A Seller’s Guide to Wise Repairs and Renovations


When you put your home on the market, you want it to sell at the highest price possible. Today’s seller’s market will certainly help you clinch top dollar for your property, but if you really want to boost your price point, you should consider renovations. Certain jobs can help you list your home for even more.

These projects don’t have to be huge undertakings. A fresh coat of paint in neutral colors and staging to reduce clutter are realty standards for selling your home. But you have the option to take on bigger projects to maximize your property value. With so many options, it’s easy to go overboard and sink more money than you will get back. How can you tell whether your next project is worth the time and effort? You should be wary of the work you take on to protect your investment.

Always Repair Obvious Damage to Your Home First

High-priority jobs that repair damaged parts of your home will always make sense before selling your home. You’ll want to clean up a messy electrical box, replace lifting roof shingles, and repair cracks in your foundation. A home inspector will clock these issues right away, warning potential homeowners of the possible risk associated with the damage. Interested parties can add these repairs to their conditions of the sale, so there’s a good chance you’ll have to fix them anyway.

Depending on the severity of these issues, they my even lower your home’s value if you don’t address them. Being proactive allows you to repair your home outside of the pressure of a sale. It’s less stressful when a sale or selling price doesn’t hang in the balance!

Review the Common Return on Investment Stats

But what about cosmetic upgrades? Certain projects promise a bigger bang for your buck. Here are the jobs with the highest return on investment:

  • Bathroom: 62%
  • Flooring: 100–150%
  • Kitchen countertops: 75–100%
  • Roof: 75%
  • Windows: 75%

On paper, a renovation can seem like a great idea that will add thousands to your sale value. But ROI is an estimate that assumes the best-case scenario. It doesn’t take into account the market or your unique home, so take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Always Follow the 25% Rule

The 25% rule recommends you increase your expected costs by as much as a quarter to cover any unexpected repairs. Why? Because you never know what a project might reveal. Let’s explore that below. Transforming an upstairs laundry closet into a powder room could make your home seem more appealing to buyers. And at face value, it seems like an easy thing to do since it already has water.

It’s just a matter of removing the laundry machines and installing bathroom fixtures. But getting into the closet might involve tearing out the walls and floors surrounding the closet. If you live in an older home, this work can reveal surprising materials, like asbestos or mold. Now you have to worry about the safe removal of these hazardous materials, plus the added expense of replacing the walls and floors. What this hypothetical situation describes is the domino effect of renovations. A project you think will be small and inexpensive can snowball into a huge undertaking you can’t afford.

Dealing with Surprise Repairs Before a Sale

You can’t always predict the scope of your work, especially if you’re reacting to breakdowns and accidents in the home. If you have to deal with a surprise household repair, you may have to act fast — faster than you can save an extra 25%! In emergencies where you can’t add an extra 25% to your savings — or your repairs exceed this cushion — you can visit a platform like MoneyKey to try to get some relief. A MoneyKey cash advance comes in the form of an installment loan or line of credit to help you with the unexpected emergency repairs you can’t ignore.

These personal loans are conveniently available online with a simple and quick application, so you can see if you qualify without wasting valuable time in an emergency. You can receive your approved funds as a direct deposit into your account without delay, which can help you tackle your repairs as quickly as possible.

Get a Professional’s Opinion

Of course, you may avoid this hypothetical situation of borrowing a cash advance altogether by talking to a real estate agent and general contractor before you take a swing of your sledgehammer. An experienced realtor can identify the ROIs worthy of your time, and a contractor can give you an idea of the possible domino effect.

Their advice can also sway you against making niche upgrades that could alienate buyers. You don’t want to make changes that would cause a buyer to bid lower in anticipation of fixing them. Getting the pros to help is always a good idea, so ask for advice. They’ll help you determine what’s worth your time, effort, and money to fix before you list.