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Selling Our Home - What Should I Renovate?

We have a couple months before we put our home on the market. I am curious about what would be worthwhile to fix up in terms cost vs. reward when selling the home. Nothing in the house is horrible but we have old windows, ugly appliances, 15 year old carpet, probably could use some paint, kitchen and bathroom floor leave much to be desired and probably some other things I am forgetting.


I am sure my realtor will have some ideas (when I get one) but I figured I would post here too. Generally speaking, if it doesn't help the selling price of the home, I want to avoid spending time and money on it. Anyone else been there before?


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By COOKIEPOM (Guest Post)
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

The very best thing you can do is look aroung the house and clear out any clutter. Make the space you have for sale look as big as you can. Clean the house really well and use a few well placed house plants to dress things up. If you have throw rugs use them over the carpet to "hide" the obvious wear. On the outside, if you list in the spring use container plants/flowers to spruce up the houses "curb appeal". Make sure there are not dead limbs hanging on tress and clean the outside windows as well as clearing them of any shrubs that maybe blocking them. These are all really cheap things you can do to enhance your homes appeal.

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By Lori (Guest Post)
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

I used to be in real estate. The most important thing is first impression based on curb appeal. Anything you can do to improve the looks of the outside. Neatly trimmed yard, a few shrubs, and clutter cleared out. Easy cosmetic things that you do on the exterior will help also, like cleaning the gutters, having the siding powerwashed, etc. This will get people into the house. If the appliances are staying, I wouldn't worry about updating, but don't count on it adding any value to your home if they are outdated. Same with needing to update the flooring. Most people will want to add their own colors or type of carpet so instead of updating, figure in 2,000 or other figure "flooring allowance" That means you will pay that much towards a new floor, or take that much off of the selling price.


Make sure that's advertised. so people are not turned off by feeling they have to do the work. Painting is fairly inexpensive and can greatly freshen things up. Best to do a neutral color. Also spring clean and store items if needed. You want to show the greatest aspects of your house, not of your decorating. People have to be able to imagine their belongings in the house. So if you have a big picture window, make sure curtains and furniture are not obstructing the view.

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By Kathie (Guest Post)
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

I'm going thru the same thing. Look around with a critical eye or have a friend tell you, but keep her/him a friend. We restained the front steps and door, the walls will need to be repainted. I'm embrassed to say but I had always cleaned my frig every 6 wks or so, but with my husband help we took it so much further apart and cleaned, its now beautiful inside.


Declutter, pack up everything you can. I read you depersonalize your house so the new buyers can see there belongings in there that is what will bring you that offer

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December 6, 20040 found this helpful

I agree cleaning - very thorough cleaning, (especially if you have a dog!), and decluttering are the most important things. All items that are not used very frequently should be packed and stored. Less is more - this goes for ornaments and furniture. All flat surfaces should be clear, with a few striking decorative objects strategically placed to draw the eye to good features. Remove excess furniture and store - rather too bare than too cluttered. When you've decided what furniture will stay for viewing try some different furniture arrangements - the idea is to clearly define areas like dining, sitting, etc., but without having furniture placed round the walls like a waiting room or blocking the flow as people walk through.


In the kitchen older appliances can be painted for a cheap retro look. But more important is to take pictures, magnets, etc off the fridge and clear all work surfaces except for a few decorative items to make the work area look larger.

If the walls are in good condition and neutral colours just wash but if any area of the house is dark and dingey - repaint.

Bedrooms are often smaller rooms and dominated by the bed. If your bedrooms are small consider getting, (borrowing/hiring), smaller beds to make the rooms look bigger.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the place to spend money if you can, repair cracked tiles, etc. but even without spending anything bathrooms should be spotless and shining with all the family's toiletries hidden. A new bright shower curtain, (if you use one), will lift the bathroom.


Get into the habit of picking up every evening/morning in case there are any viewings at short notice.

Try to pack and store any items not in daily use - don't just stuff everything in cupboards - the last time I sold/bought the estate agent commented that women always wanted to see the storage and always opened cupboards! Don't forget to clear out the garage too!

