An article in Inman Headlines entitled "Top 10 home trends that buyers want in 2016" listed some key features that buyers are looking for, I have included some of the trends that you can easily add to your home before you put it on the market.
1. Matte finishes on appliances, it appears that buyers have finally tired of trying to keep stainless steel finger print free. If you are planning on updating appliances before you put your home on the market consider one in matte black or slate. These will blend with existing black or stainless appliances if you don't have the budget for all new appliances, although I did see a 4 piece GE package for $2,199 so this could be an affordable update that goes a long way towards updating your kitchen.
2. Cushioned flooring - stained concrete is out buyers want something softer under foot and a warmer vibe, cork is back in great new colors, wood is classic, but linoleum could be another option.
3. Updated lighting - studies have shown that the color of light affects our circadian (sleep - wake) cycles so look for bulbs with whiter casts for lights you use during waking hours an warm yellow or orange light in your nightlights and/or ambient lights. There is even a new LED bulb that is supposed to change colors that can be controlled by your cell phone.
4. Better water quality - I moved to Texas from Washington State and was horrified by the awful taste of the water, believe it or not, in Seattle we drink water straight from the tap. One of the first purchases for my new home in Texas was a whole house water filter, this is connected to the main water line coming into the house, supplemented with a reverse-osmosis tank under the sink. The whole system cost about $700 but I can't calculate the amount of money I have saved on bottled water, not to mention the fact that I can use tap water for cooking and brushing my teeth with no "off" taste.
5. Simplicity and Tech - garage doors and locks you open with your cell phone, a camera that lets you see who's at the front door just by checking an app on your phone, programmable thermostats and lighting. Today's buyers want it all, and thankfully with companies like Nest and August these features are readily available.
6. Less grout and smooth surfaces - the trend towards over-sized tile just keeps going, now 12X24 tiles are common on floors and walls and tiles as big as 36" are not unheard of, also large solid surface slabs in shower surrounds are picking up steam again. People just don't want to fight the grout lines anymore, so if you are remodeling anyway try and stay away from 12x12 tiles and big grout lines, they appear dated and look like a maintenance nightmare.
7. Lower pile rugs - these things move in cycles and the latest trend is back towards cut and loop and textured carpeting, it looks more expensive than standard plush or shag rugs, so look for those if you are going to replace the carpet. Also remember that you can increase the wear-ability and the "feel" of a carpet by using a high quality pad. You can choose a lower grade carpet with a higher quality pad and get similar results for less money than going with higher quality carpet and a standard pad.