If you’re planning to put your home on the market in the near future, you might be overwhelmed with how much you have to do to get it ready. Homeowners often wonder whether they need to remodel outdated rooms or undergo renovations to attract buyers. In most cases, it’s best to focus your attention on a few key rooms than to try to transform your entire home. By making some small but effective upgrades throughout the house, you can make the property highly desirable to buyers without overworking yourself.
Most Important Rooms to Stage
Although all buyers are different, many look to a few specific rooms when making their judgments on a home. By understanding what buyers look for, you can strategically renovate and stage your home to maximize the sale price. Here are four of the most important rooms when selling a house:
The kitchen is the heart of your home, and it’s often the first room that buyers like to check out. While the new homeowners will typically have a lot of flexibility in how they arrange the living room or bedroom, the kitchen is mostly set in stone unless they want to undergo serious renovations. To sell your house, you have to get prospective buyers to fall in love with the kitchen.
A modern and beautifully staged kitchen helps buyers envision their own lives in your home. The kitchen is a central gathering point for families, so the room should feel warm and inviting. Your countertops should be free of clutter, and your cabinets should be neat and organized in order to show off the storage space.
Unfortunately, the kitchen can be one of the trickiest rooms to stage. Trends change all the time, but upgrading an outdated kitchen is no small feat. You probably don’t want to completely renovate your kitchen shortly before moving out, so you may have to be creative with how you spruce up the room. In most cases, small kitchen upgrades are more cost-effective before selling a house than massive renovations as it’s rare to get a 100% return on your investment. For example, you could update the flooring, apply a fresh coat of paint, or install more modern lighting fixtures.
The master bedroom is another key room that potential buyers focus on. In the kitchen, buyers mostly focus on the appliances, cabinets, and other hardware. In the master bedroom, they’re more concerned about the size and floor plan of the room. There probably aren’t as many replaceable fixtures in the bedroom as there are in the kitchen, so your goal in staging the bedroom is to accentuate the built-in benefits of the space.
For instance, if the master bedroom gets great natural lighting, you should make that a focal point in your showings. If the room has ample closet space, make sure prospective buyers are aware. The way you decorate and arrange furniture can make a big difference in the room’s atmosphere, too. If the master bedroom is somewhat small, you can help the space seem bigger by hanging mirrors on the wall. Removing extra items from the closet can amplify the size of the storage space, too.
Because the bathroom is such a small room, many homeowners overlook it when staging their house. However, a pristine and luxurious master bathroom can be a major selling point for your home. Bathrooms that feel like relaxing spas are highly appealing for buyers.
If your home has a master bathroom attached to the master bedroom, this can be an especially important space to upgrade or renovate. For parents with young children, the master bathroom may feel like the only space in the home that offers peace and privacy. You can highlight this feature when showing your home to families or to expecting parents.
There are plenty of ways you can stage the master bathroom to attract buyers. If you want to invest in big upgrades, you could install a new bathtub or walk-in shower. A double sink vanity is another excellent feature for a master bathroom.
You don’t have to go above and beyond to win over buyers, though. Like with the master bedroom, you can stage the bathroom by calling attention to the best features that already exist in the space. For example, counter space is a coveted bathroom feature. If the bathroom has plenty of counter space, make sure you call attention to it by clearing away all the clutter and adding some small but eye-catching pieces of decor. Good lighting can make a dramatic difference in the bathroom’s overall appearance, too, so installing some warm and gentle sources of light is a small but effective improvement.
The living room is one of the most highly-trafficked and frequently utilized spaces in any house. The biggest challenge with staging the living room is finding a balance between warmth and neutrality. You want the room to look simple and neutral enough that buyers can project their own vision onto the space, but you also need the room to feel warm, cozy and inviting.
A properly staged living room will allow visitors during a showing to feel at home right away. Although you shouldn’t display family photos or other personal items, the space should be comfortable and livable. Lighting and paint colors can both make a big difference in the atmosphere and are fairly easy upgrades you make before you sell. You can also plan your design and decor around a focal point, such as a patterned area rug or a large fireplace.
How to Know When and What to Upgrade
If some of these rooms need work before you put your house on the market, you might wonder whether renovations are worth the cost. In some cases, a major kitchen or bathroom remodel could benefit you as the seller. Other times, it’s a wiser financial choice to stick with simpler and less expensive upgrades.
The best way to plan the scope and budget for staging your house is to consider how your home compares to others in your neighborhood. Typically, sellers are most successful when their homes are highly similar to the surrounding properties. If you know that almost every other house on the block has an upgraded kitchen, you might decide to invest in new appliances before selling. However, if your home already looks like the houses in your neighborhood, extensive renovations may not actually get you a higher offer.
You can also consider the current housing market when deciding whether or not to undergo renovations. In a hot seller’s market, you probably won’t have to put much work into your home to get buyers’ attention. A deep cleaning and reorganization may be all that you need before you list the house. In a buyer’s market, though, you may have to go above and beyond to generate interest in the property.
When preparing your house for the market, you should focus most of your efforts on the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and master bathroom. Although your home may have other points of interest as well, these four rooms are typically the most important for winning over buyers. With some simple upgrades and careful staging, you can make prospective buyers fall in love with the house.
To save time and money on staging your home, consider working with HappyDoor. We are an off-market home buyer that purchases properties as-is at competitive prices. Call us today to learn more.