What is it about a home that catches a buyer’s eye? Why is it when two homes are comparable to one another, buyers go with the one that just “feels right”? Sometimes the difference is so small, they don’t consciously notice. Little touches can give a home a major edge in the market. And, with the Boston housing market expected to be a strong "seller's market" in 2017, design upgrades that you can make when selling your home are always welcome.
In fact, here are five clever design upgrades which can provide your home with that indefinable feeling that it’s of higher quality than the competition:
1. Light switch plate upgrades. Homeowners always overlook their own dirty, chipped, or cheap-looking switch plates. If you spend a few bucks to swap out switch plates, any room in the house will seem a tiny bit fresher. Better yet: In the bathroom and kitchen, match the color of your new switch plates to the tile. Look at the accent color in the bathroom or the backsplash in the kitchen for inspiration.
2. Dimmers on major rooms. Bright lights are great for showing off a home, but there’s a little sense of luxury when the overhead lights in living, dining, family, and master bedrooms are on dimmer switches. For fixtures controlled by one switch, get single pole dimmers. For those controlled by two, you’ll need 3-way dimmers.
3. Tasteful crown molding. For rooms without crown molding, adding this touch can really make a plain room feel high-quality. Entryways and master bedrooms are good choices if you have a limited budget, but if you want to go all out, include the other bedrooms as well. The key is adding molding which doesn’t seem ostentatious or inappropriate given the size and existing decor in the room.
4. Custom home address plaque. For between $50 and $100, you can have an address plaque created with the home’s number and the street name spelled out. Look online for inspiration and a design which fits your home. This is a killer upgrade and many homeowners overlook it when they’re trying to add curb appeal to their house.
5. New cabinet and drawer hardware. It’s astonishing how much modern handles and drawer pulls go towards rejuvenating tired or outdated storage. At a minimum, concentrate on the kitchen, but if you want to go all out, look for options to upgrade the bathroom as well.
You might not be able to quantify the exact return these clever upgrades will net you, but you can bet they will help your home stand out from sellers who won’t take the time to make some simple changes.