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If you’re planning to move a few low-cost updates can help you sell your home faster and still get top dollar without spending a ton of money or time. 

Sometimes simple, inexpensive updates can help sell a home faster and for a better price without the need of expensive remodeling projects.

So, in this article, we’re going to take a look at the 8 best low-cost updates to sell a home faster. 

Why Simple, Low-Cost Updates Help a Home Sell Faster

best updates to sell a home

Many home sellers mistakenly think that expensive and elaborate updates to a home will help it sell more quickly. Also, they often think that each dollar spent on improvements equals a dollar added to the home’s value. 

These assumptions aren’t true.

Home values are primarily determined by the values of the homes around them. Contributions such as updates and remodeling projects do add value to a home but are still relative to the prices in the neighborhood. 

Therefore, sometimes low-cost updates will both increase a home’s value while also helping it sell faster.

So, let’s look at the 8 best, low-cost updates to make when selling a home. 

8 Best Low-Cost Updates to Make When Selling a Home

1. Declutter the Closets

declutter the closet

Buyers love lots of closet space. However, instead of trying to build more closets, make your existing closets look bigger with these easy fixes:

  • Emptying items you no longer need or use 
  • Donate clothes that you no longer wear
  • Store some of your seasonal clothing and shoes in boxes kept out of sight
  • Move the top rail up to make room to add a bottom rail for hanging pants or skirts

All of these will give the illusion of more space, making your closets look bigger. 

After you declutter your closets, take a look at your pantry and kitchen cabinets:

  • Discard items that have passed their “sell by” date 
  • Store large bags of flour or pasta in plastic containers
  • Neatly arrange pots and pans and all items on your shelves

These easy updates shouldn’t take more than a few hours, and better yet — they don’t cost anything!

2. Depersonalize Your Home

depersonalize your home

Your house likely reflects your personality, especially if you’ve lived there for a long time. But potential buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living there and making it their own home. 

This requires depersonalizing the space — removing anything associated with you or your family.

You can depersonalize the space by:

  • Taking down all family photos from walls, shelves, and tabletops
  • Removing children’s artwork
  • Storing sports trophies, awards, and personal pieces
  • Putting bathroom items in vanity drawers or closets
  • Clearing bedside tables of everything except a lamp and clock

Depending on how many personal items you have, this should only take a few hours — and again, it doesn’t cost anything.

3. A New Coat of Paint

add a new coat of paint

Fresh paint makes everything look better. A new coat of paint covers stains and marks and other imperfections.

When painting, keep these tips in mind:

  • Opt for neutral colors such as gray, off white, or beige
  • Semi-gloss reflects more light making small spaces feel a bit bigger
  • Choose neutral paint colors that match your furnishings and/or artwork

Depending on the size of your home, painting might take a couple of days and the cost shouldn’t be more than a couple of hundred dollars.

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4. Update Faucets and Cabinet Hardware

update faucets and cabinet hardware

If your bath and kitchen faucets are more than a few years old, it’s likely time to update them.

When it comes to faucets, keep in mind:

  • Brushed metal finishes are popular and easy to keep clean
  • You should be able to find quality faucets for $100 to $200 a set 
  • Installation usually takes just a couple of hours

And don’t forget cabinet hardware. Depending on how many cabinets and drawers you have, replacing the hardware should cost no more than $200 and take about a day to complete.

New faucets and cabinet hardware go a long way to making a home look its best. 

5. Update the Light Fixtures

update the light fixtures

New lighting is a low-cost update to sell a home faster and adds character to any room. Wall sconces, pendant lighting, and ceiling fixtures should be updated if old and worn.

Again, keep these things in mind:

  • Brushed metal finishes are popular
  • Consider switching to LED bulbs 
  • Bulbs in daylight hues make a room look crisp and fresh

Updated lighting helps create a bright and inviting ambiance. Depending on your fixture choices, new lighting shouldn’t be too expensive and can be installed in an afternoon.

6. Match Appliance Panels 

match appliance panels 

Experienced real estate professionals will tell you that kitchens play a large role in selling homes. The kitchen is the heart of the home, where families eat and where guests are entertained. 

A full kitchen remodel is typically quite expensive. But you can still achieve a modern, sleek look by simply changing out appliance panels so that they match.

Here are two suggestions:

  • Try to match your dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove panels — stainless steel is still a favorite of buyers
  • Alternatively, if you love your kitchen cabinets, select panels that match the cabinets

Panel replacements might cost a few hundred dollars, but this is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) update that will help a home sell faster and which can be completed in less than one day.

7. Clean Carpets and Flooring

Clean carpets and flooring

Few things look worse than stained, worn carpets. And sometimes, carpets simply need to be replaced.

But cleaning them often does the trick:

  • Professional carpet cleaning averages around $200, depending on the number of rooms
  • Focus on high traffic areas or wherever the carpets are stained

Wood floors are popular among buyers, so show yours off by making sure they’re clean and shiny. 

This means a good cleaning. And if your floor is scratched an easy update to sell the home faster is try spot repair using a blending pencil or wood stain marker, usually available at hardware stores.

8. Add Flowers and Landscaping

Add flowers and landscaping

Don’t forget about the home’s exterior. Flowers and minor landscaping updates can boost curb appeal, making it easier to sell a home faster.

Think about adding the following:

  • Flowers in pots look lovely on stoops, porches, and decks
  • A few inexpensive shrubs make a home look more inviting
  • You can plant small trees for a couple of hundred dollars

To reduce costs and maintenance, select plants and shrubs that require minimal watering and pruning.

For more exterior ideas, read this post on why curb appeal is important when selling a house

And if you want even more ideas, check out this article on 6 quick ways to increase the value of your home

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Make Low-Cost Updates Easily – Use Virtual Staging

The above 8 best low-cost updates to sell a home faster aren’t complicated, but they still require time and money. 

However, you can achieve similar, even better, results much easier, and likely for less money, with virtual staging

Virtual staging uses cutting-edge photo editing to add or remove furniture and items, and make repairs and updates, all showcasing the home’s highest design and decorating potential. 

Virtual staging is an effective way to sell a home with attractive, impressive photos that will get noticed and motivate buyers to take a longer look. 

And it’s a lot easier than doing all the work yourself.

Let PhotoUp’s virtual staging designers easily make all the updates you want to help you sell your listing faster.

PhotoUp offers the full range of virtually staging services, including:

  • Virtually staging for vacant or furnished rooms
  • Kitchen redesigns and full makeovers
  • A wide range of decor and furnishing options
  • Color changes for walls, furnishings, and flooring
  • Digital decluttering and repairs and updates
  • Blue sky and green grass enhancements
  • And much, much more!

Don’t wait! Sign up for a free PhotoUp account, and get started today!

We hope this blog post helped you learn about the 8 best low-cost updates to sell a home faster.

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Gregory Gronbacher

Real Estate Sales Agent / Professional Blogger

Gregory is a real estate sales agent and a state-certified instructor of real estate licensing and law. Originally from New York City, he's called Grand Rapids, Michigan home since 1995.

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