Top 12+ Upgrades To Make Before Reselling Your Home

Top 12+ Upgrades To Make Before Reselling Your Home

Of course, almost any home that has not been on the market in the last few years should automatically see an increase in value in this current market. But why not increase the value of your home even more with some upgrades that are sure to put you at the top of the pick of homes in Marin?

Most buyers are looking for homes that have a sleek, modern aesthetic with an open floor plan and plenty of natural light. Maybe your home needs a complete makeover, or perhaps a few well-thought improvements are all you’ll need to bring in competing bids. It’s all up to you!

The key to doing any remodels is to try to keep costs down and avoid massive overhauls that have a bad rate of return. You'll want to focus more on functionality, rather than making the bathroom or kitchen overly luxurious. Remember, the more you spend to renovate an area, the harder it becomes to earn back as much on your ROI.

  1. Updating the Kitchen

The kitchen may be the most valuable home renovation you can do. Buyers often look at the kitchen first, before deciding to look at a home in person. Most buyers want a kitchen that's already updated so they don't have to worry about remodeling after moving in.

Small kitchen remodels can return 77.6% of the money that you spend, while a large remodel only returns 58.6%. Be strategic when you choose how much of your kitchen you want to replace.

Remember, minor kitchen remodels will recoup more of their cost on average than a major renovation. Some of the most valuable updates you can make to your kitchen include adding a new stainless steel sink and faucet, replacing the floors and getting new appliances. If your cabinets are solid wood, consider refinishing them if your budget allows.

  1. Get that Bathroom Upgraded

A bathroom remodel doesn't have to be extreme to add value to your home. You can update the flooring, fixtures, toilet, and lighting and earn back much of what you've spent and more.

Many master bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms. This master bathroom has the highest rate of return in comparison with the other bathrooms. If your current master bathroom is not connected to the master bedroom, you may consider a remodel that will connect the two. This will add instant value to your home.

Replacing old light fixtures, countertops, cabinets, toilets, and flooring can also increase the appeal of your home. Bathrooms have the second-highest rate of return on investment, behind kitchens.

  1. Refinish or Install Hardwood Floors

Old carpet is a big turnoff to home buyers as it stores dirt and shows stains. If you have places in your home where the carpet is more than 3 years old, we recommend replacing it to get the most value out of your home. Replacing the carpet is one of the easiest ways to make your home look and smell new again.

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular and desired types of flooring. Wood flooring has been popular for many years and continues to steadily add value to homes.

If you own pets and your carpets look a bit dingy, replacing them with hardwood flooring will be money well spent. Refinishing or installing hardwood floors usually recoups all of the costs and then some.

  1. Paint the Walls in a Neutral Tone

Painting rooms is always an easy way to add value. Many homeowners can do the work themselves and the cost of paint is inexpensive in comparison with other upgrades.

Stick with lighter, more neutral palettes that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. This makes it easier for a buyer to bring their existing belongings into the home without anything clashing.

Painting helps make a room feel fresh and emphasizes natural light. If your walls are already painted in neutral colors, determine if the molding, trim, or windows need a fresh layer of paint.


In 2020, about 44% of real estate agents shared that people cited a desire for more space as their reason for moving.

Homeowners have an increased need for ample space and extra square feet. This desire has only gone up in the wake of the Covid pandemic. There are more Millennials taking care of aging parents these days. There are also more children over the age of 18 moving back in with their parents due to the rising cost of living.

With that in mind, here are some of the best home improvements for resale that help add extra space to your home:

  1. Create An Open Floor Plan

Many older homes are built with closed floor plans that compartmentalize space. This style was popular many decades ago but is no longer a popular trend.

Removing unnecessary interior walls allows a home to feel bigger and more spacious overall. Load-bearing walls need extra support pillars, but most of the interior walls of a home can be moved around.

Open floor plans allow for more creativity in design and decoration. They also allow more natural light to come in. Buyers prefer designs that are spacious and open in areas like the kitchen, living room, and dining room.

