Posted by Jennifer Riner in Home Maintenance

There is no tell-all guide for homeowners to consult before putting their houses up for sale. Certain renovations hold greater appeal for prospective homebuyers than others. Trending designs and popular renovations can help homes stand out in competitive real estate markets. Consider these five upgrades before listing homes on the market.

White Cabinetry

The new generation of homebuyers loves the clean look of white cabinetry – preferably accessorized with modern brass or steel hardware. Skip warm tones in the kitchen during renovation planning. Dark wood, although classic, tends to enclose spaces and create a sense of confinement. The new trend points toward bright and white kitchens equipped with ample natural light and decorated with pops of color through plates or baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Simple Stone Countertops

Traditional designers are hooked on granite, and rightfully so. Granite is an attractive, durable option for kitchen counters commonly seen in high-end homes. However, younger buyers are opting for monochromatic materials in the kitchen. Less complexity allows for a cleaner, more consistent design. Consider investing in quartz or honed granite, which has a matte finish instead of shiny lacquer. However, a cleaner look requires more upkeep to prevent scratching and remove food-related stains, so scrub surfaces before an open house or inspection.

Large Shower

Real estate professionals used to warn against removing bathtubs before resale. Currently, large showers are one of the most important aspects of well-designed and functional bathrooms. Multiple heads and body sprayers impress young, first-time homebuyers. Therefore, consider repurposing square footage to remove a dated tub and expand stand-up shower space. Install new fixtures and choose sparkling, sleek tiles and clear glass enclosures.

Bold Front Door

The focal point of any home is the front porch and entry. Paint a bright blue or red finish on the exterior side of the door to make a statement and help attract homebuyers with trendy curb appeal. Consider including complementary outside features to tie in the bright door, such as front porch furniture with decorative throw pillows or a colorful front garden bed. Replace or shine existing doorknobs and fixtures with metal polish. Outfit the door with a simple seasonal wreath.

Character Embellishments

Molding, in moderation, has always been alluring to homebuyers. There are multiple options to detail the walls, ceilings and seams of a room. Crown molding, baseboards, plank walls, bead boards and exposed wooden beams are a few options to add rustic or traditional charm to homes. It is possible to overdo exposed wood; an entirely brown paneled room is a huge turn-off to house hunters looking for modern spaces. Incorporate trimmings to create balance between classic character and modern style.

Don’t limit the pool of prospective buyers by adhering too strictly to trending home upgrades. As always, keep things simple so homebuyers can envision their own personal flair and customization in every room.


Jennifer Riner


Jennifer Riner currently lives in Seattle and writes about real estate, rental management, and home improvement for Zillow. She moved to the Pacific Northwest after graduating from University of Wisconsin with a BA in Journalism and Strategic Communication. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with her two dogs.

What Is a Tray Ceiling?

What Is a Tray Ceiling?

Home Design

Buying a New Construction Home: Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

Buying a New Construction Home: Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

Home Buying