Real Estate Buyers like RenovationsWhich Renovations Really Pay Off When you Need To Sell Your Home?  

To Do or Not To Do? That is the Infamous Question!

According to Remodeling Magazine Cost vs Value Report, when preparing your home to sell, there are upgrades and renovations that are worth spending the money on and others that you’d be just wasting your time and money on. 

Real Estate professionals agree that it’s easier to sell a house that has curb appeal, however sinking money into luxury upgrades that are taste specific isn’t money well spent.Silver Bathtub in renovation project

If you want to put your home on the market but you’re not sure which renovation projects are going to get you the best bang for your buck or ROI, (return on investment) here are a few things to keep in mind…

Most homeowners don’t want to put a lot of money into renovations for a home they no longer will be living in.  I understand their dilemma, which is why I pay such close attention to current buyer trends.  As a professional, I have to understand the market and what buyers are looking for, what they are willing to spend more money on, which in turn puts more money into my seller’s pocket and makes for a faster and smoother transaction many times. I want the upgrades to be a wise investment for the homeowners.

Here’s my professional take on which renovations to consider:

New Front Door for RenovationA New Front Door-The top of the list to create curb appeal is to upgrade the front door. If a new door is not in the budget for the sellers than it’s an absolute must to paint it in a coordinating color with the exterior of the house. I highly recommend that sellers get a professional opinion.

Exterior paint-Only necessary if the existing paint is chipping. Painting the trim and garage doors in colors that work best with the color of the body of the house can add a lot of curb appeal. I have seen trim colors that make the house color look garish. Consult with a professional for the best choices.

landscaping renovation ideaLandscaping-Adding flowering plants and greenery greatly increases curb appeal. Trim existing overgrown bushes.


kitchen renovationKitchen Renovations

It can be very costly to update an old outdated kitchen. Fortunately if you do, it will give you a large ROI (rate of return) because the buyers know it’s not only going to be a costly project but it’s a difficult project to live through that they don’t want to take on. They will pay dearly for a new modern kitchen!
So What’s trending in today’s kitchens?

Buyers love New Cabinets- Wood cabinets are not trending now but it depends on the style of your home. A Mediterranean style home looks great with wood cabinets. Oak is out for sure though! When in doubt ask a professional.

If you cannot replace your outdated cabinets then paint them and update the hardware. We’re seeing a lot of two tone kitchens where the lowers are a different color from the uppers, or the kitchen island is a different color than the cabinets…

Photo courtesy: Domestic

Kitchen Islands- speaking of which, are a pleasant find that will appeal to all buyers. Definitely add one if you have the room. No need to spend a fortune on it. You can use lower cabinets from Home Depot and add a counter top.

Solid surface counter tops-Granite, Quartz, Corian are all trending as I write this in 2017 and have been for sometime now. If you don’t want to swing for the high cost then I recommend updating to quality laminate or tile. If you do a tile countertop-use a dark ceramic with dark grout and small grout lines or a marble or granite tile. Do not use a non shiny tile! Do not use a textured stone look!

The Backsplash– If you don’t have a backsplash or if the current one is dated this in an easy and affordable project that buyers will love. I recommend keeping it low key with simple subway tile. If you can’t replace, then try painting it or covering with beadboard.

Flooring–  Wood floors are trending in kitchens

Appliances- stainless steel is still a hot trend however a kitchen with white cabinets and white appliances can look great too!

Lighting – is an easy upgrade and can be inexpensive. It’s the jewelry to a room and should be chosen with care and suit the style of the kitchen and the rest of the home. Lighting for all rooms adds a lot of wow factor and if done right can add a lot of value to your home. I like Ikea and Lowes for affordable lighting. Sometimes what you have can be salvaged with a little DIY makeover.

The Bathroom Renovation

bathroom renovation
Photo Courtesy: Beautiful

Bathrooms-Buyers are looking for white toilets and sinks. If you have yellow, blue, pink, beige…fixtures you should update them. Toilets and sinks are inexpensive at the big box stores. I’ve purchased great buys on sinks and faucets on Ebay. The gaudy 1950’s tile that’s pink, or yellow…you can cover easily with beadboard, paint, or learn how to work with it so it looks great. Outdated vanities can be easily painted too for a stylish new look or replaced by a dresser with a sink and faucet added.

The colored tub…That’s a tough one. If you can afford it, call Bath Fitter or have it reglazed white, or learn how to work with it using savvy interior design.  If your white tub needs a revamp learn how to do it at Beautiful

pink tile bathroom for renovationThe tub tile– freshen it up with fresh grout and or paint it if it’s not in the budget to replace it. Or again, learn how to work with it-  Check out this article on how to play up old bathroom tile and fixtures

In general new sinks, trendy lighting fixtures, new faucets, and cabinet hardware will create great eye appeal, if sourced well for a good price you’ll see a good ROI  

The Roof-if it looks good great! If not replace or take it off the price of the home

The Furnace– Have it serviced or replaced if it’s not working properly. If it is working and in good condition have it checked so you have proof.

Carpet is acceptable and sometimes welcome in the bedrooms if it’s new and clean but if 

Wood floors– buyers love wood floors and most dislike carpet in the living areas. If there is wood under the carpet I would recommend removing it and shining up the wood.

If you don’t have wood floors then you should put in a good laminate.

painted wood floors for renovation

If you have wood floors but they are old and worn I recommend painting them. See how Tracie from Cleverly Inspired transformed her wood floors with paint for her renovations

Interior Paint- Brighten up the whole house with a fresh coat of paint. Trending now are pale blues, greens, very light gray, or bright white room colors in a flat finish. 

seasalt paint color
photo courtesy: Sweet Chaos

Popcorn ceilings-No one wants popcorn ceilings anymore. They scream BIG project because it makes such a mess to remove them. I would recommend you take on this task for the buyers by scraping them or covering them with ceiling tiles or beadboard. Take a peek at these great ideas on how to cover popcorn ceilings at Covering Popcorn Ceilings and see how this DIYer created this faux coffered ceiling over popcorn


renovation for a popcorn ceiling
Photo courtesy:

Open Floor Plan-If you can create an open floor plan by taking down a wall or two you should! Buyers are looking for open floor plans and will pay more for it.

open floor plan renovation idea


The overall look and feel should be fresh,modern,clean, and inviting! .The key is to create that “I want to live here feel”. With  proper staging there are ways to work around the orange counters and pink tile . It takes ingenuity and creativity but if it means more money and selling quicker than I recommend you take on many of these renovations and get the advice from a professional Home Stager and Realtor, hint, hint.

In closing, I would say that the outside of the house is most important because it’s going to draw people in the door so make it as pretty as you can. Neat, decluttered, freshly painted interiors, no window treatments (they are too taste specific), will make the home more appealing once they’re inside. A brand new kitchen, however, done with taste and style (please get advice for this), and new bathrooms and floors, will sell your house. Just be careful not to overdo it for the neighborhood. Your Realtor and Stager will help you choose which projects are worth it and which are not.

If your budget won’t allow the necessary renovations, consider finding a contractor willing to do the work upfront and get paid at closing. This way you can use the profits from the sale and not have to pay out of pocket. I recommend this if your house is priced realistically, you need the house to sell fast, and there will be ample enough profit in the sale to handle the closing costs and the contractor’s fees.

Feel free to contact me for a consultation.:)

Check Out How I’m Helping Kathleen & Ramon Sell Their House

Top 10 House Renovations That Sell
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