Going through the divorce process is challenging, especially if you have established properties and assets. As you finalize the divorce, you should decide to either split your assets or sell them. Most people prefer selling their family homes and other properties primarily because determining who will stay and leave can prove impossible. Selling a house during divorce is overwhelming because of the limited timeframe available.
Besides seeking professional help from an experienced real estate lawyer and agent and pricing your home competitively, you should consider making some cosmetic improvements before listing your home for sale. Below are a few cosmetic upgrades that can make your home appealing to potential buyers.
1. A Kitchen Facelift
The kitchen is the heart of every house, and potential buyers will prioritize its condition over other rooms in your home. Sprucing your kitchen with simple and low-cost upgrades makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. It also increases property value. While a complete kitchen remodel is a good option, it is very costly, doesn’t guarantee high ROI, and takes longer to be completed. Fortunately, you can complete the following kitchen upgrades with a few dollars.
- Paint – Kitchen cabinets, baseboards, moldings, entryways, and trim can benefit from a fresh coat of paint. However, you should choose the right color that is attractive to potential homebuyers. You should consider blue for your kitchen.
- Clean kitchen countertops – You should inspect the countertop and other kitchen surfaces for cracks and grout issues. Clean the countertop and fix grout issues. If the countertop is extensively damaged, consider replacing it with granite countertops.
- Replace old appliances – Old microwave ovens, air conditioners, and dishwashers can turn off potential homebuyers. Replacing these kitchen appliances makes your kitchen functional and gives it a fresh look.
- Depersonalize – Remove any personal items, such as photographs, artwork, and memorabilia, from the kitchen and other rooms in your home. Potential buyers can visualize themselves in your home without these items.
You should also consider updating the backsplash by replacing outdated cabinets and drawers or adding tiles matching your kitchen theme.
2. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting is another low-cost home improvement with high returns. This explains why nearly 40% of homeowners decide to paint their homes before selling. Freshly painted rooms are naturally attractive. A fresh coat of paint or thorough cleaning can change the appearance of your home. Below are a few things you should know about painting your home in preparation for sale.
Painting the Exterior
Most homeowners focus on the interior when planning a paint job, often forgetting the importance of curb appeal and first impressions. Potential buyers won’t be interested in a home with faded and peeling paint. A fresh coat of paint on your home’s exterior goes a long way in creating a positive impression. You should consider repainting your exterior home if:
- The exterior paint is faded – Harsh weather elements, especially prolonged exposure to the sun, cause fading. Refresh your home’s exterior if the paint is dull or faded.
- The house has cracks, gaps, and rotting wood – Cracked wood, siding gaps, and cracked caulking are other signs your home needs repainting.
- The paint is peeling and flaking – Flaking and peeling paint impairs curb appeal. Buyers get the perception that your home has been poorly cared for.
- Your home has signs of water damage – While initial signs of water damage, mold, and mildew growth are removable with special cleaners, severe water damage, and mold growth requires a complete repaint.
If the color doesn’t match homes in the neighborhood, having a different exterior color in your home can negatively affect buyer perception.
Painting the Interior
While first impressions from the exterior of your home are important, first impressions from the interior are also crucial. Refreshing the interior paint helps achieve a fresh look and can be used to highlight specific features. The cost of interior paint varies, depending on several factors, such as the size of rooms, number of rooms to be repainted, quality of paint, architectural details, and contractor rates.
Like exterior painting, you should paint the interior if the paint is discolored or faded, the color palette isn’t appealing, and the paint is chipping. That said, you should paint all walls, use quality paint, and choose neutral colors.
3. Work on Your Landscaping
Besides exterior paint and roof, great landscaping is key to positive first impressions. A National Association of Realtors survey found that 71% of homebuyers prioritize curb appeal when looking for their next homes. Unless your home is a fixer-upper, you should create an inviting home. You should update your landscaping to evoke excitement. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive project that can easily be achieved by:
- Planting seasonal shrubs, perennials, and annual flowers to add color
- Mowing the lawn regularly
- Removing weeds, mulching, watering, and applying fertilizers
- Planting deciduous trees around the edges
- Edging to create a neat and attractive lawn
You can hire a professional landscaper to work on your landscape for a few hundred dollars. If you are focused on the return on investment, landscaping has 100% to 1000% ROI. Developing a landscaping plan that complements your home’s architectural design is also prudent. While at it, keep in mind that some potential buyers might be scared of the maintenance costs of a high-end landscape, so opt for low-maintenance options.
4. Update the Flooring
Since your home will be virtually empty during the listing period, the floor affects first impressions. Buyers will certainly see the floor immediately after they step into your home. Most floor types naturally deteriorate over time. A worn-out floor can turn off potential buyers and affects property value.
Fortunately, you don’t have to replace the entire floor. Local flooring stores have inexpensive water-based solutions that renew surfaces of most floor types. If you have a carpet on your floor, hire deep cleaning professionals. Consider replacing extensively stained carpets.
These simple, low-cost home upgrades can immediately change buyer perception and increase property value. These improvements can also be completed quickly, making them perfect for homeowners working on divorce settlements.