The Best Home Improvements Before Selling in 2024

Selling your home in today’s market offers plenty of benefits. You’ll receive more for your home with the ability to negotiate favorable terms and minimize your home’s time on the market.

However, sellers who hope to secure a high sale price may consider making home improvements before selling. This is one of the best strategies to increase the value of the home, but all too often sellers choose the wrong type of upgrades when preparing for the sales process.

This article discusses the best home improvements to make before selling your home this year, plus some actionable tips on the benefits of home upgrades along with our top tips on home improvement success.

Why Make Home Improvements?

It’s no secret that improving the overall appeal of your property with home improvements is beneficial for sellers. Here are the top reasons you should consider making upgrades before listing your property:

  • Increased Home Value: Perhaps the top reason sellers choose to make home improvements is to increase their home’s value before selling. Updating key areas of the home like the kitchen, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces can significantly increase its market value.
  • Quick Sale: It’s been proven that visually appealing homes in good condition sell faster than homes in need of extensive repairs or renovations. Making improvements before selling attracts more potential buyers and reduces the time spent on market.
  • Competitive Advantage: In highly competitive real estate markets, selling a well-maintained home updated with the latest appliances may give you a competitive advantage over other sellers. Buyers are more likely to choose a property that’s move-in ready and requires less work.
  • Negotiating Power: Sellers have more leverage and negotiating power with buyers when the home is in good condition. Buyers are more likely to meet your asking price or agree to your terms if they see value in the property.

Best Home Improvements Before Selling

Not all home improvements are created equal. In fact, some home improvements may end up costing you more than the value they add to the home.

Let’s talk about the best home improvements before selling, their costs, and how to decide if you should invest in these upgrades.

HVAC System Upgrade

Old and outdated HVAC systems are not only inefficient in heating and cooling the home, but also cause a spike in utility bills for homeowners. Upgrading the HVAC system adds value to the home and reduces future utility bills for new owners.

However, upgrading the HVAC system isn’t necessary in some cases and can be costly. According to Forbes, the average HVAC system replacement costs $8,000 in 2024 but can pay off for sellers.

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen remodels are one of the most popular home improvements before selling – and also one of the most expensive. The price for a full remodel varies significantly, often depending on your location, materials used, contractors, and installed appliances.

Here’s what sellers should expect to pay when starting a full kitchen remodel according to Zillow:

  • Average cost: $63,000
  • Return on investment: $37,000
  • ROI %: 59 percent

As you can see, you may not receive a full 100 percent return on investment with your kitchen remodel. However, investing in a kitchen upgrade will likely reduce the time spent on market and attract more interested buyers that could drive up the final sale price.

Bathroom Remodel

Just like the kitchen, bathrooms are one of the most important aspects of a home that receive a lot of attention from interested buyers. This means attractive bathrooms with visually appealing paint and fixtures can significantly increase the home’s value.

The only problem is that bathroom remodels can be expensive. Here’s the average cost and ROI for a full bathroom upgrade:

  • Average cost: $24,000
  • Return on investment: $16,000
  • ROI %: 66 percent

Keep in mind that the cost for a bathroom remodel also varies based on your location and the scope of the project. Some bathroom renovations include new tile flooring, showers, toilets, lighting, and full additions.

Garage Door Replacement

Believe it or not, but replacing your garage door provides one of the best return on investment (ROI) out of all the home improvements available to homeowners. 

Exterior renovations like garage door replacements greatly enhance curb appeal and help make a positive first impression to buyers. Here’s what you should expect in terms of cost and ROI for a garage door replacement:

Average cost: $4,300

Return on investment: $4,400

ROI %: 102 percent

Homeowners should understand they have plenty of options when it comes to upgrading their garage door. They can opt for an entirely new garage system, paint the exterior, lubricate moveable components, install an electric opener, or make hidden improvements like roller replacements or upgrading garage springs.

Window Replacement

Replacing old windows improves a property’s visual appeal both inside the home and outdoors. Additionally, most homeowners are unaware that energy-efficient windows can help reduce utility bills by minimizing heat transfer and increasing UV protection.

Average cost: $20,000

Return on investment: $13,000

ROI %: 65 percent

Window replacement isn’t always an essential home improvement, but old and inefficient windows can lead to problems during the sales process. Inoperable windows with broken glass or damaged parts should be replaced before selling, while minor window issues like condensation or small scratches may be left alone.

Roof Replacement

Similar to window replacement, replacing your roof isn’t absolutely necessary in most cases. The decision should come down to your selling circumstances and, most importantly, the condition of your roof.

If your current roof is old, damaged, or leaking, it’s probably a good idea to fix or replace it before selling. On the other hand, if your roof is generally in good shape, you probably don’t need to rush for a replacement.

Those looking into roof replacements should expect a high price tag, as it’s an upgrade that’s only needed once every five to ten years in many cases.

Average cost: $29,000

Return on investment: $17,800

ROI %: 61 percent

Like many upgrades on our list, replacing your roof not only enhances its curb appeal, but also ensures the safety of new homeowners. The roof is one of the primary components of a home and is a major point of emphasis that buyer’s look for when shopping.

Final Thoughts

Sellers looking to get the most for their home should assess their property to see which upgrades are essential. Major issues like a damaged roof, broken windows, or HVAC problems should be addressed immediately, while upgrading the kitchen or bathrooms could add additional value to the home.

Be sure to explore the best home improvements before selling that we’ve gone over here, and check out our blog page for additional resources.

Emanuel Stafilidis

Emanuel opened Capable Home Buyers in 2019 just after moving to the USA from Australia with his wife Angela. The goal of Capable Home Buyers was to grow a small residential real estate portfolio to assist with retirement. Things are progressing very well and the business has grown larger then expected and is now a full time operation. Emanuel works full time from his Chesapeake home office and spends a lot of his time visiting people who want to sell their house.

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