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Low-cost ways to modernize your kitchen and bath before you sell

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A modern kitchen with white cabinets

05/15/2015 | Author: Bryn Huntpalmer, guest expert

Two of the biggest concerns for any homebuyer are a house’s kitchen and bathrooms. If you update those spaces before you list, potential buyers will feel that they won’t require a ton of work once they move in. Here are places to focus your updates to ensure that your house stands out.

Upgrade the lights
Lighting is a critical part of any good kitchen. One of the simplest upgrades is installing task lights, which are lights directed at parts of the kitchen where prep and cooking work take place. Placing task lights under cabinets or over the kitchen island will draw the attention of buyers and add a desirable design element to the room. Swapping out existing fixtures is easy to do, or you can install battery-operated LED lights—some of these have adhesives that stick to any surface.

Paint rather than replace tile
Hiring a contractor to tear out and replace old bathroom tile can be expensive. An alternative approach is to paint them yourself. Ceramic epoxy adhesive coverings are relatively cheap, look good,

Install a pedestal sink
Vanities and sink cabinets eat up a lot of space in smaller bathrooms. Free up some territory by replacing the existing sink with a pedestal sink. Not only will it create a sense of space, but it’s less boxy with artistic lines, adding visual appeal to a bathroom. You can get back lost storage space by adding a small cabinet over the toilet or replacing a mirror with a mirrored medicine cabinet.

Stain or paint kitchen cabinets
Don’t replace old kitchen cabinets—stain or paint them. The results will completely transform the space. This is a time-intensive but easy project for you to accomplish.

Revitalize your floors
Are your hardwood floors showing wear and tear? Restore them—it’s simpler than you think. Like refinishing cabinets, stripping and restoring hardwoods requires more time than anything else. Make sure you identify any compromised sections of flooring before starting the process, since restoration of bad wood will make the job look cheap.

If your home has carpet, consider tearing it up and staining the concrete underneath. This cost-effective way to modernize your living space attracts buyers who view carpet as an outdated flooring option.

Guest post by Bryn Huntpalmer, editor for Austin-based Modernize. Modernize is where you come to get inspired, see what's possible, and connect with a professional who will make your dream home a reality. For more design ideas and inspiration, visit

Image courtesy of Modernize.

Categories: Sellers
Tags: seller tips, home remodeling, staging

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