It may seem like a good idea to renovate certain aspects of your home before you sell, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a full return.

Today I want to talk to you about which improvements you can make that will maximize your home’s value.

A lot of people think that if they put in a new kitchen for $25,000, they’ll get a full $25,000 in return. That’s not always the case.

I spoke with an appraiser at a meet-and-greet this morning about whether or not a good guideline existed to gauge home value. He said that when they looked at comparable sales, he looked at other homes in the area both with and without recent renovations (like new kitchens), and compare the prices.

So in a lot of cases, you shouldn’t expect to see a dollar-for-dollar return on something like a new $25,000 kitchen, especially if it’s a custom kitchen in a higher-end home—you may only see a 50% to 60% return on that.

Be careful when you’re doing these upgrades to sell your home. Contact a professional to come out, look at your home, and do a comparable sale analysis. Have homes in the area had similar updates? If so, were they full remodels or just partial ones, where you only replaced certain features like vanities or light fixtures?

When we meet with our stager to come through the property, they’ll make recommendations such as changing the marble countertops to quartz, switching your faucets or light fixtures. Don’t be a Harry Homeowner and try to make these changes yourself without professional help unless you’re experienced— lousy renovations can seriously damage the value of your home.

“Lousy renovations can seriously damage the value of your home.”

Make sure you know what you’re spending, and whether or not that will help you sell the home, and get a return on your investment. For example, some people want to get a new roof installed when the roof is 15 years old, and there are still five years of life left in it—here, you shouldn’t expect to get the $8,000 to $10,000 that you spent on it as a return. It’s not worth investing the money in. If there was water damage or missing shingles, that would be a different story.

Spend your money in the right places; that’s where contacting a professional will come in handy. Making improvements on a home that you’re going to live in for awhile is fine, and you can spend a little more on those changes, but it’s a good idea to stay away from trendy renovations. Trends come and go, and there’s no guarantee you will be doing your home a favor.

There will be a different analysis for some who bought their home 10 years ago versus someone who bought 20 years ago, just based on what they may have to do to get the home ready to sell as far as upgrades go. So just know where you’re at, and again, contact a professional to help.

If you want an accurate assessment of your house, give us a call. We’d be glad to walk through the home, give you suggestions, show how you compare to other homes, and give you a good value.