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Maximizing the sale: What to remodel before selling

Are you looking to sell your home quickly and for a greater profit? Learn which renovations are worth your time and money.

Anna Baluch
February 16, 2024

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If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market, you may be wondering which renovations to make. After all, some renovations can increase your profits, while others are simply too costly and will not improve your bottom line. To help you prioritize your time — and money — we’ve rounded up this list of the best renovations to do before selling. 

Should you remodel before selling? 

No rule says you have to remodel your house before you list it. While you may sell your home as is, some house updates can help you maximize your profits. So, how do you know what to remodel before selling? 

Focus on the highest ROI home improvements that can convince potential home buyers that your house is worth a more significant investment. 

You should also think about what your goals are. One helpful tip is to take a look at recently sold properties in the surrounding area to get an idea of their style and typical improvements in the neighborhood. 

Best renovations to sell your home quickly

In general, these renovations are a good idea if you’d like to get your home off the market as soon as possible:

Paint the walls and exterior of your home

Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to freshen up your property and boost its value. Choose neutral paint colors, like gray, beige, or white. This way you can give buyers a blank canvas they can use to envision your home as their own. While bold colors such as red and yellow may be fun and exciting, they may not appeal to every buyer’s taste. The ROI for new interior paint is 107%, and for new external paint, 55%. 

Update hardware and fixtures

Most homebuyers notice details, like new hardware and fixtures. If your drawer pulls and door knobs are long past their prime, updating them can pay off. As long as you opt for modern options that match your space, you can create a more high-end look and feel.

Keeping exterior hardware as fresh and modern as interior fixtures is just as critical. Take a walk around the outside of your home to gauge for worn and weathered items that could use an update.

Some general interior and exterior features to evaluate are:

  • Hinges
  • Cabinet/drawer pulls
  • Light switch plate covers
  • Outlet covers
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Faucets

Replace the front and garage door

The first thing homebuyers will see is the front of your home — which is a compelling reason to consider a new front door. If you don’t want to spend the extra money, you can always paint your current door to give it a fresher look. No matter which route you take, make sure the door looks good with your siding and the rest of your exterior. 

Depending on your home’s structure, the garage door can have a significant impact on your home’s curb appeal. Investing in a new garage door can not only transform the face of your house, but it also offers an impressive ROI of 102%

Spruce up outdoor landscaping

Attractive landscaping can boost curb appeal and take your property to the next level. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything too fancy or expensive to make your house look more inviting. 

Keep things simple and opt for easy, affordable, and low-maintenance updates. If you have any weeds, remove them. Then, trim any overgrown trees and bushes. You can also edge your driveway and fertilize your yard. Don’t forget to add some fresh mulch as well as a few drought-resistant plants for decor. Landscaping can increase your home’s release value by 15-20% on average.

Refinish hardwood floors

If the hardwood floors in your home have seen better days, you can refinish them for a polished look on a budget. When you refinish your floors, you sand down their top layer and apply a fresh stain and new coat of sealant. Fortunately, this is an easy renovation that doesn't require a lot of materials or experience. Refinishing will take three to six days, depending on the size of your floors. It's estimated that buyers pay around $5,000 for refinished hardwood flooring

Best renovations for a high ROI

When renovating your home to sell for the highest price, choosing the right projects can make a significant difference in your ROI. Not all renovations are created equal, and focusing on upgrades that offer the highest potential for increasing your home's value is key. In this section, we'll explore 

Here are some of the best renovations known for delivering a high ROI:

remodeling-home

Minor kitchen remodel

It may be tempting to demolish and overhaul your kitchen completely. However, a smaller remodel is likely your best bet. Typically, a minor kitchen reno includes a fresh coat of paint,  updated appliances, new or refinished countertops,  improved lighting and storage, and new fixtures on the cabinetry. Even though some homebuyers might appreciate a modern farmhouse kitchen, it’s important to choose classic options that will appeal to more people. On average, a minor kitchen remodel yields returns of 98.5%.

Minor bathroom remodel

You don’t have to splurge on a luxury jetted tub or walk-in shower to prepare your bathroom for homebuyers. However, since an old bathroom can make your home seem dated and less appealing, you may want to consider a minor bathroom remodel. This project usually includes a new vanity, shower head, and faucet. You can also update the lighting. With a minor bathroom remodel, you can expect an average ROI of 102%. 

Basement remodel

If you're considering remodeling your basement for more space, you can expect to get 86% of your spending back when you sell. While this isn't a renovation that you should go out of your way to complete, you can consider it a solid choice for increasing the overall enjoyment and utility of your home. A basement remodel may allow you to add a playroom, home office bedroom, or workout room.

Deck, patio, porch addition

These days, many homebuyers are prioritizing a welcoming outdoor space or building the perfect backyard oasis. If you don't have a deck, patio, or porch, consider installing one. These additions can give them a place to entertain guests or relax with their family on warmer days. Since these outdoor additions are a bit more involved than other renovations and often require a permit, it may make sense to hire a pro. On average, a deck, patio, or porch addition yields average returns of 90.3%.

SMART home upgrades

SMART and energy-efficient homes are more popular today than ever before — in fact, 9 out of 10 buyers prefer energy-efficient features. This is no surprise as they can increase comfort and safety for a homeowner while saving them money on utility costs. SMART home upgrades can also lower your homeowner insurance

Several examples of SMART home upgrades you should consider adding before you list your home include a programmable thermostat, security system, smart kitchen appliances, and LED lighting. 

Pro tips for every seller 

As you get ready to list your home, it’s important not to lose sight of these critical check-list items:  

Fix any small issues

Simple repairs can make a huge difference. If you have loose doorknobs, rotted deck boards, malfunctioning outlets, or creaky floors, for example, fix them. Chances are they’ll show up in an inspection and potentially lead to a lower offer. This is particularly true if you have many of these issues and personally find them to be annoying. 

Deep clean and declutter

When touring a home, homebuyers want to see a clean, tidy space. Unfortunately, vacuuming and wiping down your counters won’t be enough to satisfy them. You’ll have to declutter and deep clean your space. If you don’t have the time or energy to thoroughly clean and organize the inside and outside of your house, paying for a professional cleaner may be worth it.

Stage well

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s where staging comes in. A staged home can help homebuyers picture their lives on your property. 

To stage your space, get rid of any family photos, kids' artwork, and other personal knick-knacks. You may also want to store excess furniture and add some finishing touches, like fresh towels in the bathrooms or flowers in the kitchen. If you’re unsure of how to stage your particular home, a professional stager can come in handy.

Final thoughts

By being mindful of the home renovations you do before you put your home on the market, you can increase your chances of a successful sale. 

If you need some extra cash to cover these improvements, a Home Equity Investment (HEI) from Point may be a good option. You can tap your equity without taking on monthly payments. There are no income requirements or need for perfect credit to qualify. 

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