Best Renovations to Do Before Selling: 10 Key Upgrades for Maximum Return

Freshly painted walls, updated kitchen cabinets, new flooring, and modern fixtures create a welcoming and attractive space for potential buyers
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Jane Gallows

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Selling a home is a significant undertaking, and maximizing its value is crucial for any seller. My experience in the real estate market has shown me that strategic renovations can make a substantial difference in the appeal of a home to potential buyers. It’s important to consider both the financial investment and the practical impact of the changes you make. Certain renovations have a proven track record of offering a favourable return on investment (ROI), enhancing the home’s marketability and potentially increasing its selling price.

Crafting a renovation strategy requires a careful analysis of the current condition of the home and an understanding of what buyers in the market are looking for. Through Best Edmonton Realtor I’ve learned that the best renovations to do before selling include updates to the kitchen and bathrooms; these spaces are often scrutinized by buyers because they are costly to upgrade and are central to daily living. A kitchen with modern appliances, new countertops, and refreshed cabinets can sway a buyer’s decision, while an updated bathroom can be just as persuasive.

However, renovations should be approached judiciously. I maintain a cost versus value mindset to ensure that any investment into home improvements aligns with market trends and the potential increase in home value. This ensures that the renovations will resonate with potential buyers and support my ultimate goal of achieving the best possible outcome when selling my property.

Best Renovations to Do Before Selling: Assessing Renovation Value

A dilapidated house transformed into a modern, updated home. New kitchen, bathroom, and fresh paint. Increased property value

When I prepare to sell a property, I focus on renovations that not only enhance its appeal but ensure a strong return on investment (ROI). I look into both the aesthetic and functional upgrades that prospective buyers might value the most.

Determining ROI

Determining the ROI of home improvements requires researching which renovations historically provide the best returns. Kitchen updates are a prime example, garnering high returns due to their importance in a homebuyer’s decision-making process. In contrast, I’m cautious with luxury upgrades as they might not always resonate with buyers. For a balanced approach, I consider the market trends and my targeted demographics when selecting renovations, keeping in mind the ultimate goal of maximizing resale value. The best renovations to do before selling include:

  • Kitchen Renovations: On average, a minor kitchen remodel can recoup about 81.1% of its cost.
  • Bathroom Updates: An updated bathroom can yield approximately an 85% recovery of the investment.
  • Cosmetic Improvements: A fresh coat of paint and minor cosmetic changes can enhance the home’s appeal at a lower cost, making it an intelligent choice for added value.

2023 Cost vs. Value Report Insights

I take guidance from the 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, which provides estimates on how various home improvements might affect resale value. According to the report:

  • Major Kitchen Remodels: Typically recover 59% of the renovation costs.
  • Minor Kitchen Remodels: Have a higher recovery rate, around 81.1% of the investment.
  • Window Replacements: Installing high-quality vinyl windows might have around a 75% return.

These insights allow me to create a strategic approach to renovations that aligns costs with potential increases in resale value. Through meticulous planning and execution, the goal of enhancing the property’s marketability while securing a healthy ROI remains paramount in my renovation decisions.

Essential Home Improvements

A house with fresh paint, updated kitchen, and modernized bathrooms. New flooring, improved curb appeal, and energy-efficient upgrades

The best renovations to do before selling that offer a significant return on investment and make a property more appealing to potential buyers. These upgrades should enhance both the functionality and aesthetic of key areas, such as the exterior, kitchen, and bathrooms.

Creating Curb Appeal

Landscaping is crucial as it’s the first impression buyers get. I ensure the lawn is manicured, and I add fresh mulch to garden beds. Incorporating a few perennial plants adds a splash of colour. A strategic upgrade like manufactured stone veneer on the front facade can elevate the home’s exterior look significantly. Fresh paint on the front door and upgrading exterior lighting fixtures can also make a home more inviting.

Boosting the Kitchen’s Appeal

In the kitchen, even a minor kitchen remodel can yield a substantial return. I suggest investing in modern yet timeless cabinets and countertops. High-quality flooring and updating lighting fixtures are also essential. If the budget allows, new appliances in stainless steel appeal to most buyers.

