Should You Renovate First Before Selling Your Home?


Maybe your family has outgrown your space or you simply need a new point of view. It could be that something about the kitchen annoys you, or you’ve just always wanted some particular feature that is currently missing. Whatever the reason, almost every homeowner eventually bumps up against a seemingly inevitable question: renovate or sell?

The honest answer is “it depends.” Obviously, every homeowner’s circumstances are different, but also, what some may list as a pro, others might list as a con. The only way to decide what works for you is to consider some important factors that can influence your decision.


If you are considering renovating to sell your house, you will need to consider your budget, not just money-wise, but your budget for time and resources. Both selling and renovating come with their own unique costs.

Whatever you choose to change about your home, there are very few projects that you can do without spending much money while also increasing your home value or making it more appealing to buyers. Depending on the project, you can expect to spend between $10 and $60 per square foot. Unless you’re especially handy, you may need to hire a contractor or workers to help you finish the renovation. There are options for funding a renovation project, but it will add to your monthly costs for years to come. There are also the less obvious costs to renovation: the space the project will take up in your home, the plans you may have to make for alternative housing at some points during the project, and – last but certainly not least – the dust!

Still, selling and moving are not what anyone might call cheap. You will need to factor in the costs of selling, moving, and buying, as well as any costs that you might incur making a new home ready for move-in. If you overspend on your remodeling project, you might not be able to count on profits from the sale of your home to carry you through.

Current Real Estate Market

Like everything else, real estate goes through a cycle of seasons. Sometimes, the market is “hot,” and houses that get listed are sold in days. In such a market, your house is more likely to sell as-is. Other times, it takes longer to sell, often months. When this happens, so many people may be attempting to sell that buyers can afford to be choosy. An outdated house or a house clearly in need of repairs may not get any bites at all. In that case, it may make more sense for you to renovate before listing your house.

Return on Investment

Some renovations and repairs are more likely to pay off than others. The changes you make can determine whether you make a profit from selling your home or just break even (or worse). For example, a relatively simple layout change in the kitchen or even a new front door can add value to your home. On the other hand, less visible fixes – like a roof replacement – or certain additions, like a bathroom, may not have the same kind of financial impact.

If you are caught between whether to sell or remodel, make a list of renovations that you would like to make. You can search the internet for the average value each change might make to your home’s overall potential listing price. If any of the renovations would make your life easier, but not necessarily increase the overall value of the home, then consider any of the following options:

  •  Do the renovations if you plan on staying in the home a while longer – enough for you to gain more equity and for the value of the house to increase on its own.
  • Research better options for money-making remodels. You can swap a home office upgrade for a kitchen refresh or swap a sunroom addition to improve the attic’s insulation.
  • If the market is right, you can go ahead and sell as-is, meaning that you list your home without making any significant changes.

After you’ve considered all the possibilities and you feel ready to sell your Florida home, Florida Realty Marketplace’s real estate professionals are ready to help. With 14 years of experience and a long tradition of customer satisfaction, Florida Realty Marketplace will help you with the resell process to make it as simple and problem-free as possible. If you’re ready to get started, contact a realtor today.

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