Selling Your Home? These 8 Renovations Offer the Best Bang for Your Buck

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

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If you're like most Americans, your home is probably your biggest investment. You want that investment to perform as well as possible, so if you think you may sell your home some time soon, it makes sense to do as much as you can to boost its value.

Depending upon your situation, this can mean doing some home renovations or quick fixes so your house becomes more attractive to potential buyers.

But, while upgrades can boost your home price and help your home sell faster, not all renovations have an equal impact on what your home is worth. To ensure you're making renovations that will actually pay off, read on to find out some upgrades and fixes that give you the most bang for your buck.

1. Stow Your Personal Items

Buyers want to picture themselves in your home, not your whole extended family. While you're selling, stash the majority of your specifically personal things to make the space feel a little more like a blank slate.

2. Improving Energy Efficiency

While most homeowners think upgrades that improve the look of their home will pay off, improving your home's efficiency may actually make a bigger difference. In fact, a survey found homeowners can recoup 116% of the costs of attic insulation. And attic insulation is just one of many upgrades that improve efficiency.

While renovating the kitchen and updating the bathrooms are both great improvements that can increase property value, making energy efficient upgrades will give you more bang for your buck. As the number of energy efficient homes continues to rise, first time buyers are beginning to favor these upgraded homes over traditional homes due to the potential long-term savings.

If you make energy efficient upgrades, make sure your realtor markets your home appropriately. You can even consider providing copies of your utility bills to potential buyers so they can see how low ongoing costs will be.

Get a Free Home Valuation from the Fox Valley's Top Agent here.

3. Sprucing Up Your Exterior

You only get one chance to make a first impression when a buyer pulls up to your home. The best bang for your buck comes from projects that enhance curb appeal. I will always say first impression is everything to a buyer. If the home just doesn’t feel like home when the potential buyer pulls up, you can bet the showing is a waste of your time. Making changes to your home's exterior doesn't have to cost a fortune. Curb appeal can be improved by some basic efforts such as power washing the home’s exterior. You can even paint the front door, in today’s age this is a rather common practice. It costs less than $200 and can make a night and day difference for your entrance.

Improvements to landscaping are also recommended if you’re selling during the summer months. Think about refreshing mulch, trimming shrubs, and planting seasonal colorful plants. These small investments create value when selling a home. In fact while the statistics vary, most evidence shows you'll get more than a 100% return on investment for money spent on landscaping.

4. Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodels

Your kitchen is the heart of your home. We recommend focusing on colors and textures when making upgrades. You don't need to break the bank for new appliances.

Most experts agree a kitchen is key to improving a home's value. If a seller has only enough money to renovate one room, I say the kitchen is the room to pick nearly every time. Kitchens are the focal point of almost every home showing and an impressive kitchen will almost always make the difference between an average offer and the maximum. Investing in the kitchen makes a lot of sense, as studies have shown as many as 80% of homebuyers list the kitchen as their favorite room. When your kitchen is updated, buyers may also be more forgiving of other outdated areas. I've found that my clients are more likely to tolerate an outdated bathroom than an outdated kitchen.

Get a Free Home Valuation from the Fox Valley's Top Agent here.

5. Get New Outlet and Light Switch Plates

These get super dirty with use, but are really cheap to replace (<$1 each). If you want to go really fancy, paint your plates the same color as the wall so they disappear more.

6. Bathroom Remodel

If your bathrooms are outdated, this is another room where updates could make a big impact. Next to kitchens, bathrooms are the number two selling point in most homes. Nail this upgrade and you're halfway to the closing table!

Consider re-grouting tile; remove and replace caulk around the shower, tub, and toilet areas; and maybe it is time to replace the toilet for a more efficient and modern look. Replacing mirrors and fixtures will also go a long way to improve the look and feel of the bathrooms.

7. A New Coat of Paint

One of the cheapest updates you can make also has one of the best returns on your investment: painting your home's interior.

It cannot be underestimated the effect that a clean coat of new paint has on a property. Most sellers don’t realize how much abuse walls take during ownership until that fresh coat of paint has been applied. New paint lightens rooms, hides visual defects and instantly makes a space feel fresh and clean.

The colors most people have in their homes are personal, but they should be transitional and appeal to a larger pool of people.

Get a Free Home Valuation from the Fox Valley's Top Agent here.

8. Fix Your Flooring

Flooring makes a huge difference in how your house comes across to buyers and upgrading it can make a big impact.

The least expensive renovation you can do to get your home ready to sell is a nice coat of neutral paint and either new carpet or flooring. It makes such a difference to buyers, and makes the home look as if it has been maintained nicely. New flooring and paint will instantly brighten up the home, and give it an instant update for very little expense.

Today, many buyers place a premium on hardwood floors and, when done correctly, hardwood floors could add around 2.5% to a home's sale price. If you're short on funds, focus on replacing floors in public areas including kitchens and living rooms, while opting for less costly carpet in the bedrooms.

-Nico Roensch - Realtor at Rieckmann Real Estate, Inc. - Fox Valley, WI

©2020 by Nico Roensch Real Estate