What to Renovate Before Selling (& What NOT to Do)

a partly renovated property under construction

There’s no one answer to the question of what you should do to your home in order to sell it more quickly and for a higher price. The housing market in your area, the condition of your home, and the whims of your buyers are among the many factors that will affect this. However, there are a few important aspects to keep in mind as you decide what’s worth spending money on and what is best ignored.

Here’s a quick guide on what to renovate before selling (and what NOT to fix to save time and cash).

What to Renovate Before Selling

a set of remodeling plans on a workbench with tools

There are a few things to ask yourself when it comes to making a decision about specific fixes. One is whether it is addressing something that would make a buyer decide against putting in an offer. Another is whether it’s a renovation that a buyer would turn around and change yet again.

Think in terms of highlighting the potential of the place rather than trying to fix every little thing. You should consider the price of the renovation versus what you’ll get for it. Kitchen renovations tend to offer good value returns for the investment, but this is not the case for every type of renovation.

The change should be in line with the rest of the house and the neighborhood. High-end features can be attractive and tempting, but in a midrange house, they can clash with the rest of it or can make your house seem out of place among the other homes around it.

Do your due diligence when selling a home and deciding what to renovate. It’s easy to spend too much money on renovation items that can drain your wallet and time. Avoid stress and choose wisely when fixing up your house.

Here are the main things to renovate before selling.

Anything That Impacts Curb Appeal

One thing to think about is curb appeal, which is just a phrase that describes a kind of wow factor you create for potential buyers from the moment they pull up in front of your house. You can increase your curb appeal through such actions as low-cost landscaping or sprucing up your front door.

Minor Interior Refreshes

You may want to consider repainting if the walls in your home are painted a particularly unusual color. No one will get excited about walls in neutral colors, such as beige, but they won’t actually put buyers off either.

Serious and/or Visible Issues

You have to fix any serious flaws, such as roof problems, or anything that is clearly broken, such as a door that won’t shut. You should also look at problems that can be fixed easily but that make a big difference in how things look, like replacing old blinds or an ugly light fixture.

What NOT to Fix Before Selling a House

sell house for cash

Although real estate trends are always changing and some types of renovations are more likely to lead to your home selling, others are simply going to be a waste of your money. You should contact a real estate agent to discuss what to renovate based on their experience and knowledge of your area.

But you also need to ask yourself a few questions about the changes you’re considering to determine if they are worth the time and money. You need to make sure that the renovation will truly add value to your home.

First, know that normal wear and tear are not dealbreakers for most buyers. It’s also good to be able to identify certain house issues, such as broken seals on windows, that don’t actually affect the use of your home.

Broken seals, do not reduce the warmth, coolness, or insulation of the house, and fixing them can end up setting you back hundreds of dollars per window. The moisture that builds up between panes usually does not become a problem or may not for some time.

How to Decide What to Fix (& What NOT to Fix)

a person fixing pipework

Your budget is always going to be the deciding element in what you are able to do. Even if your house is in dire need of a certain repair, if you can’t afford it, it’s not going to happen.

However, there are also ways to make that budget stretch further. If you don’t have the money that you need on hand, you might want to consider taking out a personal loan.

Taking advantage of low-interest loans is a better choice than using your credit card, which will almost certainly offer a high interest. You can shop around online for a loan that suits you.


Any repair work you do decide on does need to be completed. You might feel slightly panicked about a room that needs a lot of work. However, getting a good start on it in the hopes of making the buyer see that you’re being diligent is not the good idea it may seem to be.

The problem is that there’s no guarantee you will complete the work, and a half-done renovation can be less appealing than a place that needs some TLC but that is otherwise intact.

Are you selling a property in Philadelphia or the surrounding areas? At Brotherly Love Real Estate, you can sell a house as is to our expert team for a fair price. There’s no need to complete any renovations or even clear out the property if it’s a hoarder house or an inherited property.

Contact us today to get your FREE cash offer or chat with our expert team of real estate agents.