When it's your family home you're selling it's very hard to be objective. To ensure you have a realistic vision for what your home is worth you have to take off those rose-coloured glasses and unhook the heartstrings. Grandma's crochet blanket is not going to win points with potential buyers.
Here are some easy things you can do to pull your house out of the last century.
LIGHT FIXTURES - anything with frosted glass and shiny brassware needs to go. Keep it simple and contemporary. There are always cheap options at your local lighting store. If you have low ceilings go for light fittings that are fixed to the ceiling rather than hanging.
WINDOW TREATMENTS - If it's a choice between the sheet over the window and no treatments then definitely go the 'no treatment' option. Otherwise always choose some form of curtain or shutters to soften the room. Make sure whatever you choose creates clean, smooth lines. No flounces or scallops!
POPCORN CEILINGS - Unfortunately homes that have textured ceilings are automatically dated. What's worse, if the homeowner has replaced lights or vents there will usually be an area that is no longer textured leaving a bit of a 'hotch potch' ceiling. It's not overly expensive to remove however be aware that some 'Popcorn Ceilings' contain asbestos so best have a professional look at it first.
DOOR HARDWARE - a very easy and cheap update to any kitchen or bathroom is to replace handles. Choose a more contemporary finish in chrome or silver to immediately update your home. Although brass hardware is on its way back it is more suited to homes that have been totally renovated or new, modern homes.
FLOORING - Homes that still have the floral carpet or bold colours instantly give a potential buyer the feeling that there is a large expense to replace this. If you are not in a position to replace the flooring choose some large floor rugs in one colour to distract the eye.
TILED BENCHTOPS - If your budget allows it, replace your benchtop with a more
streamlined slab. A composite stone or even a laminate benchtop will instantly update a kitchen or bathroom.
FAUX PLANTS - In 2 words, dust catchers! A small vase of flowers from the garden (or the neighbour's garden!) will always add a fresh look to a room, not to mention the fragrance they provide. If you want the look of flowers but don't want the expense of updating them, choose a plant. You'll still get the calming feeling flowers bring without the ongoing expense.
CULL! - Over the years we all add to our homes but we must make sure we remove items as well. A cluttered home makes it feel smaller and most potential buyers find it hard to see through clutter. Leave out the emotion and remove any items that don't add to the value of your home in the eyes of a potential buyer.