Having had our home on the market for nearly 18 months before it sold, we were given plenty of time to guess, second-guess, and guess again at the repairs, upgrades, and decorative adjustments we made to our home in an effort to make it more sellable. We found it hard to know what sorts of things to try, what might help, what might hurt the presentation of our home to prospective homebuyers, and how far to go with our adjustments.
After everything was said and done, and now that we’ve had time to review and contemplate how our moves may have worked (or more likely backfired since we sold for $65,000 less than we bought), we’ve come to some conclusions regarding where we missed the mark on making our home more sellable or at least expanding its appeal to a broader market.
Kitchen Appliance Update
With prospective buyers entering our home by way of the kitchen, this space -- typically known in many homes as a focal point for buyers anyway -- was made even more important in creating that valuable first impression. Unfortunately, while we painted our cabinets, added new hardware to them, and had an all-around good looking kitchen; it wasn’t a great looking kitchen.
Why wasn’t it great? Because of the appliances.
No, it wasn’t that they didn’t work. It wasn’t even that they looked that bad. But, unfortunately for us, they were far from new, with the newest items (the microwave and dishwasher) being installed around the late-90s; and they certainly weren’t anything close to stainless steel.
I think that if we had spent the money to upgrade them to stainless, our kitchen would have really “popped” and made a great first impression as potential buyers entered the home, and we might have saved a lot of time and lost money through this investment.
A More Livable Living Room
We never really used our living room much, preferring our finished basement instead as our lounging area. We even went so far as to remove the cable line into our living room, since we never used it.
Again, I think that this was a mistake, since not everyone might want to utilize this area as more of a formal space as we did. I think that if nothing else, we should at least have kept a television in the space just to make it a little more personable. The way we had it set up, I think it made the space just a little too stuffy and non-functional for what many people might like.
A More Neutral Master Bedroom
In hindsight, I definitely think we should have gone a different, more neutral route when it came to a paint color for our master bedroom. However, after changing it from a beige color when we moved in, to a lime (although I called it more of an “asylum”) green, to two coats of a darker forest (although I thought it looked more like an “army tent”) green, we were just tired of repainting and somewhat disillusioned the space.
We should have gone back to the beige or at least a more neutral color, but we knew that it would likely take another two coats, and with home showings and open houses in between, and not being sure how great the re-paint would come out anyway, we decided to leave it. Unfortunately, while the darker green did tend to match with our darkly varnished furniture and hardwood floors in the space, in our opinion, it just made the room too dark overall and not as inviting as it could have been.