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Which of these small cosmetic updates are worth it for selling?

16 years ago

Hey, folks -- I usually hang out in Home Dec and just thought to look for a forum like this!

Anyway, I have a house for sale right now which belonged to my mom (I am handling her estate). She had it built and then rented it out over the years. It's been on the market since the end of April -- had a contract on it that just fell through (buyer from hell). It had some major water damage last year so a lot of the interior is new -- kitchen cabs/counters, all the carpet, paint, bathroom vanities, etc.

My question is in some of the smaller cosmetic details and whether it would be worth changing some things out. The house is in a pretty middle class area, not at all upscale. Right now it is sitting empty and is very sterile, though clean and in good repair. My mom, in all her practical and cheapskate glory, went with builder grade on everything, and none of it has ever been upgraded. We're talking, for example, those cheap square towel bars that are made out of very thin, very dent-prone metal.

I'm considering the following -- any thoughts on whether all of this is necessary, and whether these little things will make that much difference? Any things you'd add to the list?

Add knobs/handles to all cabinets (kitchen and bath)

Add valences over breakfast area windows and master bath window

Add kick plate to front door


Towel bars and toilet paper holders

Interior doorknobs (the doors would still be builder basic)

Light fixtures -- currently has hollywood style lights over all vanities and butt ugly flush mounted ceiling fixtures that scream "cheap" everywhere else

Sink faucets in kitchen and baths

Maybe front door handle/lock

I'm not talking about buying super nice stuff to replace with, but almost anything would be an improvement over what's there. I imagine I might spend $500-$1000 to do all of this. But is it worth it? I should add that the house hasn't had a huge number of showings and I did drop the price once already (I think the realtor overpriced it) and may drop it again.

Thanks for any and all advice!

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