminate which mimics the look of solid surface countertops is often a great option. For luxury homes, granite or quartz are excellent ways to add value to kitchens and bathrooms.
Do you have other dated elements that you think should be included in this list? Let us know!
For more information on Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc., visit us online at www.homestagingdesign.ca. Our award-winning company specializes in staging vacant properties and builder model or spec homes. Keep up with our projects and design tips by becoming our fan on our Facebook Business Page or contact us directly at (519) 804-STAGE.