The living room, also known as the family room, is the place everyone goes to relax and enjoy time with each other. You always hear that the buyer focuses on the kitchen and the bathroom, but in recent times the living room has also become a top focus. Top professionals in the industry suggest seven improvements in the living room that can enhance the value of your home.
1. Let the light in
Nowadays, everyone wants an open and bright living area. Especially during the pandemic, when our homes have become our 24/7 hub, a simple color palette and space with natural lighting is preferred.
“Buyers want to see homes that are bright, spacious, and inviting, with natural light,” says Tamara Moritz, a Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Realty in Austin, TX. “I always advise my clients to thin out these rooms, open all the blinds and remove darker solar screens, to invite more natural light into the home.”
Light fixtures are another thing to focus on. Bright and simple fixtures are in and will give your living room a lift.
The living room should be balanced with a neutral, light, color palette, which will make it easier for the buyers to visualize themselves and their style in your home,” says Donna Incorvaja, a Realtor associate and licensed broker at RelatedISG Realty in South Florida.
2. Neutralize the wall colors
Dark bold colors are not the rage these days. Changing your living room colors to a neutral color will not only freshen up your space but update it. A buyer can come in and envision themselves in the space because it is a clean pallet for their personal touches.
“Buyers in my area are still loving light gray,” says Tracy Jones, a real estate agent with Re/Max Platinum in Sarasota, FL, and Re/Max Oak Crest Realty in Elkhart, IN. “It’s a safe choice for sellers, as it appeals to almost everyone, and sellers can use bold colors to accent with.”
3. Open up the space
Any room can be opened up with a little rearranging. If you have the budget and skill set, then opening up your floor plan by removing walls is a plus.
“Sellers can remove walls if possible, and barriers such as pony walls,” says Suzi Dailey with Realty ONE Luxe in Dana Point, CA. “Sometimes, near the front door, you see false walls to create a foyer, but removing excess walls is a popular trend today, and it bears good fruit.”
“Formal living rooms are more uncommon nowadays,” Incorvaja says. “It’s very important that the main living room is big and open enough for the whole family to gather together.”
4. Streamline and stage thoughtfully
Keep it simple stupid is worth listening to. Do not fill up a room with big plushy furniture and tchotchkes. A lot of stuff in a room can distract a buyer.
“One of the best tips to increase the living room’s appeal is to declutter furniture,” Incorvaja says. “Keeping the decoration simple and staged well helps buyers visualize their furniture in the home.”
“I always recommend keeping it simple, with a great piece of art—it doesn’t have to be expensive. A nice plant, and just a few pieces of furniture,” Dailey says.
5. Remove dingy carpeting and replace it with wood or tile flooring
Tile floor and wood flooring are very durable and easier to keep clean. Old nasty smelly carpeting is a turn-off to buyers.
“Renovations that definitely add value to a home include tile or wood flooring,” Incorvaja says.
If you are on a tight budget, there are tons of vinyl that actually looks like hardwood floors or tile.
“Replacing carpet is not money well spent,” Dailey says. “Most buyers would prefer engineered wood.”
6. Show the room’s versatility
Again, the pandemic changed the way we view our living space. The living room is not just the hub but has become a workout area, classroom and office.
“These rooms have evolved into multipurpose rooms that are being furnished to accommodate offices or virtual classrooms during the day, and media rooms or game rooms in the evenings,” Moritz says.
A good example would be to set up a nook in the living room with a small desk and laptop. Make the living room a multipurpose space.
“If a rec room is in the basement, use the lack of windows to your advantage,” Dailey says. She suggests creating “a media/theater/virtual reality type of room, or a hip gym.”
7. Incorporate extra shelving or storage
Buyers are always looking for storage space. Shelving or storage is a great place to hide toys, blankets or electronics.
“When there are interesting angles or niches, I recommend adding built-in shelving with lights and accent paint color, to add interest to a room,” Moritz says. “These touches don’t cost a lot, but add character and interest to buyers.”
Remember updating a space can make a room a long way. If you are in the market to sell your home contact your local Realtor.