5 Outdated Home Features to Upgrade Before Selling This Spring
By Haley Keiser
While everyone has their own preferences when purchasing a new home, there are a handful of trends that are universally seen as unsightly and dated. Consider updating these features before you put your house on the market.
Flooring updates are perhaps the most laborious changes you will need to make in your home before attempting to sell. Buyers will be looking for hardwood in common areas and will be particularly turned off by linoleum or carpeting. While linoleum looks cheap and is often in outdated colors, carpeting certainly has its benefits; not only does new carpet feel nice to bare feet, but it also absorbs sound. It is an excellent feature for bedrooms and second stories, but hardwood is all the rage for main floors. It’s attractive, easy to clean, and doesn’t harbor dust, mold, and pet hair like carpet. If you do choose to leave some areas of your home carpeted, make sure it’s not shag carpeting—if it’s still in your house, it’s not only dated, but also needs to be replaced for hygienic purposes.
Popcorn ceilings are outdated, difficult to maintain, and potentially hazardous. When they were popular, asbestos was still used as a common material for insulation and flame retardation. Needless to say, you’ll want to do away with any popcorn ceilings in your house before you put it on the market. If you know your home is asbestos-free, you can scrape it off yourself; it will be messy and time consuming, but you’ll save yourself some extra cash. However, if you aren’t sure, or if you don’t want to tackle it yourself, you can hire someone to come and remove it for you. At the very least, hire an inspector to make sure the popcorn ceilings don’t contain asbestos and other hazardous materials before you tackle the job yourself. Make sure you repaint after the removal—you don’t want to be showing a mottled ceiling to prospective buyers.
If your kitchen features laminate or tile countertops, you’ll want to update them to wood, stone, or a combination. Wood is cheaper than stone, easy to maintain and durable, as long as it is treated with the proper seal. It gives a bright, natural feel to your kitchen, especially when cut in a butcher-block style. Natural stone is also a great option, but it’s soft, so it does take a bit more work to maintain. Marble, for instance, can chip, while soapstone will often dent. Jerusalem stone, which appears soft, is actually nearly as durable as granite. Engineered stone like granite or quartz are the top choice of countertop for home buyers, but you also don’t want to overdo it. Too much granite can be unattractive to the eye and can make your kitchen look severe. If you have a lot of counter space in your kitchen, or if you have an island, consider combining two countertop options.
4.Fixtures and Hardware
One of the top features that current homebuyers are looking for is energy efficiency. If it’s in your budget to upgrade to energy efficient lighting and appliances, it’s a good investment. Similarly, you’ll want to update any fixtures and hardware that are boring or dated. Ceiling fans, light fixtures, Hollywood bathroom lighting, door knobs, and cabinet pulls seem like minute details, but taking the time to upgrade can really change the feel of your home. Be mindful of color, too. In the mid-20th century, avocado or mustard appliances were extremely popular, as well as pastel or gold bathroom fixtures. New buyers no longer find these features attractive, so replacing them is a must.
Wallpaper, especially chintz and wallpaper borders, are one of the primary aspects of your home that can turn a prospective buyer away. Like flooring, buyers will be considering how much it will cost to remove and may decide it’s not worth the trouble. The same is true for dark wood paneling. Both wallpaper and paneling date a home significantly and can be an expensive hassle to remove. Before you put your home on the market, tear down any wallpaper or paneling and paint with neutral colors.
Once you’ve decided what updates to make, you’ll want to consider what to do with outdated materials. Any appliances, porcelain, or fixtures that are still in good working order can be donated to a Goodwill or sold on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Vintage is still hot in certain areas, particularly pastel porcelain, so it may be worth trying to sell. Anything that can’t be donated or is hazardous to throw away can easily excised by local junk removal service. This is especially convenient if you don’t own a vehicle. If you do, you can also take any garbage to your local dump. Be sure to check their trash policies as some materials may require extra inspection or cost.
Good luck and get renovating!