A Complete Guide to House Updates that Pay Off at Resale

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Thinking about putting your house up on the market soon and trying to sell it for top dollar? It’s a great time to do it, seeing as how the real estate market as a whole is red hot right now.

Before you stick a “For Sale” sign out in your front yard, though, you should consider making certain house updates to your home. You could make your home more attractive to buyers and fetch higher offers for it when you make the right home updates.

So, what is the best way to update your home and ensure that it pays off in the end? There are some tips for updating your home that you should follow to get the best possible results.

Check out our guide to making house updates that will pay off at resale below—and then get to work!

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Begin by Doing Whatever It Takes to Improve Your Curb Appeal

When people pull up in front of your home for the first time and look at it, what is their initial impression going to be? It’s all going to depend on how much time you’ve devoted to improving your home’s curb appeal.

If your house doesn’t have much curb appeal at all, people might not even bother to stop and take a look inside your home. It’s why curb appeal is so important in the grand scheme of things.

When you’re first starting to do house updates in the hopes of raising the value of your home, you should kick things off by making a concerted effort to improve curb appeal. You can do this by:

  • Painting your front door a color that makes a strong statement
  • Powerwashing your front porch, your driveway, your walkways, and more
  • Freshening up your landscaping with flowers, plants, trees, etc.
  • Adding landscape lighting to the mix to bring your house to life at night

People should fall in love with your home to some degree the second that they pull up in front of it. Your curb appeal is what’s going to make this possible.

Make Sure You Have a Reliable Roof Over Your Head

Do you have an asphalt shingle roof that has been sitting on top of your home for more than 20 or 25 years now? If you do, there’s a good chance that it has seen better days at this point.

Although replacing your home’s roof might not seem like one of the most exciting house updates, it’s one that can add a ton of value to your home in a hurry. Homebuyers will love the fact that they aren’t going to have to worry about replacing the roof on your house anytime soon if they buy it.

You should automatically be able to add at least a few thousand dollars to your home’s value by replacing the roof on it. It’s also a great way to give your curb appeal a boost since you won’t have to be concerned about your roof serving as an eyesore.

Consider Replacing Your Exterior Doors and Windows

Earlier, we alluded to how painting your front door can help with your home’s curb appeal. You can make your house stand out when you stick a fresh coat of paint on your front door.

But if your front door is on the older side, you might also want to think about going the extra mile and replacing it altogether. Outside of setting the tone for your home’s curb appeal, your front door also plays a vital role in its safety and security. So replacing it could make your home as a whole more valuable.

While you’re at it, replacing the windows in your home could also be a great idea if they’re getting up there in age. New windows will improve your home’s appearance. They’ll also:

  • Make your home more energy-efficient
  • Improve the air quality in your home
  • Increase your home’s security

Just make sure that you hire the right window installers for the job. As long as you do this, your replacement windows should pay off in a big way later on.

Tackle a Major Kitchen Remodel Head-On

The kitchen has turned into the most important room in almost every home. It’s obviously where people gather to cook and eat. But it’s also where people convene to hang out and talk about their days regularly.

With this in mind, you should not put your house up on the market and attempt to sell it if the kitchen isn’t in excellent shape. Even if you can’t afford to do any of the other house updates on this list, you should make sure that this one is a top priority.

Your goal should be to make your kitchen shine by doing a major remodel. If you play your cards right, you could see a return on investment of more than 90%, depending on where your home is located.

But whatever you do, don’t pass up on the opportunity to do some remodeling in an older kitchen before trying to sell your home. You’re going to be making a huge mistake if you do this since it’s going to turn many homebuyers off and result in you bringing in lower offers overall.

Remodel the Bathrooms Throughout Your Home As Well

The kitchen shouldn’t be the only area of your home where you do at least a little bit of remodeling. In addition to checking out the condition of your kitchen, many homebuyers are also going to be interested to see what kind of shape your bathrooms are in.

If you have several bathrooms in your home, remodeling every single one of them might not be in the budget for you. On average, bathroom remodeling tends to cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 for a normal-sized bathroom.

