Agents Say These are the Renovations that Make Your Home More Marketable

Kitchen draw of utensils

If you’ve got your eyes on selling your home or vacation property in the near future, then it’s time to start thinking about some rehab work. 

It might sound like a hassle, but the right renovation projects have the potential to both up your home’s appeal with buyers and increase its value (as well the price point you can ask for it). 

What exactly are those “right” projects, though? According to real estate agents, on the inside, it’s a complete kitchen renovation. Outdoors, it’s adding a new roof.

Interior Renovations Projects as Ranked by Agents

The best thing you can do for your property is a complete kitchen renovation, a project that agents rank as No. 1 for both improving a home’s resale value and its appeal with buyers.

A general kitchen upgrade can also help, agents say. In fact, 40% of real estate agents have suggested sellers do some sort of kitchen update before listing their home for sale. Another 20% say doing so actually helped close the sale.

Here are some other projects that agents say can improve your home’s appeal and value:

  • Replacing the HVAC unit
  • Adding new wood flooring
  • Renovating the bathroom
  • Adding a new bathroom
  • Refinishing hardwood flooring
  • Adding a new master suite
  • Converting your basement to a living area
  • Upgrading the insulation
  • Renovating the closets
  • Converting your attic to a living area

In terms of getting your money back on the project, agents say new wood flooring is your best bet. These generally net you about $5,000 on a home sale — or around 106% of the average cost. Refinishing existing wood flooring, replacing your HVAC unit, and upgrading your insulation also offer decent ROI.

Exterior Renovation Projects as Ranked by Agents

On the exterior of your home, a new roof is the biggest value-add, according to agents, while new vinyl windows come in second.

New roofing typically adds around $8,000 to the value of a home — or 107% of the average cost. Nearly 40% of real estate agents have recommended a client replace their roof before listing the home. A full third say doing so ultimately helped close the sale.

Other exterior projects that agents say can improve your home’s appeal or value include:

  • Adding new vinyl or fiber-cement siding
  • Installing a new garage door
  • Adding new wood windows
  • Installing a new fiberglass or steel front door

A new garage door adds the most value, just after new roofing. According to agents, updating your garage door will net you about $2,000 — or 95% of the average project cost. A new steel front door offers about a 75% ROI.

Renovations Aren’t Just for Sellers

You don’t have to save renovations until you’re ready to sell. In fact, according to NAR, 65% of homeowners have “increased enjoyment of their home” after completing renovations, while a whopping three-quarters say they have a greater desire to actually be on the property. Another 77% feel a sense of accomplishment once their renovations are complete.

If you plan to stay in your home awhile, making some choice upgrades and changes can be a great way to add comfort and convenience. This could include changing out aesthetic items, like countertops or floorings, or making major additions like a new suite, an in-ground swimming pool, or a patio.

Here are some of the projects that agents say offer the most “joy” for existing homeowners:

  • Complete kitchen renovations: 93% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 95% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property. 
  • Full interior paint job: 88% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 68% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property
  • Kitchen upgrades: 85% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 74% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property
  • New front door: 79% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 67% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property
  • Basement conversions: 85% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 65% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property
  • Closet renovations: 72% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 59% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property
  • New wood flooring: 78% of homeowners have a greater desire to be in their home, 67% have an increased sense of enjoyment on the property

Out of all interior and exterior projects evaluated by real estate agents, complete kitchen renovations came in with the highest overall “joy score.” (It got a perfect 10 out of 10).

Paying for Those Home Renovations

If you’re looking to improve your home’s value, marketability, or just overall comfort with any of the above renovations, you don’t have to break the bank to do it. Rehab loans, like FHA 203(k) loans, or a cash-out refinance could help you cover the costs.

Get in touch with an Embrace Home Loans team member to learn more about your options today.

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