Top 5 Inexpensive Renovations To Sell Your Home

Top 5 Inexpensive Renovations To Sell Your Home

Updated March 23, 2020

When you’ve made that decision to sell your house, your house no longer becomes the home where you’ve raised your kids, or started out as a new young couple or was that first home which you were so proud of being able to buy.  Your house becomes a business!  You need to do everything that you can to make the house sell for as much as possible and as fast as possible.  Is it inconvenient to live in a house while you’re getting it ready to sell and have the property listed?  Heck YES!

But the question is, are you willing and able to live with some inconvenience for a couple of months to get top dollar for your home?

1. Paint

A couple of years ago, I was getting our house ready to sell.  We were painting EVERY square inch of the house and installing hardwood floors on the ENTIRE second floor. To my surprise, the house next door went up for sale BEFORE we were ready to list! Yikes!!!  The ideal situation is to list your house first before any other houses in the neighborhood go on the market.

So I did what any homeowner would do!!!  I went to their Open House on the weekend to check out my competition!!! When I went to the Open House, I was shocked.  There was too much furniture in every room making the rooms appear small.  They did alot of entertaining so they needed the additional seating for living in their home but not for selling.  There were numerous personal pictures & items that made you feel you were intruding into someone’s space.


Needless to say, I was quite relieved after I went through the house knowing that my house showed 1000 times better than my competition!!!

But my next door neighbors lost out on alot of money as do others as well when they don’t paint their house in neutral colors which is pleasing an attractive for potential buyers.  Potential buyers need to feel and visualize their furniture & accessories in YOUR home.  The best way to do that is by painting the walls neutral and adding color with accessories  like pillows, pictures, vases, candles etc.

 Check out: Top Paint Colors to Sell Your Home


My Next Door Neighbor LOST $80,000 on the sale of their house because they did NOT paint & stage their home!!!

All home renovation projects are not created equal. When renovating your home, it pays to consider which projects will bring you the best return when it’s time to sell your house. What we think may appeal to a potential buyer, may in fact have been a “wasted” renovation. Of course, when renovating, your personal taste and preferences will play a role in the choices you make.  But be sure to choose trendy styles & finishes that are in keeping with your neighborhood in order to appeal to the majority of potential buyers. Keep an eye on the renovation projects and $$$ that consistently provide home owners with a positive return on their investment.  After all, for most of us, our house is our biggest investment that we have.























2. Lighting

Upgrade those builder lights!!!!  

In one house I staged, the homeowners had done an AMAZING job renovating their builder grade Get Your House Ready to Sell in 30 Dayshome.  A new kitchen that was stunning, new hardwood floors throughout, painted a beautiful neutral throughout and the basement WOW!!  So my staging consult was fairly easy.  It was mainly tweaking the layout of their furniture so it flowed better for staging to sell vs. living to stay.  They wanted TOP dollar for their house.  I looked at their lights and they were BORING BASIC BUILDER lights! YIKES!!!

We talked about how important it was to have updated light fixtures to showcase their house in the best possible light (NO pun intended LOL) and that lighting is the icing on the cake.  For the relatively low cost of lighting, its worth to upgrade your lighting.  Builder lights or dated lights can date a house!

When I came back a few days later to stage, I saw that they had not only replaced their builder lights in the hallway, they had replaced the bedroom lights to chandeliers.  The house received the highest amount of money for a house in their neighborhood at that time!

Go to open houses in your neighborhood & keep an eye on the Jones to see what renovations & upgrades they’re making to their home.

3. RepairsGet Your House Ready to Sell

On one staging consult, I was going through the home taking the lead from the clients. The first room we started with was the living room of course. Their concern was the layout of the living room, and if the couches were too big for the room which they were.  We discussed several options and came up with a solution that they were happy with.  The next was a spare bedroom that had a mattress on the floor.  We discussed several options of making the room look great which they agreed to.  We went into their bathroom and they said they would declutter but there wasn’t much to be done there. I opened up the shower curtain and found MOLD all around the bathtub.

