If you're thinking of selling anytime soon, you may want to dump those 1970s avocado appliances and invest in some stainless steel.
According to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services realtor Susan Castle, having a kitchen no one's remodeled in 30 years is like begging for a lower offer. "Outdated kitchens decrease sales prices dramatically, because buyers are quick to realize the money to update them will be coming out of their own pockets after the sale," she said.
You may be looking at as much as a $10,000 reduction in your list price if potential buyers are looking at an outdated kitchen. "I would recommend at the very minimum that sellers install new appliances," Castle said.
Along with taking a long, hard look at the kitchen, Castle and Kara Conway, a realtor at Virtual Properties Realty in Snellville, recommend fixing the following home features before they slash your list price.
"Update the carpeting, please!" Conway said. "Awful carpet from the '70s and '80s can really discourage buyers."
It can also encourage buyers to ask for a several-thousand-dollar replacement allowance. If you can make the switch with less expense, do it.
Part of the carpeting conundrum involves outdated colors, like blue or green instead of today's preferred neutrals. "Even if a carpet is brand new, if it's not in a modern color, it will have to be replaced," Conway said. "Old-style colors make a buyer assume the carpet is old, too."
Replacing outdated bathroom fixtures is another way to protect your home's resale value with little expense. "The faux crystal knobs and brass fixtures are very '80s," said Conway. "Replace them with a more modern option."
Laminate counters might have been a necessity when your house was built, but there's no need to keep them if you're selling. "You can replace them with granite or even solid wood and repaint the cabinets for $1,000 or so and add $5,000 to the price of your home," Conway said.
The front yard
Having a rangy lawn or unkempt gardens might burn the whole sale altogether. "Pay to have the beds weeded, the grass edged, maybe a fresh coat of pine straw," Conway said. "The curb is the first impression. If it's not presentable, you may not get any serious buyers at all."