Good luck


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By RoseMary (Guest Post)
December 7, 20040 found this helpful

In the last few years we have had to sell my uncles' house and my moms' house. We were told by the RE agent that painting the walls white would help as it opens up the small rooms. And to replace any flooring that was in bad condition. Clean is one of the most important things too. The outside should be clean and tidy, all clutter inside and out should be gotten rid of.


Any items in boxes should be put in closets if possible. The difference was an additional 20,000 on my uncles property and 40,000 on my moms. We also had to replace the roof on my uncles home. It took a few weeks before either could go on the market, however, my mom's property had 3 offers on the day it went on the market and sold within 5 days. Wow!

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By Glynda Lomax (Guest Post)
December 7, 20040 found this helpful

My best friend is a realtor near Dallas. If you email him, he will have really good suggestions and, if you need help, he can screen your local realtors for a good one to list your home with. It's important to get the right realtor, some of them just sit on your house and do nothing and meanwhile, you are still paying on it. If you would like to email John, his email is: johnwmorgan (at) comcast (dot) net. Good luck.

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By Denise (Guest Post)
December 15, 20040 found this helpful

My father sold real estate for 30 years, and we moved more than once to follow the bargains around town. I agree with the other posters: Clean is the big key. You house should be scrubby-Dutch clean, clutter-free, and every shineable surface (mirrors, faucets, doorknobs) should be sparkling. It should smell clean (but no potpourri. People think you're covering up a damp basement or plumbing problems).

You are most likely to get your money back from painting. If your outside paint is unchipped but dingy-looking, you may wish to gamble on renting a pressure washer to clean it up instead of repainting. Other improvements (flooring, appliances) may not improve the value of the house enough to pay for them.

Good luck. It's tough keeping your house that clean; it feels kind of like living in the display window of a department store. But it's worth it.

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By Anna Myers (Guest Post)
January 18, 20050 found this helpful


Home and Garden Television (HGTV) is seeking renovated homes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to feature on the new top-rated series called Generation Renovation. As the producers of Generation Renovation, we are looking for homeowners who will open their doors and their personalities to tell their renovation stories. We are looking for:

1. Dramatic renovations that have been completed within the last five years.

2. Homeowners who are enthusiastic and passionate about their home, did much of the work themselves, and have lots of stories to tell about the completed renovation.

3. Renovations that are inspiring and unique to the homeowners' lifestyle, but have also retained some aspect of the home's history.

4. Before photos: since the renovations we feature are complete, we need
plenty of before photos or home video to show the transformation.

5. Homeowners who can commit to one day of filming with our field producer and photographer in the chosen home. Our crew is scheduled to be in the area the second week of March.

Generation Renovation is produced by High Noon Productions, which along with its affiliated companies, creates more than 350 hours of programming each year for: HGTV, Discovery, Animal Planet, Food Network, Country Music Television, & E! Entertainment's Style Network. We've created these highly rated programs: HGTV's If Walls Could Talk & Modern Masters; Emergency Vets for Animal Planet, & the highest-rated current show on Food Network, Unwrapped.

Thanks for your help, and feel free to visit our website:  hgtv/shows_hgren

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By (Guest Post)
May 4, 20050 found this helpful

it really depends on your market, how much you paid and what you are asking. You really want it to look as good as possible. If you are in the lower end of the market, then don't go overboard because you will not get your return. My husband and I have bought,fixed up and sold 2 homes in the North East, and we have made money on both-some was just luck but mostly we had a sense of the market. You should ask a few real estate agents to come and give you suggestions and do a property evaluation. get a couple of them, and if you are still uncertain pay for your own evaluation by an independant. we found this to be extremely helpful and worth the cost (about 300.00) here in New England.Once we got the feedback from the agents, we were then able to figure out where the "best bang for the buck" was, it also helped us stay on track budget wise. We ended up doing alot to our last home, about 70,000 worth in renovations, but we made 200,000 on the sale. (bought low, sold high) that's were the luck came in, but having a game plan helped so much. the other thing we did was to look at a lot of property for sale in our area with the same type of home etc to see what other people were selling for, and what the homes looked like. Good luck Mary

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