Renovating Your Home to Sell

You’re preparing to sell your home and wondering which projects will get you the best return on investment! Overall, on average, remodeling projects have a 69% ROI. You might be surprised that garage door replacement has a 100% return, while a finished basement comes in at 22.7%. It’s also interesting to note that a major upscale kitchen remodel only returns 31.7% while a minor kitchen remodel brings an 85.7% ROI.

Renovation Sells Lancaster helps sellers throughout our area to get their homes ready to sell, from large projects to small projects. Owner, Chris Walton, shares some of the most common renovations homeowners request. He reviews which ones he feels are the best renovations for resale and how he works with a homeowner’s budget.

1. What are the most common areas homeowners want renovated? 

“Top picks for homeowners to get renovated are kitchens and master bathrooms,” Chris said. Surprisingly, these renovations don’t always bring the best return on investment, especially the master bathroom. These two areas that homeowner’s feel are priority for them, but both are costly renovations. It can be difficult to recoup the money put into these projects when it comes time to sell.

2. Which renovations do you recommend for the best resale?

“The best bang for your buck is by painting and putting in new flooring,” advised Chris. “If you have more money to spend, the kitchen is the next best renovation after paint and flooring.” Painting a home and putting in new flooring makes a home look clean, bright, and fresh. Just this alone can add so much appeal to buyers. Adding a kitchen renovation, even a basic renovation like painting the cabinets and replacing the countertops, brings even more return for a modest budget.

3. Is there an average cost/budget that most homeowners want to spend?

“Most homeowners spend $25,000 or less,” Chris said. This makes a lot of sense for a home that just needs to be touched up and updated to get it ready for the market. Typically a homeowner who has been living in a home will have kept it generally maintained, but has not updated the home cosmetically. A lot can be done to give a home a facelift with $25,000 or less. A larger budget may be needed for a larger home, a luxury home, or a home in need of repairs in addition to updating.

4. How do you help homeowners decide on a budget and the priority renovations in that budget?

“I advise on priority where to spend their money to get the best return on investment,” Chis told us. After walking through a home, Chris finds out what renovations the sellers are considering. He finds out what the resale value for the home will be once it’s updated and what the homeowner’s budget is. From this information, he gives them advice on which projects should be priority in order for them to get the best return and what the costs will be for those projects. The homeowner can then decide which renovations they want to do. 

5. How long is the renovation process typically?

“We typically keep it under four weeks unless there are extensive renovations,” said Chris. Most of the renovations like paint and flooring, and moderate kitchen remodels, can be done within a month’s time. Large renovations, like adding on a room, expanding a bathroom, and other structural changes takes more time to complete. 

6. How can you help homeowners with the financing?

“We use a bank that finances up to $80,000 in renovations and you have six months to pay it back with no interest and no payments,” Chris said. He noted that the six month clock starts after the renovations are completed. This gives sellers time to list their home and get it sold before the six months are up and payments start. It can be a great solution to financing renovations without making interest payments, such as a homeowner would have with a home equity line of credit.

7. Why is it important that the homeowner works with an experienced realtor before deciding on renovations and budget?

“We defer to the agent because we need their expert input on the neighborhood and resale value,” said Chris. He explained that it’s very important that both he and the seller know the resale value for the home based on the type of home, the condition, the neighborhood, etc. This keeps them from overspending on renovations and overinvesting in the home. The whole point of renovations is to get a great return on investment and the most proceeds out of the home sale.

Renovation Sells Lancaster works with each client, their budget, and their renovation needs for a custom experience. They work to stay within a plan that allows the best return on investment. For more information, visit their website:

(For more ROI data, visit


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