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Pros & Cons: Remodel Before Selling?

Guest Post: Remodeling: How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Before Selling

If you’re thinking of remodeling portions of your home, you might be a bit leery of the cost involved. But some projects are good investments, and you’ll actually increase the resale value of your home. In this article, we’ll discuss which investments are beneficial and which aren’t when remodeling a home. Note that experts offer differing estimates on returns. It all depends on your area, home, and market. Talk to your real estate agent for a better idea of what sells in your market.

Kitchen Remodel

Good: Minor kitchen remodel -- Resurfacing cabinets and countertops, replacing light fixtures and sinks, and painting the walls will give your kitchen a nice update that will help you sell your home.

Bad: Major kitchen remodel -- You might want an amazing kitchen with new cabinets and an added island, but you’ll only recoup about 60 percent of the costs.

The Bottom Line: A major kitchen remodel might be worth it if you plan to enjoy the kitchen for several years before you sell, or if your current kitchen is in such bad shape you have no chance of selling. In some areas, buyers demand certain finishing touches.

Bathroom Remodel

Good: Minor bathroom remodel -- New linoleum, updated vanity, and tub resurfacing can really boost your resale value. (Note: Beware of tub-resurfacing scams. Use a reputable professional who gives you a warranty.)  

Bad: Adding a bathroom -- A new bathroom doesn’t give much return on the investment, unless you consider not fighting for bathroom time a return. The only exception to this rule is when your house won’t sell because it only has one bathroom. Then it’s a good idea to add one. Also, it might seem counterintuitive, but equipping your bathroom for handicap accessibility with items like a roll-in shower and grab bars does not offer much of a return.

The Bottom Line: If you or a family member need these items, it doesn’t matter what the return will be. Just don’t expect to get that money back later.

The Good:
Landscaping -- Updating the look of your home by sprucing up your outdoor area is a great way to add value to your home without a lot of expenditure. It also adds curb appeal, making your house more welcoming to potential buyers. More good news: You can usually do most of it yourself.

The Bottom Line: Many experts say landscaping can give you more than a 100 percent ROI. That’s money well spent.


The Good: New roof -- A new roof keeps your home energy efficient, prevents leaks, and makes it look better. It can be costly, but the return on investment is high, and it also helps your peace of mind.

The Bad: Roofing scams -- Be careful of scams in which salespeople come around and want to replace your roof after a storm. Not all of these people are scammers, but don’t just hand over your money. Do some research and ask around. Many will remove your roof then demand more money to put a new one on. Or they’ll ask for all the money up front and then skip town. Check online contractor rating sites to see if there have been any issues with the company before.

The Bottom Line: A new roof is a great protector for the home, and a buyer will feel better buying a home with a recently replaced roof. Some newer models of premium shingles even offer warranties of up to 50 years.

Try not to wait until just before you move to do all the work on your home, or you’ll find yourself wishing you’d done it years ago. Most homes have wear and tear that needs to be polished up before being put on the market. Knowing the best investments can help you sell your home fast and for the best price.

(Cover Photo by Pixabay)

Karen Boos