Keep in mind that a home requires structural support. If you knock out the wrong wall, you could end up facing a cracked or sagging ceiling. Be sure to consult a contractor before you go wild with a sledgehammer. Removing walls requires an understanding of the structural integrity of your home.

It’s hard to put a monetary value on this type of project because the results will always vary based on your home’s layout. Overall, this is one of the most impactful projects you can do to add instant value to your home.

  1. Finish the Basement

Finishing out a basement that is unfinished adds useful square footage that instantly increases the value of your home. You can expect a finished basement to fetch a 70% ROI on what you spent.

Remodeling your basement can transform that unused space into a new home theater, additional living room, an office, or extra bedrooms and bathrooms. These upgrades can push your home into a higher price bracket not attainable without that extra finished square footage.

There are several factors you'll want to consider before you dive into remodeling your basement. This type of project will often involve flooring and drywall, painting, adding light fixtures, and much more.

While deciding what to do with your basement, first consider the light sources down there. You'll want to allow natural light to enter into rooms whenever possible.

Basements are a natural source of mold growth due to lingering dampness. You’ll also want to consider the best arrangement to allow airflow to keep moisture from building up in remote areas.

  1. Extend Your Kitchen or Living Room

Adding a second story or a sunroom to a home is popular in remodeling magazines, but those are costly additions that don’t yield a high rate of return. If you’re going to extend an exterior wall or ceiling, it’s important to know the best options to get the most value.

Increasing square footage on the kitchen or living room creates the highest and best use of your remodel budget. If you already have a kitchen remodel planned, consider going one step further and extending a wall or two.

The heart of the home is the living room, so extending the square footage in this area is never a bad idea. Large open living areas tend to be the most popular home designs in 2021. If you know that your home needs more room and you want to extend your living space, start with the living room.


If you've spent any time reading about homeownership and renovations, you’ve likely come across the term "curb appeal". Curb appeal is the visual representation of your home while looking at it from the street.

Curb appeal has one of the highest rates of return because it is the first impression of your home. It sets the tone before seeing the inside of the home.

Here are several different ways you can improve your home's curb appeal:

  1. Landscape the Front Yard

The most common way to improve curb appeal is landscaping. All realtors© agree, improving curb appeal boosts your home's value and ability to sell fast, and that includes landscaping. Great landscaping suggests to home buyers that your property is well-maintained throughout.

Part of landscaping a property includes keeping the lawn mowed short, pruning shrubs and trees, applying mulch, and planting perennials and annuals. However, take care to not go too far and cut back too much of your vegetation.

Some homeowners won't be interested in having to spend too much time outside maintaining the landscaping. If you plant a garden that requires weekly attention, this could be a major turn-off to certain buyers.

Focus on easy-to-maintain perennials and shrubs. In dry climates where water is not as plentiful, zero-scaping might be your best option. Choose plants that are low-maintenance and will grow back each year without much work. Make sure to get the right pants for your geographic location.

Another key factor to take into consideration for your landscaping is year-long interest. It’s best to add plants that offer color throughout the various seasons. If you focus on plants that only flourish during spring and summer, but then look like dead twigs throughout fall and winter, you’ll be left with a barren appearance in those seasons.

  1. Garage Door Replacement

Replacing your garage door with a more updated model can recoup the majority of the cost. This is especially true of homes with older elevations. A modern garage door can make a house look decades newer right away.

When shopping for a garage door replacement, you'll want to focus on durable materials. This will include materials like aluminum, steel, and wood composites. If the garage is attached to the home, then you may also want the door to have insulation and an energy-saving glaze.

It may be wise to consult a designer to help you choose the right door. Bold options can be distracting while plain options may not get the maximum amount of impact. A good designer will know how to match the lines of your home with a unique garage door that makes it stand out and add curb appeal to your home.

