Top Home Updates That Can Really Pay Off When You Sell Your Home

Updated kitchen

The market is currently in favor of sellers, with low-interest rates, rising home prices, and limited inventory. That doesn’t mean, though, that you’re off the hook when it comes to getting your house sale-ready. If you want to get the best asking price (and who wouldn’t?), there are certain updates that will deliver a higher ROI than others. Think of it this way: The money you’re going to spend to make your home look amazing is going to be far less than what a buyer is willing to pay.

The following updates will help sellers maximize their home improvement investments:



We’ve all been in stunning kitchens that could be featured in regional lifestyle magazines, and we’ve all been in kitchens that leave a little something to be desired. Those dream kitchens can have a tremendous impact on the sale of your home. On the flip side, ugly kitchens can be a deal-breaker. Some buyers won’t even bother to look at a house with outdated appliances. No granite countertops? No problem (for some), but for others—solid surface countertops are a definite bonus—but only if the cabinets are in good condition. It doesn’t make sense to invest in granite if the cabinetry needs to be replaced. If you’re going to update your kitchen, do it right. If you don’t have the budget, cosmetic updates can give your kitchen a mini facelift, including a fresh coat of paint, replacing the lighting, re-staining the cabinetry, and installing new plumbing fixtures.



When it comes to increasing the value of your home, the second-most important room is the bathroom. This is your sanctuary—and a room that’s frequently seen by visitors. An instant turnoff for many people is a dirty or cluttered bathroom. Before you list your house, take the time to deep clean, scrubbing the tiles and grout—and don’t forget to organize your medicine cabinet, too (yes, some buyers are just that nosy). A complete bathroom overhaul can take a big bite out of your bank account and isn’t always necessary. You can enhance the space by replacing fixtures, repairing chipped surfaces, adding storage space, replacing the sink and faucet, and upgrading lighting and mirrors.


Laundry Room

Many newly-built homes now have a multi-purpose laundry room on the main level, doubling as a mudroom and dedicated clothes-folding and ironing space. There are still plenty of homes with laundry rooms on the upper level or in the basement, but it’s becoming more and more common for builders to add first-floor laundries to the layout. This could possibly be due to their proximity to the (also increasingly popular) first-floor master bedroom. If installing a first-floor laundry room isn’t a financially viable option—or just isn’t conducive to the layout of your home—look for simple ways to spruce up the current location of your washer and dryer. Put down rugs, install warm lighting, or paint the walls. Small touches can make a big impact.


Outdoor Space

Your home’s outdoor space is almost as important as your interior when it comes to charming potential purchasers, particularly when you live in Minnesota.  A little goes a long way when “bringing the indoors out” and expanding your living space to the outdoors. Landscape lighting can create a cozy ambiance (and serve as a safety feature), patios, decks, and fire pits can encourage gathering, and low-maintenance landscaping can appeal to busy people. Before listing your home, apply a fresh layer of mulch, buy some container plants, and power wash any dirty surfaces. If you’re going for the wow-factor,  design an outdoor kitchen. No doubt it will spark conversations and interest amongst those who enjoy entertaining al fresco.


HVAC Updates

Is it time, too, for an HVAC update? The average lifetime for your core HVAC equipment (furnace, air conditioner, and water heater) is about 15-20 years. Water heaters sometimes last as few as 8. If your HVAC units are approaching a decade old, you’ll have to decide whether the price bump you’ll get with newer units is enough to offset the cost of upgrading. Some buyers might shy away from a system reaching the end of its lifetime, worried that it will break down soon after they move in and saddle them with costly replacement fees. Other HVAC technology updates you might consider include adding a programmable thermostat, a whole house surge protector, and a sprinkler system. Weighing the relative costs and benefits of performing various home updates is a conversation you should be having with your realtor and a trusted HVAC professional. Schedule an expert consultation before making any updates by contacting Bonfe today.

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