Renovating Your Home for Sale

How investing in key renovations can help you sell your home quickly and for the best price

For a homeowner looking to sell their home, renovations may not top their list of priorities. Why should a seller, already contending with the small-scale chaos of selling a house, want to invest more time, energy and money into any construction project, the product of which they won’t even get to enjoy? The answer is ROI. Certain carefully selected renovations can go a long way to increase your homes sale price and find a buyer quickly.

ESTATENVY spoke with Leneiva Head, principal broker and owner of Welcome Home Realty in Nashville to learn how sellers can find an outsized return on a small investment in renovations designed specifically to attract buyers.

EE: What’s the first thing any seller should consider when deciding which renovations to make?

Head: Budget. Like anything else, you’ve got to have a budget planned out, then you can start looking at where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. Start by looking at what kind of renovations you can afford out of pocket, then talk to your broker to see how much you might be able to raise the asking price by implementing certain renovations; your budget may grow.

EE: What are some of the most attractive renovations sellers can make?

Head: The kitchen is the number one space buyers are drawn to, and it can often have the highest return on investment. Different buyers have different tastes in terms of style, but everyone wants to see clean, attractive countertops, backsplashes and appliances. Updating countertops is not a very expensive investment, and it can make a world of difference in the appearance of a kitchen. Granite is very popular right now, as are stainless steel appliances, mosaic backsplashes and tile or hardwood floors. Depending on how far you want to take it, there’s also a lot of room in the kitchen for bells and whistles. There are all sort sorts of cutting-edge appliances and technology that can add a wow factor for potential buyers.

EE: What are some especially low-cost renovations that can help sell a home quickly?

Head: If you aren’t in a position to make any structural renovations, there are still a lot of cosmetic upgrades you can make. Repaint cabinets, buy new knobs and fixtures, like fans and lighting, etcetera. Depending on how long ago you purchased the house, the style of your fixtures may have changed, and those are very easy and inexpensive to update. That goes for every room in the house. You can also get a lot of mileage out of a deep clean. People are always surprised what a difference it makes. Empty out all of your closets, try to make every room look as big and open as you can before showing the house.

EE: Are there modern styles or amenities that buyers expect that often require renovations for older homes?

Head: Older homes tend to have closed off and choppy floor plans, whereas modern homes have big, open spaces, so if you want your home to look modern, that’s a big change you might look into. Taking out a wall to open up a room or combine spaces can create a modern vibe that buyers are looking for. Dining rooms, in particular, have fallen out of fashion. They used to be separate rooms used for formal occasions, but people don’t often use them that way anymore, so if you can open up the dining room and combine it with the living room or kitchen, that can make the home much more inviting to modern buyers.