Selling Your House? Get The Most ROI Bang For Your Renovation Buck


FEH Editor’s Note: We will be featuring content from our various members on topics that we feel are important. Our first in the series is an often asked question–what kind of return on investment (ROI) do you get for the renovations you make on your property? The answer is not always cut and dry. However, Alison Warm Moss, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Advisors Realty in Cincinnati, Ohio has some useful tips every seller should think about when making renovations to a property they are going to sell.

When we work with home sellers and homeowners we often find that they have a common misconception about return on investment of their home improvements and upgrades. A lot of the time they think that they will make back more money than they originally put into the project. The sad case is that most often homeowners actually lose thousands of dollars when adding renovations.

Is Renovating a Bad Idea? No, renovating isn’t necessarily a bad idea. The most common recommendations we see are homeowners remodeling the kitchen or a bathroom. This is because those are the wow areas that buyers are attracted to and they do help sell homes. Unfortunately a modest kitchen overhaul can take months and cost $12,500 and $30,000. While you can make the investment into one or two rooms there is another approach of spreading the budget across a number of smaller faster projects.

Keep Your Renovation Appropriate. The biggest mistake homeowners make is taking on a renovation that is not appropriate for their home. Any renovation should maintain the character of a home – so no French country cabinets in a mid-century modern home please! We have seen some amazing MCM renovations that bring in contemporary materials and finishes while maintaining the character of this stylized architecture. In these instances less is more.

A House Facelift. New interior and exterior paint is one of the simplest and cheapest renovations that delivers instant results. It is not enough to just a professional painter, if you are repainting a mid-century modern home it is critical to consult a decorator who is familiar with the period colors so you can keep it authentic.

Save Some Energy. Just because your home was built in the 50’s you can take steps to make it more energy efficient. Some of the most effective changes can be small and add value! Storm doors, ceiling fans in each room, double- or triple-paned windows and Energy Star rated appliances all help to reduce cost, add value, and make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

New Flooring. While soft underfoot, carpet can be a real hassle down the road. In a mid-century be thoughtful in what you put down on the floor. Replacing carpet with geometric laid stone and tile floors brings back the look and makes the space feel original. It looks nicer, feels better and is easier to maintain.

Be Green on The Outside Too. Buyers have their first impression as they pull up to the home. If you are taking the time to repaint the home take the time to clean the flower beds and attend to the lawn. Plant local perennial plants that are low maintenance and will last for years to come. Remember that how your house looks on the outside is an indication of how well you care for it on the inside.