3 Things to Renovate Before Putting Your Home on the Market

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Thinking about selling your home? Give it some thought before putting it on the market—you might be able to drive a significantly higher asking price if you take the time to complete some renovations beforehand. But it’s all about knowing what upgrades are worth it, and whether taking the time is in your best interest. We’ll walk you through some considerations you should work through, as well as the top three things to renovate to close a great deal.

Before you make any moves…

First, you need to establish why you want to sell. Is it due to a job relocation? Have you fallen behind on your mortgage? Looking to downsize? Considering an investment opportunity? These types of questions can help you establish a timeline and budget that will guide your renovation decisions.

For example, if you need to be in a new city to start work right away, you probably don’t have time for much more than a few fixer-uppers. Or, if your mortgage interest has become difficult to manage, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford expensive projects within your budget. However, they may be resources available to you that can offer a viable solution, such as a VA streamline refinance or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) that can lower your interest rate or allow you to access the wealth accumulated in your home—so you can keep more money in your pocket and prevent the need to sell your home.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell your home to make a profit by downsizing to a smaller property more suitable for your retirement needs, or to leverage wealth using the real estate market, then renovating your home to drive a higher selling price could be a smart decision. By holding off a little while and completing a few projects, you could gain much more profits on the sale that can bolster your savings or fund your next investment.

In that case, these are the best renovations that buyers are willing to pay more for:

  1. Landscaping

First impressions are everything so be sure your home passes the drive-by test—would someone be interested in the “For Sale” sign based on what they see from the exterior? If your home looks worn down or dilapidated from the outside, there’s a small chance they’d care to see how it looks on the inside.

You can increase your curb appeal with landscape maintenance that doesn’t require too much money. Many local garden centers offer free services, and you can also ask your neighbors what works well for them. Lush greenery is great, unless it’s overgrown and obscuring your doorway. Get out the shears and give the front door a fresh coat of paint.

You’ll get bonus points for adding a charming focal point, such as a cobblestone walkway, that enhances the appearance of the front yard.

  1. Minor Bathroom Remodel

You don’t necessarily need to install a new bathtub or shower, but you can easily re-caulk a tub and glaze it for a like-new finish, or replace old shower doors with glass to add the illusion of space.

If walls are damaged, a spray-on texture can provide quick coverage followed by a coat of paint that makes the bathroom look pristinely clean. New fixtures on your sink faucet and handles are also easy ways to make the bathroom appear as though it’s been recently remodeled.

  1. Kitchen Renovations

Kitchens are often one of the top selling points for buyers shopping the real estate market, and it can be a great opportunity to make your listing shine over the others while increasing the value of the home.

How much room you have within your budget will play a big part on what you’ll be able to complete, and you should spend your money wisely. Blowing your entire budget on granite countertops and neglecting the outdated cabinetry is a bad move.

You can give the kitchen a cosmetic lift by sanding and painting existing cabinets rather than buying new ones, changing the drapes, and updating the window molding. You don’t need to drastically change the floor plan, but spending about $15,000 on new appliances, laminate cabinets, and resilient flooring can prove to have a large return on investment.

You don’t want to over-renovate and spend too much money that you won’t see back, but these three renovations are a cost-effective way to add value if you decide that it’s time to sell your home.

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