Before you embark on a gut of your circa-1990 kitchen, consult with a Realtor and a general contractor about which renovations will yield the biggest return on investment. How much work you’ll need depends on your home’s value, your market, and the comps in your neighborhood.
Committed to doing some work? Start by thinking small. Minor cosmetic upgrades go a long way in getting more buyers through the door for a quicker sale.
Where to start? Here are some suggested upgrades from Debra Kearns at Realtor.com (and some to avoid):
Walls and floors
Paint color matters. Shades of gray are in with buyers right now; stay away from tan and beige hues. The same goes for new carpet. A sturdy, builder-grade fiber in a neutral color that doesn’t compete with your wall color is the way to go.
With these enhancements, you can expect roughly a 15% uptick in asking price.
According to Remodeling magazine, replacing your existing front door with a new steel door will net you a 101.8% return on resale for a minimal replacement cost of about $1,230. It’s the first and last thing you’ll touch on your home visit. It makes an impression.
Installing a new garage door has an impact on buyers, too. Even better: It offers an 88% return at resale and costs an average of about $1,600 to replace, according to the Remodeling report.
A modern kitchen is a top draw for buyers—but don’t try to overhaul a dated one. Buying new cabinet drawer pulls, painting or refacing old cabinets (white is in right now), and installing sleek light fixtures are all low-cost upgrades that will make your kitchen sparkle.
Upgrades to skip
Thinking about finishing an attic or basement? Adding a deck? Well, don’t. Those upgrades tend to be pricey, and buyers will likely prefer to remodel those areas to their own tastes.
Other areas to avoid doing a major renovation: bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices.
In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t renovate it!
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