shutterstock_2386999841   We recently listed a home for sale for a repeat customer who was buying a larger home in their same neighborhood. They purchased the home they were selling through us several years earlier and had made some nice changes, but they were wondering if they should do more renovations prior to selling?

The right answer depends on a number of variables. The right renovations made to a home could increase its value and lead to a quicker sale. If you overdo it, on the other hand, you may actually cut into your profit.

Most often, the kitchen and baths are the deal-makers or breakers for buyers. Renovating these spaces is a good idea, but unless you’re going to be there long enough to enjoy the changes yourself, it’s wise to resist going overboard. Moving walls to make a kitchen or bath more spacious may make your home more sale-able, but changes like these may cut heavily into your profit. It might be tempting to add fancy finishes and extras like a built-in towel warmer, stainless steel appliances, or a whirlpool tub, but again, these are high-cost additions.

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Flip through the photos of a few high end Atlanta luxury homes for sale or visit your local home building centers for ideas of what’s current. Simple upgrades might include repainting with a modern-toned paint color or changing a light fixture. But if your vanity or plumbing fixtures are outdated or worn looking, there are fairly economical models on the market you might want to replace them with.

Basement Spaces

Finishing a basement or adding another bedroom is always a good idea if your family will make use of it, but don’t finish your basement just for the sake of selling your home. A basement renovation is a high-cost item. If you do finish it, take the gamble of hiring a professional. A do-it-yourself job often looks like one unless you’re a skilled craftsman. Most modern families expect to see a nicely finished and appealing media room that will house their big screen television. You’ll make a quicker sale and earn a better profit if your renovation is on par with current trends.

The Outdoors

You can take years off your home by sprucing up the outside walls, doors or trim with fresh paint or even new siding. But again, re-siding a house will bring your spending into the double digits. Updated front or garage doors will also add instant curb appeal if well chosen. Any changes should complement the style of the house. Again, if your current outdoor finishes are in reasonably good shape, don’t splurge just to try to make more on your sale. You probably won’t come out any farther ahead.

A few hundred dollars invested into your lawn or garden will usually reap a good return. Hire a professional lawn service to turn a weedy lawn into a lush one. Colorful flowerbeds will entice buyers, but don’t overdo it. Some buyers may be put off by a high maintenance garden they won’t have time to keep up. A nicely shaped garden bed with a few well appointed shrubs and colorful flowers and lots of bark mulch in between to prevent weeds will give your yard a cared for and low maintenance look.

If you have a deck, ensure it has been revitalized. A private outdoor living space is highly desirable by most buyers, and can be the icing on the cake of an already desirable home. Even some well placed lawn furniture you can later take with you can add pizzazz to a mundane looking yard.

Buyers appreciate the extra care sellers put into preparing their homes for sale. Fresh paint, clean carpets, and simple upgrades will present buyers with a clean slate to build their own dreams on. If you’re going to renovate, choose your upgrades wisely so you can break even or turn a profit.