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What You Should Know About Renovating Your Home for Sale

Selling a home that desperately needs updates comes with a lot of challenges. Homeowners can sell as is to cash home buyers and flippers or make upgrades. Like most homeowners, you might be uncertain if upgrading your home before selling is a good or bad idea.

While you should sell your home at a higher price than you bought, you can’t be sure because some home renovations and upgrades don’t increase your property value enough to break even on these costs. Below are a few things you should know before renovating your home for sale.

Deciding Whether to Renovate Before Selling

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You should contend with several factors beyond your control when deciding whether to renovate before selling. You can make an informed decision by:

  •  Evaluating the current housing market – Is your current real estate market seller or a buyer’s market? If the market favors the former, you shouldn’t invest in renovations beyond basic upgrades. However, if the market is in the latter, you should make significant improvements to attract buyers. You should also check the local listings and compare how long homes in similar conditions took to sell.
  • Consider buyer demands – There are typically two types of buyers, those who want to move in and those who intend to fix and flip the property. If you’ve been in the real estate market for a while, you’ve probably seen the popular phrase “We Buy Houses for Cash” from cash home buyers. Homebuyers looking for ready-to-move-in homes aren’t interested in renovations before moving in.

What Does Renovation Entail?

Like most home sellers, you might anticipate selling your property quickly and for the best price with minimal work. On the other hand, most potential buyers don’t intend to move on and want expensive renovations, such as bathroom and kitchen upgrades, done before closing the deal. You should make remodeling plans depending on your preferred type of buyer. Your renovation plan should depend on the following:

  • Timeline – Very few renovations have a 100% ROI. You should make such upgrades if you intend to stay longer in the home to enjoy them before listing your home. For instance, you can renovate a shabby kitchen if you intend to live there for 5 to 10 years. Don’t renovate your kitchen if you want to move out within a few months.
  • Budget – You should also consider how much you are willing to spend on renovating your home for sale. You should have a rough estimate of the selling price to determine if the renovation is a worthwhile adventure. If remodeling costs won’t improve the selling price significantly, consider selling it as is.
  • Your neighborhood – If your neighborhood has modestly priced properties, even major renovations won’t improve the condition of your home compared to those in the neighborhood.


Deep cleaning, energy-efficient upgrades, a fresh coat of paint, and proper landscaping are simple upgrades that can increase your property value. You should base the decision to renovate your home on the market, price intent, timeline, and budget.

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