  1. Stone Veneer On Exterior

Adding stone veneer to the outside walls of your home can earn an excellent ROI. Homes with stone tend to have a luxurious exterior that suggests a higher value than basic stucco or siding.

in the same study referenced above, adding stone veneer had the second-highest rate of return at 92.1%.

A high-quality stone veneer will imitate real stone while costing less money to install. This stone is man-made and shaped with molds, making it very easy to work with. This is a great way to improve the look of an outdated home.

You don't have to add stone to your entire house to get a good cost to value ratio. Adding stone to a small area is more than enough to recoup a hefty return on your investment. You can just install the stone on beams supporting the front porch. You can also add stone to the lower portion of your vinyl siding, rather than a whole wall.

By taking on this project, you'll be able to update an old exterior and bring it to life in a way that very few upgrades can offer.

  1. Steel Front Door

Replacing the front door has always been one of the best upgrades to increase value with minimal financial costs. The front door is the first item that you touch when entering a home. It conveys emotion in a way that not many parts of the home can compete with.

It’s wise to choose a bright color that is eye-catching in contrast to the rest of the exterior. Or think about what you are drawn to when looking at homes in your own neighborhood.

Steel doors are in high demand as they offer strong benefits when it comes to energy efficiency and security. If you're in a cooler climate, they are perfect for blocking out the cold temperatures.

  1. Add a Porch or Deck

A wooden deck or patio addition is an excellent way to boost curb appeal. Many memories are made outside on the front porch, so it tends to boost the emotional appeal of a home.

Building a deck or porch requires a contractor who knows how to avoid wood rot and build to city code. Composite decking is preferred in most cases because it does not rot and does not require painting or staining.

If you plan on adding a concrete patio, consider using stamped concrete. This is a method of adding decorative finishes to the contract to simulate the look of tile or stone. Stamped concrete is a newer method of finishing that creates an impressive look that is popular with home buyers today.

  1. Update Old Windows or Add New Ones

If the windows look old or are deteriorating, you may want to replace them. This can be especially true in homes that are next to high-traffic areas. New windows will keep the outside noise down to a minimum. This can change the entire feeling of your home.

Older homes tend to have smaller windows, so you may benefit from adding larger windows to your home to let more light in. This will cost more money but will have a large impact on the brightness of your interior, which will increase the value of your home.

  1. Refresh the Exterior Paint

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to repaint your entire home to help it look new again. If you're operating on a tight budget, you can focus on the areas where there's more flaking or chipping of paint. Pressure wash the exterior in these areas before painting them. This step will help l remove old dirt and mold.

Once you've cleaned the exterior and scraped away the old paint, choose a shade that matches your current color and then touch up all of the rough areas. Another option is to add a coat of paint to the front door and trim. This alone can help update the look and feel of your home with minimal effort.

  1. Plant a Tree

If you've finished your landscaping and still find that your front yard is empty and gets too much sun, consider planting a tree. If you plan to continue to live in your home for several years before selling, this is an excellent long-term investment.

Shade trees take time to mature, but once they do, they can help cut cooling costs by 35%.

Shade trees are also good for the environment. Trees help to provide habitats for the native wildlife. You'll be able to appreciate the beautiful chirps of songbirds while boosting your curb appeal.

I hope you’ve found this helpful. If you or someone you know is ready to discuss putting their home on the market, I’d love to schedule a phone call or meeting to see how we can make the experience easy – and profitable.  Call me, Tracy Curtis, Coldwell Banker Realty, 415-910 0599.

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Elevate your real estate journey with Tracy Curtis’s dynamic blend of Olympic discipline and Hollywood agent finesse. Guided by transparent communication, Tracy offers data-driven insights tailored to buyers, and strategic marketing solutions for sellers. Her extensive education from UCLA and USC underscores her expertise, and her commitment to excellence and authenticity sets her apart as a trusted partner who goes the extra mile to meet your unique needs. Whether you're buying or selling, Tracy's approach guarantees a seamless and successful process, making your real estate venture truly exceptional.

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