When you are getting ready to sell a home, you might be wondering about its performance and appearance. While some homeowners choose to remodel their house before selling, others leave the work to the future buyer. The truth is that there isn’t a definite yes or no answer—it all depends on your unique situation.

If you need guidance on making the decision to remodel before selling, consider the following advice.

Why do Homeowners Remodel Before Selling?

There are several reasons why some homeowners may choose to remodel before selling a home. Some of these reasons include:

  • Looking to maximize return on investment
  • Trying to attract more potential buyers
  • Trying to get more money for the sale price
  • Making the home look modern to compete against other properties on the market

If these reasons are in line with your goals, it might make sense to remodel before selling your house. The aforementioned are all potential advantages of remodeling before selling.

However, there are also some drawbacks and mistakes if you decide to remodel before selling such as:

  • Focusing on the wrong upgrade that won’t bring ROI
  • Choosing an inexperienced contractor
  • Pricing your home out of your current neighborhood
  • Getting too personalized with your remodeling choices, not appealing to a generalized buyer base

Planning for Remodeling/Renovation Project

When you decide to renovate, plenty of planning takes place before the project begins. You can expect to plan for the following aspects of home remodeling:

  • Analyzing the current condition of your home and what needs to be upgraded. It’s best to consult a professional on this before you get started, such as a real estate agent. If it’s a seller’s market, you might be surprised at what upgrades you can skip.
  • Next, you’ll need to find a contractor to complete your home renovations. This can be a lengthy process as you’ll need to talk to at least three of them. Three is a good balance because it gives you a range of prices/quotes and experience levels.
  • When you decide on a contractor, make sure they are insured. This is extremely important in the event if something goes wrong with your project or there is an accident.
  • You’ll then need to decide how quickly you need to sell and how fast projects are completed. For example, new replacement windows can usually be installed in one or two days. On the other hand, an entire kitchen remodel can take three to five months.

If you’re choosing to renovate your home before selling, the first step is to determine the cost and if it makes sense for your budget.

The Cost of Remodeling Your Home

How much does it cost to renovate your home? This depends on many factors, especially the type of renovation.

These are some general guidelines on how much you can expect to spend on upgrades. These are ballpark prices from Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report:

  • Vinyl siding replacement – $14,359
  • Midrange bathroom remodel – $21,377
  • Midrange major kitchen remodel – $68,490
  • Wood deck addition – $14,360
  • Vinyl window replacement – $17,641

Keep in mind that these projects present a good ROI when it comes to resale value. However, it’s still a cost to keep in mind if you decide to renovate.

Lower Cost Renovations to Consider

The good news is that not all home renovations have to be high dollar. There are some upgrades that can make an impact for less money than a bathroom or kitchen remodel. These renovations include:

  • Painting, which is the lowest cost home improvement for the highest profit
  • Landscaping, costing up to $3,000
  • Flooring, costing $10 to $30 per square foot
  • Updating lighting fixtures, which can cost as little as $100

What Renovations Matter to Buyers?

Each person has their own unique taste. However, some renovations matter a little more to buyers than others. This is where you need to be careful about choosing your renovation project, as the wrong choice can set you back in a number of ways.

One consideration is to think about the potential buyers for your home. For example, 40% of millennial homebuyers aren’t willing to put up with renovations and repairs. This means they’re looking for a turnkey home. The buyers expect most if not everything to be updated when they move in.

Luckily, partnering with contractors such as Peak Builders & Roofers can help make the process go smoothly.

Your Selling Situation

Now that you understand about budget and time consumption for home remodeling, you’ll need of how this works with your selling situation. You might find yourself in one of the following scenarios:

  • You are relocating for a new job and only have time to make small upgrades
  • The home is not yours. It belonged to a family member and you need to sell it
  • You have some time to make renovations, but not a lot of money to do it
  • You have the money to make renovations, but don’t want the responsibility
  • You are happy to hire help with your renovations to get the job done right

When it comes to remodeling, there are some things that you can do on your own and others that require a specialist. Hiring a contractor for your home renovation requires trust and communication.

Why Hire a Contractor Before Selling Your Home?

Even if you have friends or family that have completed projects before, it doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you this time around. Professional contractors understand their field and know how to manage all aspects of a project from estimating costs, ordering materials, scheduling subcontractors if necessary, managing the budget, and documenting the work at completion.

They will work with you every step of the way to make sure you get what you want without breaking the bank. Their services come at an additional cost, but they’re worth every penny as they take away much of the stress involved in renovating your home. Here are some reasons why hiring professional contractors is worth it:

Get Help with Specialized Renovations and Eco-Friendly Upgrades

Many contractors specialize in green renovations, meaning they use healthier, nontoxic materials that are eco-friendly. Green materials are also more durable and are less likely to off-gas harmful chemicals that can cause discomfort when inhaled.

Contractors can also help you install solar panels. Furthermore, solar panels can increase your home’s property value by nearly $6000 per KW installed.

If a contractor doesn’t specialize in green renovations, make it a point to ask what materials will be used for your project.

Renovating is Difficult and Tiring

Hiring a contractor means you don’t have to take on a renovation yourself. The last thing you want is to end up with a botched renovation that leaves you with extra costs and a headache.

Contractors have the experience, knowledge, and tools required to undertake a renovation. They will also have resources that you don’t have access to, such as a network of subcontractors to assist with specialized work, a supply chain to get the materials needed in a timely manner, and knowledge of local codes and permits that may be required for the work to be completed.

Some renovations are easier than others. If you intend to do your own renovations, make sure you have the time and energy to finish the project.

It Can Be Dangerous

When you renovate a home, you are essentially working with a structure that was built many years ago. There could be asbestos in the structure, lead paint on the walls, or a host of other hazards that require specialists to step in.

All of this work must be done in a careful manner to ensure that you and your family stay safe. It’s best to leave this work to the professionals who have the necessary training and experience in this area.

For example, asbestos is a well-known health hazard that can cause mesothelioma or lung cancer. It’s very dangerous to disturb but even more dangerous to not detect. Lead paint is dangerous for young children. Contractors who specialize in renovation work for homes know how to test for these and other hazards and will take the proper precautions required to work safely.

You Don’t Have The Right Tools Or Skills

Hiring a contractor means investing in their knowledge and skills, not in the tools and materials they use. Many specialized tools and equipment contractors use to enhance their productivity and reduce the time it takes to complete a project.

Whether you’re installing new cabinets, replacing your roof shingles, or adding a room to your home, the right tool or machine can make all the difference. Tools such as lifts, cranes, or heavy machinery such as excavators or backhoes allow contractors to work quickly and efficiently. Contractors also have the experience and expertise to know which tools or machines are best for a job. You, on the other hand, might not have the experience to make these important decisions.


Should you remodel before selling? It’s entirely up to you, but there a lot of great benefits to doing so. If you plan to sell your Orange County home and need help with a remodel, please contact Peak Builders & Roofers for a free estimate.

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