We went into the kitchen and their big question was what light should they use for their eat-in area since it was their only eating space.  I looked up and noticed the ceiling had had water damage. The focus of the staging consult moved from showing casing their house by rearranging furniture and bringing in accessories, to defining and repairing the necessary repairs needed for the home if they wanted to get a good price for their house.


4. Door Hardware

replace-brass-door-knobs-to-sell-your-home-add-value-to-your-home-debi-collinsonGold brass door knobs date a house!  Replacing these knobs gives your house a needed lift for a relatively low cost.

Levers are very popular right now for appearance & functionality.

Cabinets and drawer pulls for kitchen & bathroom cabinets are also relatively inexpensive for the rate of return that you will receive on your dollar.

Alot of big box stores sell hardware in value packs so you can save on money.  Make sure that the style you pick is in keeping with the decor in your home and suits the price range of your neighborhood.

If its not in your budget to do the whole house, you should do the main floor at the very least. 




5.  Lights switches & Wall CoversTop-5-Inexpensive-Renovations-Sell-a-House-Add-Value-to-your-home

Most people do some upgrades or small renovations to get their house ready to sell.  Some homeowners do amazing renovations to their house in order to get top dollar for their home.   Homeowners do extensive basement renovations, bathroom transformation, complete kitchen renovations and most home owners nowadays totally renew their home with freshly painted walls throughout their house.

But most people stop at one place where their renovation dollars can have a HUGE return on their investment for a small amount of money spent – the hallway lights. Most people keep their dated hallway lights or their cheap basic boring builder lights instead of upgrading to trendier look.  Keeping your original lighting when you’ve done renovations is like buying an expensive Yves Saint Laurent evening dress and wearing an old piece of jewellery that you’ve had for years to show it off.

Hallway lights are such an inexpensive way to transform your hallway and other ares in your home.

Replacing relatively inexpensive items like door knobs, faucets, sinks, toilets and drawer pulls can also make a big impact.

Switch plates run around $1.00 at your local Debi-Collinson-Add-Value-To-Your-Home
hardware store so it’s an inexpensive and easy fix to update your switch plates and wall covers.


Designer Tip:  Watch how much money you spend.  If you spend too little money the renovations may not reap the amount of $$ that you were expecting.  Likewise, if you spend too much, you could see some of your hard earned money go down the drain.



What About Kitchens & Bathrooms?

We’ve all seen the renovations shows on HGTV and the likes how kitchen & bathroom makeovers can increase the property value of a home.  NO doubt that it can.  However, these renovations are big budget jobs and not the expensive renovations that we are talking about here.  Be sure to check out my related post on  Are You Over Renovating Your Home?    to calculate the profit potential in your home to see if doing a major kitchen and/or bathroom renovation in your neighborhood will be profitable for you.


Must Reads:

Treat Your House Like a Business When Selling Your Home.

Are You Over Renovating Your Home?

Hardwood vs. Laminate:  Which One Should You Chose?

10 Hallway Lights Under $100

Are Your Light Switches & Wall Plates Up To Date?

Should I Replace My Builder Brass Door Knobs To Sell My Home?


Debi-Collinson-Add-Value-to-your-HomeWelcome! I’m Debi Collinson. Stager. Stylist. Real Estate Investor. In 2006, at the request of a realtor, I staged my very first home. Staging houses was just starting to become popular. I watched every staging show on HGTV that I could find. I was very nervous staging my first house, but the sellers liked their newly redesigned home so much that they turned down an offer for full asking price. I went back to design school and have never looked back. Since 2006, I have been staging & designing spaces to make them look like they belong in a magazine page, and buying “fixer uppers” to fix up & either sell for a healthy profit or to rent them out. Sign up to receive my e-mails of how to make your home stunning and how to sell your house for top dollar!














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  1. I think these are really good things that you can do to your house before selling. I am sure that we can get the most profit from selling the house if we do these changes.

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