A picture of an older home.There’s a lot to love about older homes, but selling one can present unique challenges. Even the grandest examples of vintage residences often lack some of the modern features that today’s homebuyers desire. If you think your older home needs a bit of help competing with newer properties or appealing to younger buyers, here are some tips to help push your property to the top of buyers’ short lists.

Perform a pre-inspection to find and correct hidden issues

One hesitation buyers may have about purchasing an older home is the potential for unseen maintenance problems. This issue can be alleviated by having your home pre-inspected, repairing any issues that are discovered and documenting your improvements. This type of inspection will often cost a few hundred dollars depending on the size and type of home. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a reputable home inspector for the job. Instead of making the repairs yourself, you can speak with your real estate agent about potentially offering a credit to buyers to make the repairs on their own.

Purchase a home warranty plan for buyers

Another affordable way to ease buyer concerns about a home’s future maintenance needs is to offer home warranty coverage as an incentive. Unlike home insurance, a home warranty covers essential applications and home system components when they fail due to normal wear and tear. Items available for coverage often include central heating and air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, clothes washers and dryers, plumbing and electrical systems and roof leaks. Warranty plans are available for 1-year periods and typically cost around $300 to $400. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a good home warranty provider.

Offer renovation plans and financing options

A renovation might be just what your home needs to appeal to buyers, and you may have to do little more than point your buyers in the right direction. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a good contractor who can provide quotes for renovation options or produce drawings for a fee. Mortgage lenders that provide renovation financing, such as Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp., should also be happy to offer example renovation financing scenarios, showing buyers how they may have the ability to combine the cost of the home and renovation work into a single loan.

Brighten up the interior

A common complaint that buyers have about older homes is that they seem more dark and dreary than newer properties with more open living space and bigger windows. Thankfully, there are ways to brighten up your home without knocking down walls or installing larger windows. For starters, consider painting the interior of the home with a light, neutral color throughout to lend consistency and brightness. You can also bring in more light by replacing heavy drapes, adding additional lamps or fixtures and installing brighter bulbs.

For more advice on making an older home competitive with new models, ask your real estate agent for pointers. They may have experience successfully marketing other older homes or be able to show you example properties that are positioned well and attracting lots of interest.