Home Renovations

When it’s time to sell, homeowners may want to freshen up a few of their home’s details to make it more enticing to potential buyers, but which investments actually get a return, and which are not worth the time and money?

In the home-selling process, knowing which home updates will actually reap returns can be tricky. Increasing curb appeal may attract more buyers, but other projects may simply be wasted money. A few of our experienced members offered their views on which renovations are worth the investment and which are not.


Small Renovations with Large Rewards

“Anything you can do to give your home good curb appeal pays dividends,” says Steve Heathman with Hometown Realty in Atoka, Tennessee. “When buyers see well-groomed green grass with no weeds, they feel the inside has to be well-maintained.”

Another small investment, or sometimes just a simple task for a homeowner looking to sell, is organizing the closets. “Closet space has always been a big selling point,” Heathman says. “If your closets are neat and tidy, it goes a long way in convincing a potential buyer that they will have room for their stuff. Closet organizers make your closet appear neat and able to hold more.”


Value in Kitchens and Floors

For somewhat more involved renovations, Heathman says, “Kitchen, bathroom, and storage always pay off in that order and tend to reap the best returns.”

Heathman says the updates can be minimal—fresh paint on cabinets, a tile backsplash, and perhaps upgraded appliances.

Additionally, “If you have linoleum flooring replace it with a nice tile,” Heathman says. Jeremiah Collins with Coldwell Banker Legacy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, agrees that flooring can be a worthwhile update.


Be Wary of Bland Repairs

On the other hand, Collins says bathroom renovations and other amenities may not always get returns. “It depends on what the competition has, ultimately,” he says.

Travis Cox, with Associated Brokers and Consultants Inc., in Grand Junction, Colorado, also warns against any renovations that take away from a home’s character. He recommends “keeping the home’s character and not going vanilla.”


Consider Repairs for FHA Financing

Another important consideration, especially for bank-owned homes is updating a home to qualify for FHA financing. Any FHA lender-required repairs are worthwhile, according to both Cox and Collins.

“Sometimes $500 will open up 25 percent of the market for you,” Cox says.