Getting Started

Spending money to improve a home for sale is a confusing area for many sellers. Sellers must simultaneously present a home that will catch buyers' interest while still making money on the deal. In order to properly prepare a home for sale and get the most for the sale, a seller must balance the two.

Don't Renovate...

Counter to what some sellers believe, statistics show that major renovations and remodeling projects generally do not retain their value in the sale of a home. The table below contains average data for the Mid-Atlantic region (including Staten Island and Brooklyn) and national averages for several renovation types. While a home may be outdated, pouring money into a renovation will often mean a net loss for the seller.

Renovation Value

If you insist on remodeling, or the condition of your home requires it, stick with mainstream, neutral designs to better accommodate the tastes of your buyers. Consult professionals, use quality materials, and make the renovation fit within the context of the rest of your home.

...Unless Necessary

Although renovations generally don't pay off, there are investments that are worthwhile. In order to determine what they are, a seller must pinpoint areas of his or her home that is likely to discourage potential buyers. Unfortunately, buyers often have hard time seeing past even minor issues with a home. For that reason, it's wise to fix anything that might "scare away" buyers. For example, problems such as pests or a leaky roof may be something that stops buyers from even giving your home a shot. For that reason, when preparing your home, decide what issues are potentially deal-breakers for home buyers and consider having them fixed.

Expose Wood Floors

One upgrade that never fails is taking up old carpets that cover wood floors. Hardwood flooring is in, and removing the carpets and finishing the wood underneath considerably raises the appeal of your home.


If you decide to hold a garage sale, a great idea is to combine it with an open house. Sure, you will likely get some nosy bargain hunters in the mix, but it never hurts to gain exposure for your home. People who might not otherwise show up to an open house may know someone who's looking for a home. If you do hold an open house, just be sure to enlist a real estate agent or other help for obvious security reasons. Hide valuables and make sure any guests are escorted the entire time they're in your home.

Use an Agent

As a seller, it is in your best interest to sell with the assistance of an agent. Despite what some believe, the services (and the final sale price) that a real estate agent can offer more than makes up for his or her commission. An agent is an experienced professional with access to the tools and a network of resources that allow for more successful home sales. Click here for more information on the services provided by a licensed real estate agent from Tom Crimmins Realty.