Selling your home? Consider the ROI on improvements.

This is a well know subject to people that flip houses. You can make improvements to your home, but, will the improvement make you a profit. If you put in n new kitchen and it costs you $30k, but you only get $20k more on the price of the house, you lost $10k, and you might have been better off not doing that at all. Learning the ROI, or return on investment, when selling your home is important. House flippers know it, so now it’s time you do.

Head over heart

First of all, this is a numbers game. You have to use your head over your heart. Don’t think emotionally, think what you want to accomplish. Avoid doing any fancy, stylish renovations that might not reflect what a buyer wants to see. Stick to good taste and style, don’t get carried away. The only reason you are spending money here is to make more money or sell the house faster. Keep that in mind.


First and foremost, repair everything that needs repair. If you have a door that has a bad hinge, that is what the buyer is going to remember. They aren’t going to remember how beautiful the lights are, they are going to remember what’s broken. So fix everything. This is a required expense.


Cosmetics are the easiest to work with. It is usually the lowest cost. Putting a new coat of paint, or changing an old ugly color scheme for something light and airy, is always a good idea. You will get the best ROI on this step by far


This applies to curb appeal, as well as the emotions of the buyer. Having a nice garden, well-manicured, and full of attractive plants can pull a buyer in. It might cost you a few thousand to do it properly, but, you will make that money back, it is worth it even if you break even for speeding the house sale.

Speed of sale

Many of the things you might do might cost you more than you will get as a return. But that is not the only advantage. For example, if you have a house that is old and dingy, that you will make a 50k profit on, and you spend another $50k to fix it up and modernize it. Let’s say it only raises the value of the house $50k, so you make no more money on it, so why do it? How fast will the modern house sell compared to the old dingy one? That’s why you do it. You are spending money to speed the sale along. You might even make a few thousand extras, and that’s a trip to the Bahamas and nothing to sneeze at.

Renting furniture

If the furniture you have is old and worn out, you might consider renting some furniture for a few months. This might cost you a couple of thousand, but the house will look a lot better and therefore have a larger value in a buyer’s eyes. It will also help with a faster sale.


Bathrooms are one of the few things that an upgrade will make you a profit on. Usually, about 5% more than you spent on it. Bathrooms are one of the emotional things that buyers see, so it is always a good idea to make it look better.


Kitchens are the other sexy area that buyers love. Historically you will break even or lose about 10% of what you invest in a kitchen. But if you are creative and do a bit of shopping around you can offset most of the losses.


People love to see a porch, though people rarely use them. They do love them though and it will add value to your house. Unfortunately, you will lose 10-20% of the cost of having one added. It will speed the sale though, so choose wisely.

Smart home

Something that you will also make a small profit on is a smart home, depending on your buyer of course. A smart house is something that people wouldn’t have even considered 20 years ago, but today it gets more important. Having it already networked and having some fancy bits in place will help. These are things that people will remember, such as voice-controlled lighting, and a mirror in the bathroom that tells you the weather and time of day. It doesn’t cost that much, and you will be taking it with you, but it will make a great impression on a buyer.

These are just a few, and you have to decide what’s worth it. What it really comes down to, we believe, is how fast you can sell the house. You might make a bit more money on it, but it will be work. Renovating the house is not going to make you rich, but it will help you sell faster. So really, your ROI is speed.

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