Don’t Leave Money on the Table: How to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value with Smart Repairs and Remodels

Home renovation in process.

Are you looking to sell your home and generate a healthy profit? Well, you’ve come to the right place! At Anna Buys Houses, we know a thing or two about repairs, remodeling, and selling homes for top dollar. We’re here to provide you with tips on repairs and remodeling based on our knowledge and personal experience, to help you sell your property for the best possible return.

Not all remodeling efforts are created equal. Some will give you a great return on your investment, while others will leave you feeling like you’ve thrown money down the drain. That’s why we’ve written this guide to help you make informed decisions when it comes to repairs and remodeling.

Here are the key points we’ll cover:

  • Do you really need to remodel?
  • Which repairs and upgrades give you the best return on investment?
  • How to get started, including whether to DIY or hire a contractor
  • How to sell your home without doing any remodeling

Do you really need to remodel?

Anna of Anna Buys Houses evaluating a property for repairs and renovation.
Anna evaluating a home for repairs.

Before you begin your own HGTV special and break out the sledgehammer to start tearing down walls, let’s consider whether remodeling is really necessary. Here are some things to keep in mind as you weigh the pros and cons of a remodel:

  •  Consider the market cycle, the condition of your home, and your resources before deciding to remodel. How much money do you have to invest upfront and what is your desired profit margin?
  • During a “high year” in the economy, when everyone is buying up properties, you may not need to remodel if your home is outdated yet in good condition and in a desirable location.
  • However, during a “low time” in the economy, when there are fewer buyers and they are more selective, it may be worth making some upgrades to make your home more appealing.

Repairs and upgrades that provide the best return on investment

There are certain repairs and upgrades that will give you the most bang for your buck. Here are some key areas that potential buyers pay the most attention to:

  • Broken “functionality” items such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical problems, foundational issues, leaky roofs, and broken fences and doors should be fixed right away. These repairs are a top priority for you (as they will be for prospective buyers!) and will lift the value of your home and decrease the time it spends on the market.
  • Upgrading your bathrooms can significantly increase the value of your home. You can get a 40% return on investment by updating your bathroom. The average cost of a DIY bathroom remodel ranges from $2,000-$10,000. 
  • The kitchen is the heart of the home and the first thing that buyers notice. Upgrading your kitchen can be a great investment. Some things to upgrade are appliances, countertops, backsplash, new floor tile if it’s chipped, and new cabinets if they’re broken or extremely outdated. The average cost of a DIY full kitchen remodel ranges from $5,000 – $50,000.
  • Improving your home’s curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint, landscaping, and updating your garage door and siding can also make your home more appealing to potential buyers. First impressions matter! Updating your exterior can decrease the time your home spends on the market. The average total DIY cost to enhance your curb appeal with these updates can range from $3,000-$8,000 for a 1,500 square foot house.   

For additional information, the Remodeling 2023 Cost vs. Value Report ( is a great resource that details home renovations that deliver the best return on investment in today’s economy. Check out the key 2023 trends shared in this free report.

How to get started

Eric of Anna Buys Houses DIY project p a property.
DIY project

Now that you know what you need to fix, it’s time to get started. Here are some tips to help you decide whether to DIY or hire a contractor:

  • DIY can definitely save you money, but it may be worth hiring a general contractor for a lengthy “to-do” list of major repairs. You probably know that DIY stands for “Do It Yourself” – in other words, it’s all about tackling home projects on your own, without calling in the pros. Think painting a room, fixing a leaky faucet, or building a bookshelf from scratch. The possibilities are endless! By taking on a project yourself, you can avoid shelling out for labor costs and potentially score deals on materials. Plus, there’s just something extra satisfying about seeing a job well done that you did all on your own. But not all projects are meant for DIY. Some require specialized skills or tools that the average homeowner may not have. And if you bite off more than you can chew, you could end up in a DIY disaster. You may even end up paying someone to come in and fix the work you have already done, erasing the money you saved on your DIY project.
  • It’s time to talk about contractors. First up, we’ve got the general contractor. These folks are the superheroes of the construction world, managing an entire project from start to finish. They’re like the conductor of an orchestra, making sure all the instruments (aka subcontractors) are playing in perfect harmony. General contractors are responsible for everything from hiring subcontractors to making sure the project stays within budget and on schedule.  Now, if you’ve got smaller tasks that need to be done, it’s time to call in the subcontractors. These are the pros who specialize in specific areas, like plumbing, electrical work, or painting. You can hire subcontractors on your own, or through a general contractor if you’ve got a bigger project in mind. Just make sure to hire licensed subcontractors – you don’t want some amateur off the street trying to wire up your house! They might be cheaper in the short term but could cost you later if the work is not done correctly or up to code.
  • Keep in mind it’s good to inform your insurance company before starting any significant remodeling on your home. Home insurance policies typically have exclusions for losses resulting from construction, remodeling, or renovation activities. By informing your insurance company, they can make sure that your policy provides adequate coverage during the construction period.  

Selling your home without doing any remodeling

So, you don’t want to put in the elbow grease or invest any cash to renovate your home before selling? No problem! You have a few options.

First, you can list your home on the market as-is and hope for the best. When homes are in short supply, this may be a good option. Some buyers love a fixer-upper! Just be aware that you aren’t likely to get top dollar for your house.

Then there’s the home renovation loan route. With this option, you can get the money from the bank to spruce up your abode and make it more marketable. You pay back the loan once your home sells. If you’ve got the time to do this, this strategy may work. The risk is the market could change by the time the repairs and remodeling are done and you’re ready to sell. The market may be better, but it may not.

A third option is to sell to a direct home buyer. Companies like Anna Buys Houses can give you a fair offer based on the current value of your house. No need to lift a finger! The offer may not be quite as high as you’d get if you made some repairs or upgrades first. But direct home buying companies can usually buy quickly, and allow you to take what you want from your home and leave the rest.  One benefit of working with a direct home buyer is that we keep things simple—no commissions, inspections, or added fees.

Of course, which option you choose is up to you. Take a good look at your situation, weigh the pros and cons, and don’t be afraid to reach out to us if we can answer any questions or assist with your decision. We don’t buy every home we see and, in some cases, we may recommend that you don’t sell to us. We’re experienced as-is home buyers committed to doing what is best for our clients. There’s no obligation when you contact us for a quote, or to discuss your situation, so feel free to give us a call at 402-313-8700!

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