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Is It Really Worth Updating Your Home Before You Sell It?

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, you might be bombarded with “suggestions” to update your home so that you can get “top dollar” and sell quickly. That may or may not always be the case. If a seller has a budget for renovation, let’s consider how much money they have to spend. There are some things you might want to consider.

Home makeoverFresh Coat of Paint

Having your home freshly painted is a very cost-efficient way to make your home more appealing to buyers. Potential buyers need to be able to “see” their furniture in the space. It’s best to have the rooms decluttered with a neutral color to create a clean palate for them to see all the attributes of the home.

Suggested Solution: If you’re a good painter, you can paint the main rooms yourself. If not, hire a professional to get it done. You don’t have to invest in the top tier quality of paint because most likely the new homeowner will paint after the buy the home.

Man constructing cabinet units in new kitchenRemodeling Kitchens and Bathrooms

The rule of thumb in real estate is that kitchen and bathrooms are the best rooms to renovate. The current trend that most buyer love is the “open floor” concept, where the kitchen, dining, and living room all flow together. This is a great layout if you like to entertain or have small children so that you can see and be engaged with everyone. Unfortunately, not all homes can structurally handle this floor plan. Also, trying to convert a traditional floor plan to an open concept floor plan may increase your renovation costs due to adding structural beams, etc. Another factor is that some buyers prefer a traditional layout and may want to convert a dining room into a first-floor office space. Fashion trends change all the time and without notice. You don’t want to invest thousands of dollars in a reno only to find that newest look that is appealing to buyers is the opposite of what you invested in.

Suggested Solution: Offer buyers a credit to renovate the home. It’s best for the additional funds to go to the renovations that the buyer desires so that they get what they want, within reason of course.


Landscaping and fencing have a direct effect on the “first impression” that a potential buyer has about your home. The saying, “first impressions are lasting impressions” is true with buyers. Unfortunately, some buyers can’t see past the “curb appeal” or lack thereof when they pull up to a home.

Suggested Solution: Hire a landscaping company to basically “clean up” your lawn, with things like edging, trimming bushes, trees, and other vegetation away from the home. I wouldn’t suggest planting a lot of flowers because you never know people’s personal taste and or allergies to plants. Removal of dead trees and bushes can be costly. Check with your village to see if they have any programs that allow the village to split the cost with the homeowner for tree removal.

Just remember that in the end, there are NO guarantees that any one thing will sell your home for top dollar. Be smart with your renovations and your wallet.

Written By: Shena Omotola, Dream Home Specialist & Broker Owner of Skyward Realty – Skyward Realty services Chicago, Suburbs, and Northwest Indiana

P.S. Feel free to email me any questions. I’m always here to help.

Shena Omotola

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