Bathroom Updates

For bathrooms, focusing on the details can make a big difference. Updating fixtures like faucets and showerheads to contemporary styles and replacing lighting can transform the space. Consider minor tile work or repainting with a calming, neutral palette. This refresh doesn’t require extensive investment yet noticeably improves the space’s feel and function.

Fixing and Updating Essentials

Best renovations to do before selling: new paint, updated fixtures, and repaired floors

Before I list the essentials, it’s important to prioritize repairs and updates that will make a house more appealing without overcapitalizing. My focus is on cost-effectiveness and appeal to potential buyers.

Maintenance and Repairs

Roofing and HVAC: Regular maintenance is a sign of a well-cared-for home. I ensure that the roofing is without leaks or missing shingles, and the HVAC system is functioning efficiently. These are fundamental for a home’s integrity.

  • Minor Repairs: Things like nail holes and small dings in walls are minor issues but they can detract from a home’s appeal. I recommend a simple patch and paint job to present your home in the best light.

Aesthetic and Functional Upgrades

Kitchen Upgrades:

  • Cabinetry: If cabinetry is dated, a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can do wonders. Replacing hardware is also an inexpensive way to modernize the kitchen.

  • Countertops: While granite is a popular choice, I suggest more cost-effective, yet still appealing, alternatives to ensure the best return on investment.


  • Hardwood Floors: In living areas, hardwood floors are a valuable upgrade. They’re durable and have a timeless appeal. If the cost is prohibitive, high-quality laminate can be a good alternative.


  • Light Fixtures – Cost-effective update: Mismatched or outdated light fixtures can be easily replaced for ones that offer a more contemporary look.

Garage Door Replacement:

  • A new garage door improves both aesthetic and functionality, which could enhance curb appeal as well as security. It’s an upgrade that I notice often recoups a good portion of its cost in the final sale price.


  • The condition of the siding adds to the first impression. If it’s in disrepair, I recommend fixing it. If replacement is needed, I choose an option that offers durability and curb appeal.

Finalizing Your Sale

A freshly painted exterior, updated kitchen, and modernized bathrooms enhance the appeal of a home before sale

Before securing a successful home sale, it’s essential to showcase the house effectively, comprehend the current market with the help of a real estate agent, and be aware of the necessary legal and financial steps. Getting these facets right can facilitate a smoother and more profitable transaction.

Staging Strategies

Staging a home can greatly influence first impressions. I focus on neutral decor to appeal to a wide array of buyers and use minimalistic furniture arrangements to highlight the space available. Here are quick tips to enhance staging:

  • Declutter: Clear surfaces and remove personal items.
  • Lighting: Ensure rooms are well-lit, using natural or artificial light.
  • Furniture: Arrange pieces to maximize space and flow.

Navigating the Market with an Agent

Partnering with an experienced real estate agent can be a game-changer. My agent provides insights into the latest market trends, news, and strategies tailored for first time buyers and seasoned purchasers alike. More specifically:

  • Listing: The agent helps price my home competitively and markets it effectively.
  • Negotiation: They bring their negotiation skills to the table, aiming for the best possible sale price.

Legal and Financial Considerations

Understanding the legal and financial aspects of selling a home is crucial. I stay informed on all matters to ensure compliance and protect my interests. Key elements include:

  • Insurance: Confirming all insurance policies are up-to-date during the sale process.
  • Documentation: Ensuring all disclosure statements and sales documents are accurate and complete.

In conclusion, the best renovations to do before selling requires focusing on the right areas can make all the difference. By investing in key upgrades such as a fresh coat of paint, modernizing the kitchen, updating the bathrooms, and enhancing curb appeal, you can attract potential buyers and maximize your return on investment. Remember, first impressions matter, so take the time to address any necessary repairs and declutter your space. With these top renovations in mind, you’ll be well on your way to selling your home quickly and at a desirable price. Happy renovating!


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