Tips for Home Sellers Looking to Re-Enter the Market in 2021

It’s a new year and for many that means a time to move forward with lifestyle changes. If selling a home is on your wishlist for 2021 — perhaps so you can make your dream to travel the world a reality — you are probably wondering how you can be the most successful getting that ‘sold’ sign up. The real estate experts at HomeLight polled top agents in its Q4 2020 insights survey to see what 2021 has in store, including how sellers can best position themselves to enter the market. Here are some tips for home improvement projects to consider before selling, to help your home stand out in the spotlight and entice buyers. 

Get up-to-date

Unless they are ready for a fixer-upper project, buyers will have their eyes on a home that has all basic features updated. Agents point to some of the areas to target first in the survey, such as saying goodbye to a popcorn ceiling (66 percent said), carpeted bathrooms (73 percent noted), shag carpet in the main areas of your home (62 percent responded), and unusual color palettes for walls and trim (an overwhelming 99 percent of agents said). 

The great outdoors

In the Covid-19, or hopefully soon-to-be post Covid-19 world, the outdoor areas of homes have an even greater importance as people are seeking creative ways to get their daily dose of fresh air — in fact 65 percent of agents said that showcasing a home’s outdoor features could be a ticket to selling success. Some of the top updates that buyers are looking for in 2021 are a fence or privacy hedge (as 48 percent of agents reported), fire pit (54 percent of agents reported), or even a full outdoor kitchen complete with a grill, sink, fridge, and bar (46 percent of agents said). Even if you aren’t going to add any features, making sure what you do have is groomed and presentable, such as tossing outdated patio furniture and maintaining a lawn, trees, or other greenery (as 72 percent of agents reported). 

Bathroom upgrades

As remote work and school are the norm and everyone is potentially at home at the same time all the time, sellers want bathrooms that can give everyone the space that they need. If you are thinking of updating your bathroom before selling it, some features to consider are a linen closet with plenty of storage, which 29 percent of agents reported as at the top of the list of bathroom upgrades. If your time and budget allow, other amenities to consider are a double sink, as a majority 65 percent of agents reported. 

Chef-ready kitchens

With the days of eating at restaurants on hold, insights from top agents show that buyers have revamped kitchens on their minds. Take the kitchen up a notch with an island (as noted by 64 percent of agents), walk-in pantry (said 62 percent of agents), or extra drawer and cabinet storage (57 percent reported). If you want to limit construction costs, options to consider are smart appliances (as 33 percent of people reported), or a modern tiled backsplash (shared by 42 percent of agents). 

Whatever upgrades you decide on, the key is to present a home that is clean, maintained, and presented as a welcoming space to spend a lot of time, especially as we continue to live amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.