Upgrades For The Highest ROI When Selling

Dated: March 24 2021

Views: 469

As you consider upgrading your home in preparation for an easy sale, there are a few questions to consider before diving in. Once you answer those, you'll have a clearer idea of what renovations if any, are the most important to increase your return. 

The most important question is this: where do you live and what kind of real estate market is it right now? 

Right now we are in a unique, post-covid spring-summer market rife with possibilities. Tons of buyers are in the market to find more space or value and take advantage of historically low interest rates. If you own a home in a hot seller's market where multiple offers are expected on each and every property that hits the market, you don't need to renovate anything! In fact, I highly recommend you do not spend a single dollar on renovations. It's just not worth it because most buyers will be happy to take it in its current state and create the space they want after they acquire your home. 

On the other hand, if you own a home in a more balanced market, it will be important to choose the right kinds of renovations. Not every update will mean a dollar-for-dollar return. Yes, a new kitchen and bathroom will increase appeal but not everyone has the time or budget to undertake that before selling. Those renovations may not appeal to your area's buyer demographic either and would not necessarily increase your property's value. 

So what kind of market are you located in? Who is your target buyer? These are important things to know and your Realtor should be able to answer them. 


Once you have an answer to the underlined above, let's look at the most important (and budget-friendly) renovations to increase your property's bottom line:


1) Patching and Painting. Paint color and a fresh coat of it over your dinged and well-lived-in walls makes a huge difference in optics. A nice bright, neutral color like Behr "silver drop" will match almost any furniture color palate. It has warm and cool colors and reflects natural light instead of absorbing it. Make sure you choose a reputable painter and quality paint like Marquee by Behr or Regal by Benjamin Moore. If you have more than your average wear and tear, damage like big settlement cracks, old moisture stains or large holes in your drywall, you'll want extra time for a qualified sheetrock installer to replace, compound and sand those areas. 

2) Refinish your hardwood floors. Who you choose for this is extremely important. Inexperienced floorers will cut corners (literally) and give your beautiful hardwood a wavy or splintered appearance. Even great hardwood refinishers won't break the bank and charge in the range of $3-6/sf to sand and refinish your hardwood. High gloss, "gleaming" wood floors are not in style right now so go over your options with your floor specialist to find a good color and finish match for your type of wood. Light, natural colors and more matte finishes are popular today. 

3) If you have carpet... Replace it or get rid of it entirely. If it's in great shape and new you can get away with a good steam cleaning but if not, consider replacing it entirely. If you have nice hardwood underneath, you may want to pull it up and refinish it while at the same time you refinish the rest of your hardwood floors. Carpet replacement is typically charged per room with a labor minimum but is highly cost-effective when considering ROI. 

4) Don't overlook the little things. Your eyes will take in much more than you realize when you're touring a new home. Consider everything you've been putting off or have learned to live with. Replace burnt-out lightbulbs, missing lights and dim lights with high lumen bulbs to maximize brightness. Make sure your under-cabinet lighting is all working. Clean your windows. Fix broken window locks and child guards. Remove or fix broken or uneven blinds. This one is huge; recaulk the kitchen and bathroom! It's cheap and super easy and new, shiny while caulk will go a long way in a buyer's first impression. 

5) Last and equally important; invest in a deep, deep cleaning from a reputable cleaning service. 

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Brian McCarthy

I specialize in residential sales, purchases, luxury homes, rentals and investment properties. I am an 11 year resident of Hoboken, New Jersey and the Gold Coast, with the local knowledge needed to pr....

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