By: Danielle Hegedus
If you are thinking about putting your condo on the market soon, you may want to start exploring simple renovations that you can do yourself, with minimal expense, to increase the value of your condo and its appeal to prospective buyers.
Most realtors will tell you that the kitchen and the bathroom are the best rooms to invest in when it comes to renovations and increasing the value of your condo. Before you get started though there are a few simple aspects of your property to which you should attend.
Is your condo clean? Does it smell good? Even a hint of pet or cigarette smell can turn off a prospective buyer. If you are getting ready to sell, it is definitely worth it to have any carpet in your home professionally cleaned, as well as a good overall cleaning of the condo. Dust-bunnies may seem harmless, but if a buyer observes that a basic element of your condo have been neglected, they may wonder what other unpleasant surprises are in store for them. While you’re at it, repair or replace cracked tiles and hardware and put a fresh coat of paint on walls that have turned dingy.
Work With Your HOA to Increase Your Curb Appeal
Homeowners Associations often limit improvements that you can make on the exterior of your condo. Survey your property and note where improvements need to be made. Is the security system working? Are shared amenities like a pool or gym well maintained? Is the entire property well lit? Find out when the HOA Board meets and present your findings to them. Your fellow condo owners should share your interest in increasing the value of the property.
That said, don’t underestimate the curb appeal that you can create yourself with a clean walkway, thriving plant life, clear address signage, and good lighting. Interested buyers may drive by your condo at different times of the day. Your job is to make your condo look safe and appealing at all times.
If You are Planning to Sell, Avoid Highly Specific Style Choices
You may love your one-of-a-kind mason jar chandelier, but your buyer may just see something that they have to take down and replace. You may love bold colors–I personally have teal walls in my living room, but I have seen enough “House Hunters” to know that some buyers can not see the potential of a property beyond a color that doesn’t agree with their sense of style. In short, if you are looking to sell, keep it clean, fresh, and neutral.
Upgrading Your Kitchen
If you can afford it, one of the best investments you can make in your condo is to upgrade the appliances. Potential home buyers are already fretting about their budget for purchasing the home, thinking about having to replace a dishwasher, stove, or refrigerator could make them disregard your property altogether. That said, there are some more inexpensive things that you can do to dramatically increase the visual appeal of your kitchen to buyers.
Upgrade the Look of the Entire Kitchen by Refacing Your Cabinets
Refacing cabinets is a great way to drastically improve the look of your kitchen without spending a ton of money. If you don’t have the ability to reface your cabinets, upgrade the hardware and make sure they are clean (or freshly painted), at minimum.
Create a Small Space to Make Buyers Feel at Home
Do you have a small wall space in your kitchen? Have you thought about chalkboard paint? You could put up a mock dinner menu, welcome buyers, or share an inspiring quote. This is one small personalized touch that will be useful to future homeowners and that they can use as they see fit.
Create an Expensive Looking Backsplash
Modern tiles–avoid roosters or any other prints–create a sophisticated look in your kitchen. Make sure that you use a neutral palette though so that buyer’s can visualize their belongings fitting into the style of the kitchen.
Upgrading Your Bathroom
If your tub or toilet are in disrepair, these are problems that you can not ignore. That said, there are simple things that you can do to make your bathroom more attractive to would-be buyers. Hang a new shower curtain. Replace the toilet seat. Put out a set of fresh towels. Beyond that, here are some very manageable projects to upgrade the appearance of your bathroom.
This is especially important if your condo is short on closet space. These floating shelves work great in a small space and also create a point of interest in the room.
Frame Your Mirror
Many condos have the same contractor installed mirror with visible brackets. Framing your mirror makes it look much more expensive and creates a polished look in the room.
Transform Dated Features
If your faucets are leaking or your sinks are stained, replace them. Select simple hardware and neutral colors. If you have a medicine cabinet, consider transforming it into modern looking build-it storage.
Before you decide how much time, effort, and money to invest in upgrades you’ll want to determine what condos in your area are selling for and if there are any major developments coming to the area that will increase the attractiveness of your location. If you are already or about to be in a hot area of town, you won’t want to put yourself through the ringer performing upgrades for what is already a highly desired location.