These Are The 2 Rooms That Really Sell Homes

If you're planning to put your house on the market, you likely want to maximize your very limited time and extra cash.  That's why Trulia suggests zeroing in on what we call Buyer Hot Spots: the 'make it or break it' focal points of a home.  As a seller with a tight time line (and budget), you'll want focus on these rooms first.

The Two Hot Spots: The two most closely inspected and anticipated rooms of a house are the kitchen and master bathroom. They're the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, so they need to look their best.

A well-appointed kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so really spice up this spot to grab buyer attention. The same holds true for the bathrooms – especially the master– which will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs.

Keeping Up With The Joneses: Before you start planning any interior upgrades, consider your neighborhood – and more importantly, your target buyer.  If most of the homes nearby have tidy, neat kitchens with Formica or tile countertops, then you should, too. If granite and flagstone seems to be the local flavor, hopefully yours will be similar, since that's what local buyers are after.

Don't Over Do It: Establishing the quality level of comparable homes is also crucial to saving you thousands. It'll help you identify when to spend and when not to go overboard on unnecessary amenities. A kitchen upgrade can range from a one weekend, low-budget brush up (think paint job and installing new hardware) to a full-blown overhaul (with tens of thousands spent for granite countertops and luxury appliances). You want to make your home look as fantastic as possible – without wasting money, overinvesting, and ultimately creating a space that's out of place with the rest of the houses in the neighborhood.

Make The Most Of What You've Got: Even if your kitchen is looking very tired, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Keep the main elements, and simply improve what you can using a cost-effective, low-labor strategy.  Resurface or repaint cabinet doors, replace cabinet hardware, install a new faucet, upgrade the appliances, upgrade the lighting with new fixtures, and put on a fresh coat of paint. Also, the least expensive but most important tip – rid the countertops of all your stuff!

The Master Bath Mystique: In order of buyer-grabbing importance, the master bath is a close second. It's the most challenging room in the house to upgrade because doing so requires the skills of many different tradesmen. But, on the positive side, there are several little tricks that can help create an inviting look that tugs at buyers' heartstrings and evokes that "Oh Honey, I love it!" reaction.

When time and money are running out, and you need to get the house on the market, the key to doing a bathroom upgrade is, again, making the most of what you've got. Save as much of the existing bath as you can. Then, a quick switch of the sinks and faucets, new low-flow toilets and showerheads, and upgraded lighting, mirrors, towel racks and storage make for an entirely refreshed look. And for goodness sakes, make sure to clean the tile and grout, and organize the medicine cabinets (because buyers will open them).

This article These Are The 2 Rooms That Really Sell Homes originally appeared on Trulia Tips.

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ALL: What was the room that was most important to you when you bought or rent your last home or apartment?

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  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 11:23 AM, mzfit wrote:

    We have a very small master bathroom that had no window, travertine tile from top to bottom, dual sinks in too small of a space, a pocket door between the toilet/shower and sink area, and no door into the bathroom. We gutted it, added drywall to make a doorway possible, took out the pocket door and put a half wall between the sink and toilet, took out the double sinks and added a large square sink atop a tiled counter, put in a heated floor, and the new tile is slate for the shower walls and ceramic wood-look tile on the floor which conducts the heat very well. Attached another shower head so now there are two, one is higher than the other. Warm yellow and sienna on the walls. It's like a spa now and we love it. We know this will be a big point when we sell it.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 11:42 AM, Richardaz wrote:

    If you are tight on time (transferred?) you can quickly update both kitchen and bath with upscale (and dramatic) cabinet knobs and pulls. I did this (with pewter knobs from Vicenza Designs) and it made the old cabinets look new. I was amazed at the change. Don't use cheap (Home Depot type) knobs as they won't have the same impact. The knobs were pricey but they really improved the look over the old knobs that were looking pretty dated. A lot cheaper than replacing the cabinets (which were given a good cleaning with furniture polish).

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 12:33 PM, normgarry wrote:

    The BATHROOM should be kept simple. toilet, tub and sink. Heated tiles would be a nice addition to the bathroom, but it's one of the few touches I'd make.

    The KITCHEN should be spacious enough for 3 people to cook simultaneously and instead of stainless steel appliances, you are better off with flat painted appliances because they are easier to clean. Wood appearance tile is nice for the kitchen.

    The Bedroom needs to be spacious as well. Big enough to get a kingsized bed in. We have way more space now thanks to the reduction of the size of the Televisions (a 50" TV takes up almost no space when wall mounted) and cabinet platform beds.

    Most people living in cities won't have access to these luxuries. I'm fortunate that I do.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 2:13 PM, beeathome wrote:

    As a retired realtor & real estate appraiser, these points are important, but what's even more crucial is to DECLUTTER & DEPERSONALIZE! Rooms will look smaller, cramped & undesirable if you have mounds of clutter. Add storage such as bookcases or cubicles, or just pack everything up & stow away for your eventual move. If you have what's known as 'highly individualized' decor such as wall murals, extremely bold/bright paint (whole rooms, not just an accent wall) or a wall that has a large gallery of personal/family pictures, paint the offending walls/rooms with neutral paint & edit and/or replace personal pictures with inexpensive prints that compliment your decor. Your house will 'show' so much better & allow potential buyers to 'see' themselves in the space...

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 2:35 PM, EB123 wrote:

    My house went on the market this week...people love my kitchen and living room, but one person was disappointed because of having to walk through a bedroom to get to a bathroom. Guess they don't know what a master bathroom is, lol.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 3:03 PM, Mike46 wrote:

    A soaking tub in the master bath is used infrequently and takes up too much room which could be used for add'l closet space and/or a great shower. One tub in a house is adequate and ought to be in a secondary or jack/jill bedroom. The master bath and any other full bath should have a nice well appointed, knock your socks off, shower.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 5:46 PM, miriamdh2001 wrote:

    Mike46, I disagree. I use my master bath tub Everyday! It was a key selling point in buying our 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath hse.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2014, at 11:24 PM, rcacowboy wrote:

    I think a great laundry room along with a beautiful kitchen and large pantry will work as long as the master bath is nice.

  • Report this Comment On May 12, 2014, at 12:33 AM, ellen76 wrote:

    I'm not sure it's such a good idea to replace toilets and shower heads with new low-flow fixtures. To many buyers, the low-flow models are inefficient, government-mandated annoyances we'd rather not have to endure.

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