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Update Your Home

We are closing out 2019 and looking forward to 2020 with a new post on updating your home. 40% of homes in our market don’t sell and this is due to over pricing or lack of updates. Even if you are not thinking of selling it is still important to do a few updates every year. For many home owners updating means taking a home from a traditional look to a modern  transitional look with clean and simple lines. Here are ten things that can transform your house from traditional to transitional AND  increase the value by five to six times the investment.

#1 Declutter. The buyers today are looking for simplicity and style. They’re looking for linear lines and a transitional look so the last thing we want to have is a bunch of clutter around. Casey says “We come in and we say this has to go, this has to go, and this has to go. We try to thin the house out as much as possible”. The goal is to create a space where the buyers can see see the space, feature, and function. This process has no cost but dramatically increase your buyer pool.

#2 Paint. Paint has a 5 to 1 return rate on investment IF you pick the correct color.  If your home is in the tan motif, and we see a lot of tans, we want to update it to the grey’s. A few of our favorites: repost grey, mindful grey, agreeable grey.  Most of the time a home can use a fresh coat of paint.

#3  Powerwash. If you’re going to sell your car you’re going to want to go out and get a car wash. So, call in some power washers. You want to get the pathways clean, the driveways clean, around the house, the backyard. We want to have the curb appeal of your home clean and fresh looking so it stands out to homebuyers.

#4 Hardware. A lot of the homes build in the 80’s and the 90’s have the shiny gold hardware on the door knobs and the lighting fixtures. As soon as you see that you think dated. We are trying to de-age your house and we can make it look new you’re going to get a lot of money back. Our team recommends putting in brushed nickel.

#5 Doors. Team member Billy Samson just did this update to a recent condo for sale. This home had the 1970-1980’s flat doors. Billy brought in six panel doors. We recommend if your home has flat doors you replace them. For $45-100/per door you get the 6 panel look buyers of today want to see. Casey says “the small investment you make really pays off. I know people look at their hardware and think that’s a lo of work, but it’s really not.”

#6 Lighting fixtures. Take out older looking lighting fixtures and replace with either recessed lights or a flat led. Casey recommends two lighting fixtures which are the key to replace. One is in the dining room and one is in the breakfast room. If you look at those two lights and you see gold from 1985, they really have to go. For $250 dollars you could have a modern lighting fixture which catches the eyes of the buyer and says modern. Our team will even put have these fixtures in an online shopping cart, send them to our seller, the seller says buy it, they ship it, we have somebody come in and install it. Again, this changes these rooms from a traditional to a transitional look. Very important. Not expensive. Not a headache because its all done by our team. Also, if you walk through your hallways and see the little lamps and they’re gold and they’ve been here since 1985, take those out and put in recessed lights.In the bedrooms, a lot of the fans have the wood with the gold. Take those out and put in a fan that’s about $100-125 dollars with brushed nickel. The sleek looking fans with an LED light really pops the room at a minimal cost.

#7 Flooring.  New carpeting, hardwood or laminate. We love in the new luxury Vinyl tile (LVT), it is durable and it looks great! We try not to do flooring in the whole house, sometimes just one room is enough.

#8 Plumbing fixtures. A lot of times you have gold plumbing. It is amazing when you switch out the 1980’s gold plumbing features and put in some of the nicer stainless steel or brushed nickel fixtures. Whatever is appropriate for the all the bathrooms and the kitchen. Plumbing fixtures are a key feature that dates properties. 

#9 Appliances. If your appliances are 12 to 15 years old then now is the time to get rid of the older appliances and bring in the modern stainless steel. You can also get fingerprint resistant or smudge-proof stainless steel. At a home inspection, if you have a 14 year old refrigerator a home inspector will recommend replacing it, so get it out before you sell. New appliances get more buyers in your house, especially buyers that want something turn-key.

#10 Rugs.  Pull out the old oriental rugs, put in a nice modern rugs. We often walk into a home, point out an old run and on our iPad show the home owners rug that should take its place. Again we will put it in the online shopping cart and send our clients the link so they can buy it.

**Bonus tips**

#11 Modern wall hangings If you take off some old wall decor and curtains and put up a modern one, it does wonders for the house and for the showing to buyers.

#12 Landscaping. Cut, mulch and clean out your beds.

Basically all you want to do is clean up, we’re painting where necessary, we’re power washing the house, we’re decluttering the house, we’re pulling the curtains off giving it and transitional look, letting the lighting come into your house, we’re switching out that hardware which is an eye sore for these buyers because when they’re online thinking dated, dated, dated. We want to catch the eye of the buyer.

We can help sellers make free, and cost effective, changes to satisfy buyers.
Contact Casey before making any renovations.

We only recommend improvements that will double or triple the investment. We do not recommend capital improvements where you’re putting in a new kitchen or a new bathroom. We like to think of it as recommending a face lift, not reconstructive surgery. Just $5,000-$10,000 can increase the value of your house $25,000-$50,000 dollars. 

Watch Casey and Billy discuss this topic:, 703-508-2535

Our track record of selling our listings at 100.1% of our list price in an average of 24 days is unmatched by any other real estate team in the industry. Pricing and attention to detail are our keys to success. 

For a more in-depth look visit our Preparing The Home article or our  Update Schedule.

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