With the Federal Reserve expected to hold interest rates at record lows until 2023 to aid economic recovery, many Americans are putting their homes on the market and looking to trade up.
While the supply shortage makes it tempting to sell your home “as is,” making your residence more attractive will allow you to raise the asking price a bit higher with minimal cash outlay.
One of the easiest ways to increase the visual impact of your living spaces without expensive remodeling is to update your lighting. You’d be surprised how much outdated lighting fixtures can alter a buyer’s perception of the entire home. Replacing your old lighting fixtures with new ones will instantly brighten and refresh the look of each room — best of all, there is a wide variety of fixtures available for around (and even under) $100.
Lighting and design expert Jeff Dross, principal at Lighting by Jeffrey in Cleveland, shares his advice for making strategic upgrades. “You don’t need to sink a whole lot of money into it,” he states. For example, not every room needs a lighting replacement. “First of all, clean your existing fixtures — such as the glass panels on lanterns, dusting the nooks and crannies of chandeliers, and removing any dirt that may have naturally accumulated on the light bulbs.”
“Your lighting can look completely different when you get the glass looking like it’s supposed to,” Dross notes, adding, “This is something that is often overlooked when people are preparing their homes for sale.”
If the lighting in a spare bedroom, basement, rec room, or laundry room is not out of style and is in good shape, “you can switch out the glass and give it a refresh that way,” Dross suggests. Glass fitters are widely available for updating the look of a pendant, chandelier, or ceiling fan light kit.
Are you going to be rehabbing any of the main spaces – such as the living room, kitchen, or master bath – before putting your house on the market? According to Dross, it makes sense to update the lighting for those rooms because they are key for setting the overall aesthetic feel to the home.
Take a critical look at each room with a friend or relative who can offer the “fresh eyes” of a prospective buyer. Dross asks, “Does the lighting match the room, or does it look tired? If you’re going to refresh a space before selling – for example, the dining room or breakfast nook – buying a new, attractive pendant is an affordable solution that will give an update at less cost than replacing a full-size chandelier.”
Don’t forget the curb appeal! The first impression prospective buyers have of your home is when they arrive at your property. Lighting fixtures with broken, missing, or cracked glass will immediately give the impression that the home isn’t well-cared-for.
“If you have brass lighting fixtures on the outside of the house that are in good shape and in a style that still looks current, try using some Scotch-Brite® scour pads to brighten it up and reinvigorate the finish,” Dross suggests. “If you are going to have the home’s exterior repainted before you sell, the painter may ask if you want the lighting fixtures painted as well.”
There are plenty of outdoor lighting fixtures (i.e. porch lanterns, post lights, wall-mounts, and ceiling flush-mounts) available for any type of home that can cost around (or less than) $100.
Whether you are buying new lighting for the interior or exterior, Dross advises choosing “style agnostic” fixtures that are more “neutral” in appearance.
Having a lot of adequate light throughout the home makes rooms feel and look bigger — and cleaner! In addition, new lighting in powder rooms, master baths, and kitchens are modest upgrades that will maximize the visual impact in those spaces without having to invest in new appliances, plumbing, or cabinetry.
Here are some excellent lighting update ideas for great low prices. (Please note that these are based on item prices before tax as of April 2021; prices are subject to change in the future. Trade Winds items are presented here based on their sale prices.)
10 Lights Under $75
- Trade Winds Dorothy ceiling light
- Trade Winds Fremont ceiling light
- Craftmade Clarendon mini pendant
- Trade Winds Lexington sconce
- Trade Winds Marcia sconce
- Trade Winds Avalon sconce
- Trade Winds Vintage bath light
- Savoy House Elise bath light
- Kichler Seaside outdoor lantern
- Craftmade Dunn outdoor lantern
10 Lights Under $100
- Sea Gull Mahone ceiling light
- Trade Winds Courtland ceiling light
- Trade Winds Piedmont chandelier
- Sea Gull Kea pendant
- Quorum Transitional pendant
- Savoy House Calhoun bath light
- Trade Winds Hannah bath light
- Hunter Caraway ceiling fan
- Craftmade O’Fallon outdoor lantern
- Quorum Contemporary outdoor lantern
10 Lights Under $150
- Trade Winds Hammond ceiling light
- Quorum Trapeze ceiling light
- Trade Winds Nina chandelier
- Hunter Hepburn pendant
- Golden Duncan pendant
- Minka Lavery Fieldale Lodge sconce
- Savoy House Octave bath light
- Maxim Hollow bath light
- Hunter Crestfield ceiling fan
- Savoy House Holbrook outdoor lantern
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