5 Home Improvements To Do Before Selling Your Home

Getting ready to sell your house? Want top dollar?

These five home improvements can help ensure a higher price.

When preparing your home for sale, you have two main options.

Option One:

Hope you luck into a buyer who will see your home not as it is now, but for what it could be. It’s amazing to me how many sellers think like this.  It’s been my experience that some 90% + buyers don’t have a vision or don’t have the money to invest once they own the home. 99% of the time, you will be low-balled by “home flippers” or the house will sit on the market for a long time, becoming what they call “a dog”.


Option Two:

Put some money and time into a few repairs that will help get your home market-ready. Although the latter option may seem like a lot of hassle, it can translate into serious money — nearly a quarter of sellers who do home improvements sell their home above list price, compared to just 16% of sellers who don’t according to Zillow’s 2018 Consumer Report.


You will have to put a few thousand dollars into your home right away, but you’ll be so glad you did come closing time!

Top 5 Home Improvements to Get Top Dollar for Your Home:

1) Painting

When trying to sell, a nice coat of neutral paint can give the entire house a facelift, and buyers really love to see a fresh blank canvas. Get color recommendations from a trained professional since paint colors can be tricky depending on lighting and other features in the house such as cabinets and flooring.  If you’re looking for a nice, updated, warm color, gray has been trendy in recent years.

Return On Investment: Professional painting of the interior of an entire 2,500 square foot house can run anywhere from $2,000-$4,000 depending on the market. If there are vaulted ceilings or a lot of detail work, it could be more.  You should easily get your money back, plus more, on this obvious upgrade.


2) Landscaping Your Yard

Curb appeal: The outside of your house is a buyer’s first impression when they pull up. A patchy or overgrown yard can be a major turn-off. Anything that’s dead should be removed, and anything that’s overgrown should be cut back. You can make sure the lawn is refreshed and green by re-sodding or planting grass seed, and you may want to do edging to help define spaces. Fresh mulch or decorative stone in any beds is a must.  A few newly planted shrubs and perennials will make your house feel much more finished and inviting.

Return On Investment: Professional landscaping can cost anywhere between $500 to $3,000.  Tree removal usually starts at $750 – $2,000, depending. Again, these expenses are easily recouped on the sale.


 3) Flooring

Replacing carpet or repairing flooring is an improvement that 26% of homeowners make.  If you’ve got lots of rooms with many types of flooring, you might want to bite the bullet and invest in new flooring for all, to create a seamless feel throughout the house. Wood floors, or even faux-wood floors, are preferable to carpeting even though those options can be more costly.  If, however, you can’t afford to upgrade to wood, new carpeting is still a major selling point. And just like with painting walls, a good neutral color is best.

Return On Investment: For professional flooring installation, expect to pay between $10 – $12 per square foot for faux wood, and up to $30 for real wood. An average quality carpeting will cost about $8- $12 per square foot, installed


4) Bathroom Update

A mid-range bathroom update (think natural stone for countertops, not high-end quartz) offers a great return on investment.  And a bathroom that looks old can really date a house.  A few lucrative bathroom updates could include: new counter tops, new tiling, frameless glass doors (get rid of the brass or metal), new cabinets, and new fixtures for the sinks and tub. When replacing cabinets, remember that minimalism is best — neutral colors, and no designs or raised panels.

Return On Investment: The cost of a mid-range bathroom remodel averages between $3,000-$12,000.  A dated bathroom(s) can actually kill a sale, so this is a no-brainer.


5) Update Lighting Fixtures

Replacing lighting throughout a house can be a simple update for a small investment, but can make a big impact on the overall feel of the house.  Unless you are an expert in different kinds of lighting, keeping colors consistent with your home’s hardware, mixing metals such as copper and oiled bronze, or brushed nickel with chrome, but not mixing gold and silver tones, etc., etc., you definitely should hire an interior decorator.  One hour session will probably be all you need, ranging from $150-$250. You’ll be surprised at the impact updated lighting will have.

Return On Investment: Light fixtures for dining areas or pendant lights can be a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on source and style. But there are often good deals to be found at places like Ikea, Home Depot, Lowes, and other stores that cater to the DIY crowd.  Some fixtures can even cost under $100.  Your interior designer will be able to help you find what you’re looking for. It’s extremely easy to get your money back, and more, on this investment.



These improvements will cost you a little up front, but many experts believe for every $1.00 wisely spent on smart home improvements, you’ll get $1.50 back as a return on your investment!

Jim Edwards is the Home Advocate.  His clients love how he helps them make a few changes to get top dollar for their home.  He has seen it all, fixed it all and helps homeowners get the right information to make the best choice to prepare their home for sale.

Posted in Home Renovation.