DO Upgrade This…DON’T Upgrade That. Great Tips Before You Sell!

Making the decision to sell your house is stressful enough. But then throw in the stress of wondering “what can we do to help it sell quickly and get our money’s worth?” Well, I found an interesting article from the folks at Real Simple and they did just that. They made it ‘real simple’ to sort through the top DO THIS…DON’T DO THAT before you sell.

Maybe putting a pool in ISN’T the best use of your money…I dunno…let’s find out!


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First, let’s take a look at the DO THIS list: 

#1 Upgrade Your Kitchen – YES!


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The kitchen is the ‘heart’ of your home and all experts agree THIS is a great spot to invest before your sell. Maybe adding stainless steel appliances or even changing your drawer / cabinet ‘pulls’ to give them a fresh look. Or install a new, fresh, shiny faucet. If your budget can handle it, even knocking down a wall and making the room feel more welcoming will come back to you in the value of your home. **Personally, we added built-in bench seating in our kitchen and it increased the value of our home tremendously as it compared to the cost of the project itself. 

#2 Revamp Your Bathroom – YES!


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If your toilet looks dirty / old to you…it will to your buyers as well. Maybe install a new toilet or new sink. And try to add space if you replace a sink or counter. And instead of a new tub, have it “reglazed” – this will make it look shiny and clean for a fraction of the cost!

#3 Go Green / Energy Efficient – YES!


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Going Green has become the high standard as homeowners want the most efficient equipment keeping the hot air “out” in the summer and the warm air “in” during the winter. From adding efficient systems to adding ceiling fans in every room  – the range is large. A new storm door can even make a difference.

#4 Sprinkler System – YES!


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This is a splurge – but trust me, it’s worth it. Homeowners like having a yard that is easy to maintain and sprinklers that turn on and off automatically is perfect for family on the go. Plus, it makes the homeowner WANT to do more landscaping which is always nice for added curb appeal.

#5 Surround Sound – YES!


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Surround sound is just magical when entertaining as is allows you to stream music throughout the house. Or maybe just wire the system for the TV in den. It will make watching sporting events so much more exciting! Great selling point for the ESPN fan in the home!

Now, let’s take a list at the “No-No’s”

#6 Put In A Pool – NO!


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Pools look lovely but the cost and required maintenance usually outweighs the selling benefit. And the additional ‘drowning’ liability might keep a young family away from your home. NOTE: Not all states can even enjoy the pool but for only a few months at a time as they might experience more fall / winter months than others.

#7 Convert A Bedroom – NO!


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Steer clear of converting a bedroom into a specialty room, such as a library or wine cellar. If you already have a room like that, find a way to ‘undo’ some of it so that the new prospective owner can envision an easy switch back to the much needed bedroom with little effort.

#8 Replace Carpeting – NO!


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Avoid carpet altogether. Most people want hardwood flooring for a variety of reasons. If hardwood floors are too expensive, there are “engineered” wood flooring that is available for a fraction of the cost and looks amazing!

#9 Install Ornate Lighting – NO!


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If you feel the need to upgrade your lighting fixtures, go cheap. All experts agree that you will not recoup your cost from the expensive / vintage / antique chandeliers. Keep in mind, the buyer might need to convert that fancy dining room into an office or bedroom. It would be a shame to waste a beautiful lighting fixture as well as your money.

#10 Renovate The Garage – NO!


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Some folks have converted their garage to a play room or spare bedroom, but they probably will come to regret that decision when it’s time to sell. Most (and by most I mean all) buyers want and NEED a garage to be a garage. They need and want a place to store a car, bikes, the lawn mower and other various yard tools.  So, steer clear of putting too much ‘bling’ into your garage.

Thank you, Real Simple, for helping us prioritize our home improvements based on what will help us sell and where can we recoup our expense. This is truly helpful!!


HT RealSimple