Give Your Unsellable House These Major Upgrades

No one wants a home that languishes on the market. Real estate mavens and hosts of Unsellable Houses Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb share their top ideas for updating your home and your listing so that it stands out from every other house with a "For Sale" sign.

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February 04, 2020

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First Impression is Everything

Sisters Leslie and Lyndsay think the first 10 seconds of someone seeing your home is crucial to the sell. People start making a decision immediately, so curb appeal is a central part to your home-on-the-market game. Give your landscaping a little TLC: pull weeds, refresh your mulch, cut back overgrown plants and add new flowers and potted plants where necessary.

Hued Greeting

A pop of color on your front door is an easy and affordable way to establish curb appeal and allows your house to stand out from the rest on the block.

The Heart of the Home is Essential

If you have to pick one area to spend money, make it the kitchen, suggests Leslie and Lyndsay. Upgrading a kitchen may seem like a big investment, especially when you're trying to sell your house. However, a modernized kitchen gives you the most bang for your buck since that's one of the most important elements buyers are looking for.

Hello White

Light and bright is the name of the game. While taupes and beiges are neutral color choices, they often don't show a house off in its best hue. Opt for brilliant whites to really open up and animate your home.

The Right Tile

Beyond lighter paint colors, brighten up your tile choices to make your space feel bigger and more polished. Classic white subway tile never goes out of style. Here, a pearly finish adds a high-gloss moment to this timeless kitchen.

Bathrooms That Sparkle

There are two spaces that can make or break your sellable home: the kitchen and bathrooms. Once your kitchen is in order, turn your attention to the bathroom. A freshly tiled floor, tub or shower surround can completely transform your bathroom from outdated to up-to-the-minute.

Revive the Prep Space

A new vanity is a cost-effective way to update a bathroom. Buyers prefer a practical vanity that has plenty of room for bathroom necessities.

Illuminating Accessories

A simple and not-quite-as pricey update for your bathroom is to swap out old light fixtures and mirrors for new ones. These small changes have a huge impact on how modern your bathroom feels.

Pull Back the Rug

If you have stunning hardwood floors, the sisters don't want you to hide them away under rugs (no matter how lovely they may be). Expose the sure-to-help-you-sell feature by removing rugs and really highlighting your hardwoods.

Style the Outside

Buyers love an outdoor living space, so make sure to play up yours. Create a destination where they can imagine hanging out, entertaining and relaxing. Pull together a cozy grouping of chairs, an inviting firepit or an intimate dining spot.

No Projects Please

Buyers don't want to walk into a space that screams "Project!" Make sure every space in your home is finished and has a ready-to-move-in vibe.

Warm + Cozy

More than 3/4 of homebuyers are seeking a new home with a family room fireplace, so if you're fortunate enough to have one, help it stand out. Here, a whitewash softens the look of dark brick and creates a striking contrast against the rustic wood mantel and muted blue built-ins.

Selling is Not Comfortable

This one can be hard. If you want to make top dollar, you have to do things that are inconvenient to you. This may mean reconfiguring your home in a way that isn't conducive to your family or packing up a good portion of your belongings to put in storage so that the house doesn't feel cluttered. Think about how to show your house off in its best light, even if it is not how you've been living there.

Expanded Living

Open concept homes remain a huge selling point. Taking out a wall may seem like a big project to take on before selling your home yet it can completely transform your home's layout and style. Buyers want houses where all the rooms connect to each other.

Think Outside of Your Box

Remember your preferences may not sell. You may love the slate fireplace you refinished or the geometric wallpaper you chose for the powder room, but it doesn't mean that everyone does. Take a look through the listings in your area (and especially the ones that sold quickly) to see if there's something you could makeover so that your home sells faster.

Don't Let Your Pets Ruin Your Sell

We love our furbabies, but sometimes they do some damage to our homes. Pet odors especially need to be dealt with. Keep in mind if they had the run of specific room, you may need to replace the floors to truly get rid of animal smell. As well as eliminating bad odors, use simple scents to help sell your home. Citrus and cinnamon have been shown to increase people's purchases.

From: Lara Fishman

Who's Your Target?

It's important to know your target audience when you're selling a house, says Leslie and Lyndsay. Think about who you're selling to: first-time buyers, young professionals, families of littles or those with older kids, empty-nesters or retirees. Also, consider where you live. Each neighborhood has its own style and atmosphere. Check comps in your area to see what's selling and what people are looking for.

Stage, Stage, Stage

On average, houses that are staged at the time of the listing sell seven times faster than homes that are not staged. You want to show a buyer that every single corner of that home is usable. Even if you have to bring in professional stagers, the return on investment is worth it.

Worth a Thousand Words

Most buyers start their homebuying process online and are making a split-moment decision based off of a photo. Listings with professional photos sell quicker and for more money. Be intentional about the photos that you select. They have to stand out from the other homes online in order to make buyers want to walk through your house.

Take It From the Top

In addition to using pro-quality photos for your listing, make sure to include an aerial shot of your property. Homes with aerial images sell 68% faster than homes with standard images since they allow you to show off every square inch of your acreage.

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