Should You Make Renovations Before Selling Your House?

Title Insurance

When your house is on the market, you never want a potential buyer to think: “What were they thinking?” or “Why would they do that?”


So many times sellers will get the urge to renovate in hopes they will get top dollar for their home. But will knocking down walls and embarking on huge, expensive projects really make your home more valuable to buyers? More often than not, renovations won’t get you the offers you’re hoping for. In fact, some remodeling projects could carry a huge expense and fail to add any resale value to your home. That’s not an exacta you want to hit.


Instead of looking for big projects you think your home needs before it hits the market, there are a lot of small and inexpensive things you can do that can make all the difference. Especially since expensive projects are rarely worth your time and money if your goal is simply to sell your house.


When a potential buyer walks up to your house, will they see flowerbeds full of weeds? Are there scuffmarks all over the walls inside? Do some of the rooms look cluttered? If you walked into a house for sale and saw those things, chances are you wouldn’t be excited about the property. That’s why freshening up your house can give you an edge.


Here are some smaller projects you can do around your house to help you get the offers you want.



Instead of starting a major kitchen remodel or purchasing unconventional appliances, try painting cabinets and switching out hardware. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom and put away small appliances to create the appearance of more counter space.



Just like in your kitchen, a good cleaning will enhance the appearance of your bathroom. A new coat of paint in your bathroom can also do wonders. Humidity in bathrooms causes paint to deteriorate faster than it might otherwise, so a fresh coat in a neutral color will make a big difference.


You can also give your bathroom cabinets a fresh coat of paint and new hardware.


Bedrooms and Living Areas

These rooms could also benefit from fresh paint to cover up scuffs on the walls. Remove any clutter or unnecessary furniture – this will make these rooms look bigger.


Do you have outdated pine closet doors? Replacing them with six-panel doors changes the look of the room without costing much. You could also organize your closets and remove seasonal clothing and coats and store them elsewhere. This will make your closets look bigger when potential buyers peak inside.


A good carpet cleaning can make a difference as well. Depending on the quality of your carpet and underlay, steam cleaning can make your carpet look like it can perform well for the next few years.



Curb appeal is your home’s first impression. Make sure your yard looks cared for – pull weeds, cut the lawn, plant some flowers (depending on the time of year). What do your front door and shutters look like? Sanding and painting them can make them look brand new.


New paint in neutral shades, dust and clutter-free surfaces, and spacious rooms throughout the house will help potential buyers envision themselves living there.


And that’s what every seller wants.


Posted by Frank Dowd, Founder
Associates Land Transfer Company, LLC
(215) 699-1200
Twitter @ALTtitle
Visit for a complete and accurate title quote.

Comments (3)

Bradley Potter, PLLC
Homesmart Realty - Phoenix, AZ
National Association of Expert Advisors

If you can do small things to make it comparable with current market conditions.  You better spend the money.  Example if 8 out of 9 homes that sell have granite kitchens, you probably need to put granite in the kitchen.

Aug 20, 2014 04:22 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Great advice for people thinking of selling their house.  It's best just to freshen it up a little.

Aug 20, 2014 04:28 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

No one ever gets 100% of their invement back so they really need to think carefully about where to put their money if they are renovating for a sale. Some of the best fix-ups for a sale are often the least expensive.

Aug 20, 2014 05:04 AM