The New Must-Haves

Upgraded amenities that homebuyers are looking for in 2019

By Erik J. Martin

With homes selling for top dollar in many markets lately, some sellers may question the decision to spiff up their abodes above and beyond “as is” condition. Truth is, however, that homes boasting the in-demand features and frills that buyers crave will likely sell sooner and net a bigger profit. And that’s why it pays to add popular upgrades to a home before listing it for sale, insist the experts.

Sellers want top dollar, and buyers want a deal. In-trend amenities can close the gap in favor of the seller.

But not all upgrades are valued alike or worth the investment.

Buyers today value what they can see and feel in a home. A new roof or new plumbing are important improvements, but vaulted ceilings or a remodeled kitchen can have a wow factor that makes the buyer feel like their money is well spent. Buyers often initially make offers based on what they see, not what they know, about home and upgraded homes can sell for 10 to 25 percent more than homes in need of improvements. Buyers often perceive the cost of repairs and upgrades as higher than they will actually cost.

Here are 7 fashionable fixes worth making that can help your home sell for more money:

1 Repaint using buyer-friendly colors. A fresh coat of paint on walls, ceilings, and baseboards can work wonders—hiding imperfections, lightening living spaces and casting a fresh glow. We’re seeing more white and greys than tans and beiges of the past, so try to stick with a neutral paint palette.

2 Undergo a minor kitchen redo. Renewing your kitchen by adding simple butcher block counters, lacquering the cabinets with new paint, and adding some on-trend cabinet pulls can instantly increase its appeal. White-on-white kitchens with either quartz or marble countertops and shaker cabinets are also hot choices right now.

3 Put in a new and stylish front door. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that first impression is usually made with the front door. Choose a sturdy solid wood, steel or fiberglass door that matches the design aesthetic of your home. Consider a door with eye-catching carvings, moldings, stiles and rails, decorative glass accents, and stylish hardware like oil-rubbed bronze or satin nickel handles, knobs and hinges.

Home Remodeling Source: Rasinski Construction, Central NJ

4 Replace old and inefficient windows. Vinyl replacement windows provide both a visual upgrade, a functional advantage, and greater energy efficiency that buyers appreciate. If your budget allows, consider wood casement windows that sport a more striking and upscale look.

Window Source: Windows Plus

5 Create a “spa-like” experience in the master bath. Adding luxury features like a heated towel rack, extra storage, upgraded shower head, aromatherapy products, and a fluffy bath rug aren’t expensive but will leave buyers feeling like the home is very modern.

Bathroom Remodeling Resource: Autumn’s Glass, Howell NJ

6 Swap out those old lighting fixtures. Hit the refresh button and improve illumination in your living spaces by replacing outdated fixtures with trendy but understated fixtures. 

7 Up your home’s IQ with smart features. Technology is probably the fastest growing popular upgrade today and often the easiest to implement. A new Nest thermostat, Ring video doorbell, Philips Hue smart bulbs, and smart speaker or smart display, for example, represents tech that the buyer sees immediately and creates the feeling of a modern home.