Home Seller FAQ Should I Update My House Before Selling?

Real Estate Agent with The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803

Deciding to sell your present home but want to make a few adjustments before listing? Here are some tips for what is important and what is not important to update when selling a  house:

Important updates:

  • Repainting walls and ceilings to a neutral color
  • Refinishing or replacing worn or outdated flooring
  • Repairing or replacing any broken fixtures, appliances, or hardware
  • Replacing or updating old or worn-out windows and doors
  • Updating the kitchen and bathrooms to modern styles and fixtures

Not important updates:

  • Adding high-end luxury finishes or features that won't add value to the home
  • Making changes that are too personalized or unique to your taste
  • Adding expensive landscaping or outdoor features that may not appeal to all buyers
  • Over-improving for the neighborhood, such as adding high-end finishes to a modest home in a lower-priced area
  • Making major structural changes that are costly and may not be worth the investment in terms of resale value.

Remember that while some updates can help increase the value and appeal of your home, you should also consider your budget and the potential return on investment for each project. Consult with a real estate agent or home staging professional to help you make the best decisions for your specific property and market.


Bottom Line: Aim to do just enough to get buyers interested, but don't “over-improve” your present home to the point of losing money. The return may not match the investment spent!
When you're ready to sell your Long Island home or condo, the REALTORS® to call are Lawrence & Sheila Agranoff. Let's chat! Cell: 631-805-4400
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Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff are more than just Real Estate Agents. To attain the designation of REALTORS®, we have proven to be more knowledgeable & experienced, above and beyond the average requirements. Being part of the network referred to as REALTORS®, you can be sure we will cater to your Real Estate needs with superior professional practices.
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Comments (11)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Sheila and Larry... great advice to not over-improve. I'm always warning my own clients not to do it in general and also when they are thinking about selling.

May 26, 2023 04:24 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Yes, it's possible to do too much and you won't ever recoup your costs!

May 26, 2023 04:42 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I had a seller who would not take up the carpet in his home - the buyer did once we closed and the floors were stunning - so sad the seller wasted time on market and lost money

May 26, 2023 04:48 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Larry and Sheila. If a seller is questioning what to do they should consult with experienced agents before commencing work. Some work will help and some will not. Enjoy your day.

May 26, 2023 05:08 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Larry and Sheila,

Wise tips concerning getting your home ready to go to market. For some who have not anything in years it's a struggle because there are so many things they need to do. Always talk to an experienced agent to narrow that list down to a manageable and realistic list!

May 26, 2023 05:28 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

We are closing today for a seller that followed the do's to this post.   They invested $25,000 to clean, paint and update their condo and recovered $50,000 when it went under contract.

May 26, 2023 05:42 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Good points!  Paint and carpet is the easiest and cost-effective way to sell. Bill 

May 26, 2023 05:43 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Your advice is spot on!  Sellers better be listening to you when you advise them, so they will get top-dollar when you sell their home for them!

May 26, 2023 06:25 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good advice to share with home sellers.

Have a great day and a very special holiday weekend.

May 26, 2023 07:24 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Sheila,

This is great advice for home sellers.  Do just enough and hit your key points for ROI.

May 26, 2023 11:04 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Larry and Sheila- these are excellent tips. The best thing to do is speak with your local agent who can guide you about what updates are needed and which ones can wait. 

May 26, 2023 02:41 PM