Preparing To Sell Your Home | Is The Remodel Worth It?

By Alyssa Morrison |

When you start the process of listing your home sale, conversations with your real estate agent on how best to market your home are key. Getting people in the door is the first step, and once they’re inside, presenting them with a home they can imagine themselves in is the next. It’s one of the reasons many brokers encourage homeowners to paint their walls a shade of white—so that buyers are seeing a blank canvas where they can make their mark.

But what about remodeling? When it comes to updates for your home, where should you start? And will it be worth the return on investment? With today’s financial outlook—inflation and lending rates that have mostly leveled but are still slightly ticking up–sellers should take safe steps to ensure they’ll make their maximum return.

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market but unsure if you should remodel, ask yourself these four questions:

What room are you looking to update?

When it comes to ROI, experts look at two rooms to remodel first: the kitchen and bathroom. These two rooms will be immediately lived in by the potential buyers, and if features, fixtures, and finishes are outdated, it may be more difficult for them to envision living in the home. Update, but keep things neutral in these spaces, and buyers will likely be drawn to clean and modern finishes.

How big is your home?

This is pertinent to consider if the remodel you’re looking at adds square footage. In an article on RealTrends, the author looked at first-floor bump-outs across five fast-growing markets in the U.S. (although, none in Washington state). In the piece, they explore the value added to the home but found that it also depended on the initial size of the house. The smaller the home to start, the larger the increase in value when you add square footage. So, if your home is located in an area where homes are typically smaller, a remodel to add square footage could garner excellent ROI, as well as stand out from other homes on the market.

Will this update make your home more “livable”?

Updating a kitchen and bathroom can certainly bring additional livability to the home. But if you’re considering what would make your home more inviting before you reconfigure layouts or expand rooms as a part of your remodel, consider improvements that you might not see, but the homeowner would certainly feel: adding insulation, updating windows, and taking other steps to improve the energy efficiency of the home. Likewise, instead of doing a full renovation, consider if it might be a better investment to simply update appliances and fixtures instead.

Where is your home located?

This question may be the most important of all—it’s the one thing a remodel can’t change about your home. For some neighborhoods, a remodel is not worth the time the time or money. If comparable homes near you are in demand and selling fast, it may make more sense to forgo any extensive project and get it on the market as soon as possible.

Of course, you may be an expert on your home, but you’re not expected to be a real estate expert just because you’re ready to make a move. Contact your Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty advisor to start a conversation about what listing will mean for you and how to get the best return on your investment. Not sure who to contact? Email to connect with an expert who is the right match for you and your home.