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Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home?

4-Minute Read
Published on June 13, 2023
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Not every house will need renovations before selling. But you’ll need to evaluate the home to decide whether repairs or upgrades are necessary. Ultimately, the decision to renovate before selling can come down to the home’s condition, age and location.

Selling a house is a huge undertaking. And selling your home for as much money as you can make will likely be one of your primary goals. While a home renovation may add value, not all renovations are created equal. Being strategic in your renovation choices can help save time and potentially boost your profits.

Before you embark on a renovation project, let’s look at the type of updates you may consider and when to consider selling a house without remodeling.

The Best Renovations To Do Before Selling

The best renovations or upgrades may not be the typical bathroom renovation or kitchen remodel you have in mind. While these renovations can add value in the right situation, sometimes focusing on unifying or functional repairs can make the biggest difference.

Not sure which updates may be best for your situation? Check with your local REALTOR® or real estate agent and get suggestions tailored to your situation.

Let’s also look at some renovations and repairs that, according to our research, can add the most value to your home.

Garage Door Replacement

It may seem simple, but according to Remodeling by JLC, a garage door replacement may be one of your best bets to recoup your costs from an easy home improvement.

Curb appeal matters to potential buyers and leaves a lasting first impression. A garage door replacement may seem like a simple update, but a practical, attractive replacement can typically earn a return.

New Exterior Siding

Another renovation that can add value to your home is a home siding replacement. You’ll want to ensure your house siding choices fit seamlessly with the siding choices your neighbors are making.

Replacing outdated siding is one of the renovations that will likely make a big impression on home buyers. Manufactured stone veneer, vinyl siding and fiber-cement siding are options that will most likely allow you to recoup your costs.

A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Refreshing the paint throughout your home is one of the most effective ways to make your home look and feel unified. You may live in a beloved, well-kept older home, but repainting only one room may leave the rest of the rooms in your house looking outdated.

If the paint colors in your home are intense and bold, repainting in a neutral color palette can give your entire home a unified feel without breaking the bank. With just a bit of sweat equity, you can make a big impact and boost your home’s value.

Upgraded HVAC

Updating your HVAC may only make sense if your system is broken or outdated. But when selling a home, a new system may add considerable value. For example, upgrading to energy-efficient systems may make the home more attractive to energy-conscious buyers.

Like many other big-ticket repairs or upgrades, a new HVAC system may not be at the top of your renovation to-do list, but keep in mind that a broken or outdated system may turn off prospective buyers.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Replacing or repairing old or broken windows is another energy-efficient upgrade to consider.

Energy-efficient windows can save home buyers money on energy bills. Some states even offer tax credits or deductions for window upgrades. Vinyl and wood windows are popular options that can pay for themselves.

Roof Replacement

A roof replacement may not be the first thing you think of when considering renovations, but replacing a leaky roof may become a necessity rather than a strategic choice.

In fact, a relatively new roof replacement can significantly impact your home’s value. And because home appraisals factor in recent upgrades, a new roof won’t go unnoticed.

Kitchen Remodel

Though it may be tempting to fully renovate your kitchen, a smaller kitchen remodel may be the way to go. Before embarking on a kitchen upgrade, consider what changes will match the style in the rest of your home.

Consider replacing broken appliances, updating fixtures and replacing or refinishing countertops and cupboards. Though modern farmhouse kitchen remodels may be trendy right now, it’s important to stick to classic options so the remodel appeals to a larger pool of home buyers.

Bathroom Remodel

Fancy bathroom remodels may not be the best option to boost your home value. A midrange remodel may be a better investment for your renovation dollars. Not every buyer will want to pay for the luxury of a fancy walk-in shower or granite countertops. The money spent on specialty features may not pay off, but functional finishes can make financial sense.

A midrange remodel that includes replacing major fixtures, adding new tiles, repainting and adding a recessed, lighted medicine cabinet may add value to your home.

When To Sell Your House Without Remodeling

In today's strong seller’s market, it's not only possible but likely that you can sell your home without any remodeling. While most home buyers often want move-in ready homes, given the ongoing housing shortage in many U.S. real estate markets, houses with minor flaws are becoming easier to sell.

If you decide to sell without making any necessary updates, house flippers and iBuyer companies may make competitive offers on your home. iBuyer companies buy fixer-uppers, then rehab and resell the homes or use them for commercial purposes. You likely won’t maximize your sale value if you sell to an iBuyer or a home flipper, but you’ll be able to skip the renovation process entirely if it doesn’t work for your budget or timeline.

The Bottom Line

Renovating before selling can help in certain situations, but renovating isn’t always necessary to make the most of your home sale. If you aren’t sure which updates are best for you, keep it simple or talk to a local real estate professional. Ask them which updates will add the most value to your home.

Ready to begin a home renovation project? Get started today and apply for a home equity loan to make the most of your sale.

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Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.