Keller Williams Main Line
Janis Peterson
Janis Peterson, RealtorĀ®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP


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Quick budget-friendly ways to update a home for sale

Quick, Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Home for Sale

Just about everyone who sells their home does some work before putting it on the market. Even in the hottest areas for real estate, updated homes in good condition sell the fastest and command the highest prices.

But it doesn't make financial sense to spend a ton of money on major work if you're not staying in the home. Quite simply, not many home improvement projects result in anywhere near a dollar-for-dollar return on investment.

That said, you can often freshen up a dated home with a few cosmetic touches. If you're selling your home, here are five quick and budget-friendly ways to update it.

Start outside

The front of your house is what prospective homebuyers see first. If you want them to have the impression of an updated home, the curb-facing exterior is a good place to start.

A modern entryway is one thing buyers appreciate, and replacing an old front door with a more contemporary one is a quick fix. Even painting a drab existing door with a more contemporary color can freshen up your home's front.

A new garage door can also dramatically change the appearance of your home's exterior. And, according to Remodeling Magazine's annual "Cost vs. Value" report, both garage doors and front entryways provide above-average returns on investment.

Do minor kitchen touch-ups

The kitchen is often the hub of the household, where most people spend the most time together, so it's a room that can make or break a home sale. A major kitchen overhaul, however, is a costly undertaking. Fortunately, there are a few ways to modernize a dated kitchen with a few tweaks rather than an entire renovation.

Instead of replacing existing cabinets, you could paint them or replace only the fronts with modern faces. Contemporary cabinet hardware that ties in with a new faucet is an updated touch. Replacing old appliances with new stainless steel units never hurts, and swapping old lighting fixtures out is quick and inexpensive.

Fresh paint can do wonders

Especially if your home doesn't get a lot of natural sunlight, dark or dull wall colors can make it appear dated. A lighter, neutral-toned coat of paint throughout can help provide a better flow, which fits more contemporary design trends. Any walls that have old wallpaper are especially candidates for peeling and painting.

And don't forget the ceilings. You might be surprised at how a new coat of bright white paint overhead can truly transform a room that hasn't been painted in some time.

Interior painting is an inexpensive project that most people can do themselves, and it can be completed over a weekend or two, even if you have to do an entire house.

Brighten up the bathrooms

Bathrooms are parts of the house that can seem outdated very easily. A deep clean that includes scrubbing old tile grout is a good place to start. Like the rest of the house, bathroom walls can usually use a fresh coat of light-colored paint to brighten things up.

Speaking of brightening things up, replacing old lighting fixtures with modern, brighter LED arrays can do wonders for an old, dull bathroom.

Focus on flooring

Your home's flooring is something prospective buyers will notice right away, in every single room of the house. Flooring that's super-outdated or that has excessive wear and tear is a huge turnoff for homebuyers.

Hard-surface flooring gives a house a more up-to-date look, and materials such as luxury vinyl tile planks make it inexpensive and fairly easy to replace old flooring with something fresh. If carpet is a must, you'll want to make sure older carpet is at least thoroughly cleaned by a professional or replaced with something contemporary.

The bottom line

Almost every home seller is going to do some work before putting their home on the market. If you want to freshen up an outdated home, keep in mind that you don't always have to break the bank or spend months doing projects.

About Main Line Homes

Janis Peterson, Realtor®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP, owner of, is an Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR). She specializes in real estate in Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester County, PA, Pennsylvania, and has been offering exceptional service to Philadelphia Main Line Buyers and Sellers since 1994.

Janis Peterson, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRES, CSP
Main Line Homes Luxury Real Estate Agent

Keller Williams Main Line
Suburban Square
6 Coulter Ave 
Ardmore, PA 19003 
Direct: 610-642-3744

Whether you're selling your current home or are looking for your dream home, call us at (610) 642-3744 or e-mail for a free consultation.


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