Do These 7 Home Improvements BEFORE Listing Your Home

As I walked to the front door to chat with my friend and fellow Sanibel homeowner about listing their home for sale, I couldn’t help but make mental notes of easy ways to improve their home’s curb appeal. 

Curb appeal refers to how your home looks from the street. It’s the first impression of your home that visitors see, and certainly a big deal when you’re selling your home. That’s why it’s the first on my list of projects to tackle before listing your home for sale.

1. Strong Curb Appeal 

You want to “wow” potential home buyers from the moment they step foot in the driveway. This means a fresh coat of paint on exterior window shutters, front doors, porches, and even the mailbox. Switch out those standard house numbers for a unique font or pattern. Remove the weeds from the sidewalk, and freshen up your landscape with lush greens and a pop of color. Lean on your lawn care company for guidance, or take to the internet for inspiration! 

2. Facelift For Stairs

Fresh paint doesn’t stop at the mailbox. It’s likely that your outdoor stairs need a new coat as well. Elevated homeowners, if you haven’t checked the stability of your exterior stairs in a while, I strongly advise having your handyman or a contractor come out to make sure all of your staircases are safe and sound. For my ground-level homeowners, well, you don’t need to worry about stairs, lucky you! 

3. Going Neutral 

An easy way to freshen up your home’s interior is to give it a new coat of paint. Note: this is not the time to try a trendy accent wall or bold wallpaper. Potential buyers need to envision themselves living in your home. So, don’t choose anything too distracting. Actually, it’s said that white and other light colors help a room to look cleaner and more spacious! What homeowner doesn’t want that??

4. Remove Popcorn Ceiling 

Come on already, it’s almost 2020! I know, scraping the ceiling doesn’t sound like a fun weekend to-do, but it’s well worth the time spent looking up! Think of it this way, the fewer “projects” that a potential buyer makes note of while walking through your home, the better. 

5. Light it up!

I’ve read that light fixtures are the jewelry accessories of a home. I agree! It’s amazing how a few new light fixtures over the kitchen island or dining room table can make a room feel updated, fresh and even modern. Browse the aisles at the hardware store or head to one of our stellar furniture stores on island. If all else fails, take to the internet for inspiration. 

6. Crown molding?

I know, I was a little hesitant to suggest crown molding for everyone, but when I stop to think about it, crown molding isn’t just for “high-end homes” anymore. In fact, it’s a fairly easy project that you can tackle, with a little patience and a good sturdy ladder. The result is a nice, neat looking room, which is especially great for bedrooms, dens or office spaces that need a little pick-me-up. 

7. Focus on Flooring

I know, I saved the best (i.e. most dreaded) for last. Ripping up old carpet and installing new flooring sounds daunting and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be! If your carpet has pet smells and permanent stains, anything is an improvement! Even if you just put down a cheap new piece of carpet and let the new homeowners upgrade to their taste. 

Another tip: If your budget doesn’t allow a total flooring upgrade, don’t worry, focus on the high traffic areas and common spaces first. Just make sure the new flooring matches or flows nicely with your existing flooring. 

Those are my 7 tips for home improvements you should consider BEFORE listing your home on the market. Trust me, you’ll want to have these done before professional photos are taken, which is usually step one in the listing process. 

If you have any questions or would like me to visit your home to give my insight on easy upgrades and improvements, I’d love too! Email or call me at or 239-472-1950. 

Susan McCallion About Susan McCallion

Meet "Your Favorite Redhead." Susan was exposed to real estate while young with her parent's 8 Re/MAX offices in Connecticut! In 2008, Susan and Jim became permanent Sanibel residents, starting McCallion & McCallion to bring a fresh approach to real estate.