What outdated features should I update before I sell my home?

PUBLISHED 12 AUG 2021   

While certain antique features can provide a home with character and charm, others will give buyers the impression that the home will need some serious updating, which will provide buyers with the opportunity to negotiate down on the asking price. To prevent this, sellers might want to consider upgrading these features when it comes time to sell.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, the key to updating the property is to avoid overcapitalising when doing the renovations. “Sellers should consider how much value each update will add to the home and should be careful not to splurge on costly upgrades that they are unable to recoup from the profit of the sale,” he advises.

Though antique features can look great in certain homes, there are a few that can make a home seem outdated and in need of some renovations. Below, RE/MAX of Southern Africa points out a few of the regular suspects.

Glass block windows & walls

These wavy, textured, and cloudy blocks became a common building material in the 1930s and were a staple until the 1980s. These would often be used as a funky alternative to windows or used as a divider in rooms like the entryway or the en suite bathroom. In most cases, it would be better to remove or replace these with new windows or drywalling.  

A sunken bathtub

Unless this is in a newly renovated bathroom, sunken bathtubs are about as popular as carpeted bathrooms and a shell-shaped vanity. Today, the free-standing bathtub tends to be a crowd favourite. Homeowners could stand to increase the appeal of their home by having one of these installed in place of the sunken tub.

Mirrored Walls

Initially used as a trick to help make a room feel spacious, mirrored walls became a trend back in the 1980s and 90s and could most commonly be found in walk-in closets. These days, most buyers have grown wise to this trick and would prefer a more minimal look. Sellers who want their rooms to feel more spacious could take down the mirrored panels and paint the walls a light, neutral shade like white.

For those who are unsure if their home needs some updating, Goslett recommends calling on the unbiased opinion of a real estate expert in their suburb. “It can be tricky to tell if your own home looks outdated. It is often better to rely on the advice of somebody who is an expert in the industry and who knows what buyers are looking for in the given market. A local real estate professional’s advice can prove invaluable in this regard,” he concludes.