You should, however, try to get the main bathroom in your home looking its absolute best prior to listing your home for sale. You might also want to spend some time working on the master bathroom if you have one.

You can get a great return on investment when you remodel a bathroom and bring it up to speed. Homebuyers will be impressed when they see all the work that you’ve done in a bathroom.

See If There Is a Place to Put Another Bedroom

Is there any possible way to add a bedroom somewhere in your house? If you can swing it, this will usually add tens of thousands of dollars to your home’s value and open it up as an option to home buyers that might not consider buying your house otherwise.

Some homeowners will find a way to turn an unfinished attic into an extra bedroom. Others will take a den that’s not being used and create an extra bedroom with it.

If your home is on the smaller side, adding an extra bedroom to the mix might not be possible. But it’s worth at least considering what you might be able to do if you have some extra space available.

Finish Off Your Basement to Help It Fulfill Its Potential

If you happen to have an unfinished basement in your home, you could be sitting on a gold mine. You can help your basement to reach its full potential—and make your home more valuable in the process—by finishing it off.

More often than not, it’s not going to be cheap to do it. While you might be able to complete a simple DIY basement refinishing job for just a few thousand dollars, you might also have to pay six figures to finish off a basement with help from the pros.

But even if you have to take that approach and pay a small fortune, it could prove to be well worth it. Finishing off your basement will add more usable square footage to your home and entice people to pay way more than they would otherwise for it.

Rip Up Old Carpeting and Replace It With Fresh Hardwood Flooring

Are the floors in your home currently covered with ratty, old carpets? If so, they’re going to distract homebuyers when they’re walking through your house and give them the wrong impression of it.

In this day and age, there are still some people who like having carpeting in their homes. But the vast majority of people would prefer to have hardwood floors in their houses, which is why you should aim to give them what they want.

Installing hardwood flooring throughout your home could be too costly for you, especially if you have a house that’s on the larger side. But if nothing else, you should try to work hardwood floors into some of the main living areas.

Hardwood floors will instantly give your home a high-end look and feel and make it more modern than it is now. You shouldn’t have any trouble selling it once homebuyers get a glimpse of what your floors have to offer.

Put Up a New Coat of Paint on the Walls

When you painted the walls in your home, you likely went with a bunch of colors that you loved at the time. But unfortunately, those colors might not appeal to everyone out there.

In theory, you might think that homebuyers won’t mind the paint colors on your walls since they’re going to be free to change them if they want after buying your house. But a lot of buyers struggle to look past paint colors that they don’t like and can’t imagine living in a home with those colors on the walls.

You should consider painting your walls nice neutral colors that won’t distract people too much when they’re walking through your home for the first time. There are lots of different colors that you can go with these days to create the right mood in your home.

Painting the walls throughout your home shouldn’t cost you too much money in the end. But it’ll make a big difference in the way that people feel while they’re walking around and seeing everything your home brings to the table.

Think About Adding a Deck or Patio Out Back

One of the last things that people are going to do when they’re taking a tour of your house is head out back to see what your backyard looks like. In a perfect world, you want your backyard to look every bit as amazing as your front yard and put an exclamation point on your home.

You can improve your backyard by leaps and bounds by adding a deck or patio to it and sticking some outdoor furniture out on it. It’ll make your home feel even larger than it is by showing people that they can stretch out and enjoy lots of livable space in your backyard.

Installing something like a new deck is going to call for you to make a pretty big investment in your home. New decks start at right around $15 per square foot and go up from there.

But you’re going to find that creating a backyard space that people love will take your home to the next level. You shouldn’t have any problems selling your house when you update your backyard and make it a place that people want to be.

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These House Updates Should Help Your Home Sell in No Time at All

Updating your house isn’t something that you have to do prior to selling it. There are plenty of people who make the decision to sell their house as-is when they put it up on the market.

But as you’ve seen here, there are so many house updates that you can do to your home to make it more valuable than it is now. You’ll be able to bring in more money at the end of the process when you update your home before selling it.

Consider which home updates might work best for you and then start making them. You’ll be so glad you did later when you start bringing in big offers for your house.

Browse through the rest of the articles found on our blog to get your hands on more informative real estate tips and tricks.