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  • Writer's pictureJesus M. Fernandez

8 Updates You Should Make Before Selling Your Home

Emily Miller - Contributing Editor to

Every homeowner wants to ensure that their property is represented as well as possible and sells as well as it possibly can. To maximize the value of your home and the potential price you can fetch for it, it’s necessary to make some updates, where necessary and possible. When your property is in its best shape, it attracts the best, most motivated buyers.

Making sure your basics are in order is essential. Your bathrooms should be gorgeous, your walls should be neutral, and your house should be in great state. Throw in a modern kitchen, and you’ve got an ideal contender for the Miami real estate market.

Make it about the buyers

The first thing you need to remember about selling your house is that this isn’t about you, but about the buyer. The experience of viewing your house has to be about them. Do they like it? Can they see themselves living here? Here’s how you can create that perfect experience.

Paint neutral interiors

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make when putting their home on the market is that they don’t make cosmetic changes. What we mean by that is making your space more neutral. It is well established that buyers respond much better to spaces that are neutral. They want a clean, blank slate.

So, if your home has a distinct color palette, any kind of statement walls, wallpaper, murals in the kids’ rooms - the best course of action is to repaint in shades of white or gray. That ensures that your buyers will not be distracted by your own personal taste and choices, and it will not impact their impression of your home.

Eliminate personal items

In keeping with helping the buyer see the space for what it is, you will want to take away any sentimental or personal items. Leaving all your family photos, your college diploma on the wall, your framed newspaper cutouts - that turns off a buyer, because it feels very much like your home. It’s uncomfortable, because it feels like stepping into someone else’s home.

Strip these away to leave a neutral space behind and you are helping the buyer envision themselves living in this space. They can picture their furniture and their family here, because they can see beyond your graduation picture and your kids’ hand paintings on the fridge.

Make necessary repairs

Nothing plummets the value of a home faster than outstanding damage to the property. No one wants to buy a house that already needs repairs - at least, not at its full price. In order to position your property on the market in the best way possible, invest in making repairs.

Window replacement

Windows are expensive to repair and even more expensive to replace, so if yours are not in great shape, it should be a priority to get them taken care of. Yes, the investment will not be minimal. But it will put you in a much better position as a seller, and able to raise the asking price.

Brand new windows don’t only create a gorgeous first impression, visually, but they are also better insulators and more energy-efficient, which is a huge selling point, both as a cost reductive measure and as an environmental advantage.

Roof repair

Every buyer’s nightmare is a property with a caving roof. Catching it ahead of time during the walkthrough yields one of two results: a) they don’t make the purchase, or b) they expect a significantly reduced price, because roof repair and replacement is expensive and inconvenient.

You can prevent the negative impression by proactively making the repairs. An investment in this now will yield a higher profit later, so it’s well worth the money and the hassle.

Pay attention to your high-ROI investments

When it comes to larger financial investments in your home, keep your eye on the prize with updates that are certain to bring you a big return on investment. Because they are spaces that tend to rank high on buyers’ priority lists, the bathroom, and especially the kitchen, are where you should be putting your money.

Bathroom renovation

You want your bathrooms to be presentable - clean, fresh, updated. Nothing puts off a buyer faster than an old, outdated bathroom, signs of age can make it seem unclean. A full renovation may not even be necessary, depending on the state of the space. You can breathe fresh life into old tile by simply regrouting.

An older bathtub can be reglazed or refinished in order to give it a fresh, new look, and repurpose a perfectly usable fixture. Hang a new mirror and you’ve got a brand-new bathroom.

Kitchen update

The old adage says that kitchens sell houses, and it’s true. So, if you’re on a budget, this is a great place to put that money. New quartz countertops are an excellent investment, because they are a big draw for buyers and they add real, tangible value to the property.

The other thing you can do here is bring in new appliances. Picking matching, chrome appliances that are, perhaps, more energy efficient will cover a variety of needs and tastes and will give your kitchen the modern feel so many young buyers want.

Cater to your buyers

If you want to attract a lot of attention, add more value to your property, and sell fast, then you need to cater to buyers’ expectations. Take some time to scope out the market and see what buyers are looking for. What do other homes in your neighborhood offer?

Add smart devices

One of the hottest trends right now is to equip your home with smart devices. Smart homes are becoming more and more popular in Florida, and buyers are demanding them. Smart doorbells, smart assistants, even smart kitchen appliances like fridges or coffee makers.

Smart tech is here to stay, not just because it’s fun to play around with, but because it’s comfortable and convenient. Everything is hooked up to Wi-Fi and can be controlled on your phone, so why not opt for that, instead of traditional devices?

Create a home office

The other feature buyers will pay top dollar for? A home office. Since things have changed so much in our lifestyle in the wake of the pandemic, a home office has become not optional, but essential. A lot of buyers are now remote workers who prioritize this space in their property search.

The best thing is that setting up a home office space does not take much effort or a big investment; it’s more about staging. Dedicate a guest room, a corner of your living room, or even a closet, to demonstrate to your buyers that your space is flexible and able to accommodate all of their needs.

Bottom line

When you’re ready to sell your home, you have to think about all the possible ways you can make your property more desirable. Some updates are usually necessary, but which ones will get you the most bang for your buck? Which are essential?

The secret is to think about what your buyers need, what they want, and what they’re looking for. An updated kitchen and bathroom are almost non-negotiable, but you also have to think about things like smart devices, necessary repairs, and the way you’re presenting your home. A neutral home that incorporates some buyer favorites always does well on the market.

Talk to your Miami Lakes real estate neighborhood expert, Jesus M. Fernandez. He can help you identify, which areas of your home may need a little refreshing and advise you if your investment is worth the time, money and effort, when selling your Miami Lakes, home.

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