First off, you should understand what the average buyer is looking for in your particular area. Any home improvements that are made should be comparable to other homes in the immediate neighborhood. For example, while it would be nice to have a gourmet kitchen with a commercial range, custom cabinetry, and all the latest stainless steel appliances, it will do little good if the average buyer isn’t looking for that.
Secondly, cosmetic updates come after maintenance. Buyers won’t care how nice the house is if the roof is leaky or the rooms feel drafty. Especially with older homes, making sure the structure is sound should take priority over luxuries. The average buyer will be much more likely to buy your home if they don’t have to worry about the upkeep. In fact, more than 70 percent of buyers already knew what they were going to remodel before closing on the house, according to HanleyWood's Housing Continuum Study.
That leads us to the third tip. Just because you like it, doesn’t mean someone else will. Unless you have a custom, 4,000+ sq. foot home in an upscale neighborhood, you should stick to traditional and neutral. Chances are, the potential buyer will have different tastes and by keeping it neutral, you will give them an opportunity to see what changes they can make.