Should You Upgrade Your Lighting Before Selling Your House?

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By Clever Real Estate Updated October 21, 2021


Should you replace the lighting in your home before putting it on the market? Is it a worthwhile way to spend your money, or should you put your efforts into a different repair? Read our article to shed light on the situation.

Should You Upgrade Your Lighting Before Selling Your House?

When getting ready to put your house on their market, it’s not uncommon for sellers to spend an average of two months on repairs and improvement projects. As you walk through your home, take a room-by-room inventory of what might need to be done. While noting down peeling paint or carpet that’s pulling up, don’t forget to glance up at your lighting.

Most of us don’t think about the lighting sources in our home very often. But the type and quality of light in your home can positively attract buyers to it, or turn them away. Not many people like to live in dark caves.

Talk it over with your real estate agent about any and all possible upgrades before you make a trip to the home improvement store, as they can help you identify what truly needs to be done. In the meantime, should you consider replacing or upgrading your lighting? Here’s everything you should consider before putting it on the "to do" list.

Replace Lighting if It’s Broken

Not all potential buyers will visit your home during the day. Someone might schedule a showing at night, after work. Now imagine that they try to flip on the light switch in your kid’s room and…nothing. They have to stumble over a floor full of toys to turn on the bedside lamp.

If lightbulbs are broken or burnt out, replace them. If a hallway switch hasn’t worked in years but didn’t bother you, now is the time to call an electrician. These are small, less-costly repairs which will improve a buyer’s experience when they tour your home.

And it’s one less thing that the buyer has to do themselves when they move in. Let’s say there are major repairs which you know the home needs but simply can’t afford to do yourself. If you’re selling a home in poorer condition, don’t give the buyer one more thing to haggle about on price.

Replace Fixtures to Modernize a Space

Tastes change quickly, and what was the latest in lighting design five years ago could now look horribly dated. Replacing fixtures modernizes a space for very little money. In rooms like the dining and living room, where a chandelier or pendant light can be quite prominent, consider how a different light fixture could improve the space.

Currently, brushed nickel, stainless steel, and blown glass are popular, but before investing in a new $200 ceiling light, talk to your realtor. They will know what your target buyer prefers.

Add Fixtures to Offset a House’s Drawbacks

Do you live in a hot climate, but don’t have air conditioning? What if there’s no way to add central air? You probably already know that buyers will put this in the "minus" column of pluses and minuses to your house, but you can try to offset it a bit.

Consider installing ceiling fans in major rooms of the house, such as the kitchen, living room, and dining room. Modern ceiling fans move air much more efficiently than the relics in our grandmother’s basements. Gone are the long cords that you tug to turn them on, too. Today’s versions come with wireless remotes.

Add Lighting to Soften a Space

Harsh lighting doesn’t do a space many favors. Replace your bulbs with soft light, particularly in bedrooms. Consider adding recessed lighting to some spaces, as it can be a big selling point. It brightens a room and adds natural-looking light.

Utilize lighting in darker, less-inviting spaces, to offset a lack of natural light. Replacing or adding windows is too expensive an improvement to make in a home you want to sell, but strategically placed lighting can help present your home to its best advantage.

Add Lights Outside

You want buyers to feel welcomed into your home, and drawn into its front entryway. When you’re thinking about adding or improving the lighting in your home, think about your home’s outside, too.

Install solar-powered lamps along the path leading up to your front door. It both welcomes visitors but also reduces tripping hazards. If you don’t have one already, consider installing a motion-sensor light over your front door.

Make Your Lighting More Energy Conscious

In the midst of replacing fixtures and light bulbs, think about being energy conscious. In the average household, 5% of its energy budget goes to lighting. Older light bulbs used to give off, and waste, a lot of heat. Even if you do nothing else, think about replacing older light bulbs with newer LEDs or CFLs which use less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs.

If you’re considering whether or not to replace your lighting and fixtures before selling, an experienced real estate agent can provide helpful guidance as to which improvements are necessary and could make a positive impact. Reach out to Clever to be connected with an agent in your area today.

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