Vail Design at Altitude column: An updated home won’t languish on the market |

Vail Design at Altitude column: An updated home won’t languish on the market

Yvonne Jacobs
Design at Altitude
Buyers want an updated bathroom that feels like a spa getaway.
Special to the Daily |

It’s no secret that the Vail-area real estate market is hot, and Colorado overall is one of the busiest real estate markets in the country. Coupled with low interest rates, buyers are ready to make a move. Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of what we all have. However, buyers are savvy and aren’t ready to purchase a home that is lackluster and dated.

Remodeled, comfortable properties are selling, but a home that is outdated and overpriced will languish on the market. So, what’s a seller to do? We have a few tips to help make your home stand out to the flood of buyers so you can go from “for sale” to “sold.”

If the bones of your home are solid, updating doesn’t require a huge outflow of cash. We get it — it’s hard to spend a lot when you know you’ll be moving, hopefully sooner than later. There are a few styling tips that work and make your home more appealing to potential buyers. First and foremost, declutter, tidy and deep clean. Look around with a critical eye and purge — remove accessories from the tabletop, which will help your home present as stylish and clean.

Next up, de-personalize your home. A few photos and personalized accessories are fine, but you want the buyer to come in and be able see their family in the home, making their own memories. If your home feels crowded, take away a few pieces of furniture.

If you have a bit of a budget, spend it wisely where your dollars will have the most impact. Clean, updated kitchens and bathrooms make the largest impact. An update doesn’t necessarily translate into ripping out the old one and starting afresh, each project is as unique as its owner.

Again, evaluate your home. Look at it like it’s not yours. Start in the kitchen and check out your appliances. Are they in good working order? Are they clean? Are they more than 10 years old? Cabinets obviously attract the eye. Instead of replacing them, paint them. It’s amazing how much better a kitchen looks with freshly painted cabinets and new hardware. Design tip: White kitchens are red hot right now. They look modern, clean and new. Not bad for a few days of work.

Bathrooms can also make or break a sale. Make sure yours is up to par: Get rid of the horrible wooden toilet seat, and add a new medicine cabinet that is sleek and clean. Most of all, though, make sure your bathrooms are clean and clutter free — no bottles of lotions and used make up lying around. Leave the countertops clear so the bathroom looks spacious. Paint the bathroom a light color so it feels fresh, and replace old towels with fluffy, white ones. Add a scented candle and voila: You’ve created a spa-like bathroom.

Next up: your bedroom. Clear it out to make it feel like a retreat; get rid of old clothes from closets. The smaller it is, the less you want to have in it. Paint it a light, neutral color. Replace dark bedding with a white duvet and pillows. Add a punch of color with an accent pillow.

Spending time and money strategically always pays off when selling a home. It’s proven that updated properties sell faster and net the seller more. The return on investment for remodeling or updating will pay for itself. It can feel overwhelming, though, trying to decide how to get the most bang for your buck. We’d be happy to share tips, create a plan and get it sold.

Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs. She’s been an interior designer for more than two decades and works with all budgets and timelines.

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