There's plenty you can do to increase the value of your home before you sell it—work on curb appeal, brightening the interior with a fresh coat of paint, even building new additions if you're really ambitious.
Another appealing option is updating the major appliances. There's a world of difference between a grungy old avocado-green fridge from the '70s and a slick new model.
Even so, a difference that large should still be approached with caution. The truth is that appliances are rarely figured in to official property appraisals—but at the same time, they can be just the kind of impressive feature that turns a prospective buyer into an actual buyer.
Here are a few situations where upgrading major appliances—like fridges, dryers, and dishwashers—can have a strong effect in securing a sale.
If you're selling a neighborhood that tends to attract young home buyers, you can really impress with modern amenities. While more mature and experienced homeowners may see nothing wrong with appliances that are a decade out of date but still functional, a young couple may be shocked to see the same models their parents own—or they may have never even seen such a dated dishwasher before!
Name brands in stainless steel are the way to go to impress a younger crowd.
Major Upgrades in Energy Efficiency
Of course it's not all about looks. Savvy buyers know that modern appliances can pay for themselves over time with energy savings, not to mention the warm feeling of being environmentally responsible (speaking of which, don't forget to seek out the most responsible method for recycling those obsolete appliances being replaced).
Look for the famous Energy Star symbol on any appliances you consider purchasing, and consider getting in touch with your local power company for advice—there's a good chance that they'll be happy to help you find the right equipment and may even be able to point out valuable rebates and similar programs.
No need to stop at the kitchen—a new water heater is also a great way to increase a home's value and reduce monthly bills for new owners.
Glamp It Up
Have you heard of Glamping? The combination of "glamour" and "camping" has been getting a lot of coverage lately. Basically, it's a combination of the rustic charm of the outdoors with all the conveniences of modern life.
A similar approach can work wonders for older properties. It's clear that there's a strong appeal in combining modest surroundings with high-class luxuries.
If you're looking to sell a humble cabin or turn-of-the-century treasure, you don't have to count on your buyer being a wild mountain man or an antique aficionado. Take the charm that's inherent to older properties and update it—not with modern aesthetic touches that might ruin the classic appeal, but with subtly designed top-of-the-line appliances that everybody can appreciate.