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Selling Your Home: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017   /   by Leah Olivotti

Selling Your Home: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

It is probably not shocking that one of the most frequently asked questions I receive from a home seller is, “Leah, should I do ‘X,Y, and Z’ before putting my home on the market?” It is a great question, and I love discussing the possibilities with my clients.

   There are many important matters to address with a seller before delving into renovations such as what one is looking to net from the sale, overall home condition, market conditions, etc. Weighing all matters, if a seller has extra funds to allot to upgrades, it is important to understand what upgrades make sense, if any. It’s a good idea to consult a professional prior as money spent does not equal money returned.


Remodeling: “I’d have to put in new cabinets and appliances. That’s another $5,000.” Frequently, I notice buyers mentally making upgrades as they walk through a home and then deduct it from what they would offer. Kitchens and bathrooms are two areas I hear the most complaints about from clients when doing walk-throughs.

There are minor things you can do to make a kitchen or bathroom a major success. Granite is currently trending, and is a great improvement to spruce up a nice kitchen or bathroom, unless that kitchen or bathroom is totally outdated. Small things like adding a backsplash to a kitchen, staining cabinets, and replacing outdated appliances that by proxy make your kitchen look outdated, may mean good news on your return. Have hardwoods (major trend alert!) in your home? Consider removing any carpeting overlaying your hardwoods. And, if you have scratched hardwoods, refinish them to for a major aesthetic boost. At the point of being totally outdated, a major kitchen or bathroom renovation may make sense weighing all factors prior.

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal!: I say this over and over: you only get one first impression! Therefore, I am a huge fan of simple curb appeal. There is nothing worse than seeing someone pull up to your home, give it a once over, and drive away. Sometimes, the home itself is not their style - and that is okay. However, if the last time you trimmed the hedges, pulled the weeds from your overgrown flower beds, and neglected to trash the junk pile left garage-side from your teenager leaving for college...you may have scared a potential buyer away. Going overboard with landscaping is unnecessary, but an ugly yard is the start of a bad first impression.

Questions: Leah, should I paint and replace the carpeting?” A fresh coat of paint can do wonders sometimes! Again, however, if the paint looks presentable and the colors are not outrageous (lime green and fuschia are fun, but your favorite color may be someone else’s least), this may be a time and money waster. Also, cleaning your carpets may be an alternative and manageable idea without breaking the bank.

Free: Many improvements that make a world of difference in home showings are low cost or FREE. Power washing the deck or vinyl siding, for example, can make an unimaginable difference in display. The dreaded “clearing of the clutter” is another example of where your house will show one hundred and ten percent better.  

   Weigh all of the options with your real estate professional. Together, you will make the best choices for you and your home. And remember, you only get one shot at a first impression!

Until next time,


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Leah Olivotti began her career in residential real estate shortly after her move to Nashville. Building on her sterling reputation and considerable experience, Leah joined EXIT Real Estate Solutions in 2016, where she specializes in luxury residences including condominiums, cooperatives and single-family homes. Leah's high level of loyalty and integrity resonates with buyers and sellers as she approaches each real estate transaction with enthusiasm and intellect. Her vast knowledge of Nashville’s multifaceted market and close attention to detail compliment her collaborations with her clients. Inspired by her exceptional degree of service, Leah's client base is largely referrals.

Additionally, Leah’s advocacy style extends to the community where she serves as a volunteer for many organizations including Metro Animal Care and Control as a black apron volunteer, Tails of the Trail, Habitat for Paws, as a soup crew volunteer with the Heimerdinger Foundation (delivering nutritious food free of charge to those battling cancer), and various functions feeding the homeless population around the Greater Nashville area. She also serves as a Committee Chairman on the Company & Community Involvement Committee at her office. An avid outdoors person, Leah has participated in numerous activities to raise awareness and funding for animal rescue. She is affiliated with the Sumner County Association of Realtors, Tennessee Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors. Hailing from the Midwest, Leah graduated from the Augustana College with a Bachelor's degree in liberal arts/Biology, Pre Med and Spanish. Leah is looking forward to orchestrating this year’s Habitat for Humanity build. Leah’s passion for travel is shared with her rescue companions, Luna and Luci.
EXIT Real Estate Solutions
111 Maple Row Blvd
Hendersonville, TN 37075

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All information is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Copyright 2024 RealTracs Solutions. Listing information last updated on July 18, 2024.
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