Home UpgradesSelling Your Home May 5, 2023

Making the Right Upgrades Before Selling Your Home

The market might be “hot”, but are you really getting top dollar?


We all know the real estate market might be considered hot now, but there is still a lot to do if you really want the most money in the shortest amount of time—a.k.a. the biggest “bang for your buck”! Making the right upgrades before selling your home is imperative.

There is often a big disconnect between what buyers want and what sellers think buyers want.  And that disconnect can leave money on the table for sellers. Sellers upgrading their home can be great—but only if they make the right upgrades. If not, sellers can miss out on getting top dollar if they decide to upgrade poorly. Or, worse, not sell at all.


Coldwell Banker recently commissioned a survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, exploring the difficulties of the home selling and buying process as well as the challenges around home renovations during those processes.

The key takeaways included what buyers wanted most when looking for a new home:

  • 45% of respondents wanted kitchen upgrades
  • 44% of respondents wanted bathroom upgrades
  • 43% of respondents wanted electrical, HVAC, and plumbing upgrades

Graph showing what upgrades buyers want when purchasing a home

Here’s the big disconnect…

The survey also found that 89% of respondents who have sold their homes in the past three years reported that they made upgrades before selling (which is great), but, unfortunately, they may have made the wrong upgrades instead of making the right upgrades.


The top upgrade listed by sellers was interior or exterior paint, which is important, but far down the buyers list. Only 30% of sellers said they did a kitchen upgrade which is the number one item buyers wanted! Unbelievable!

Graph showing what upgrade sellers do before selling their home


We know that sellers do often struggle to make upgrades, either because of lack of resources or because of lack of market knowledge…or a little of both. Although 28% said they had the money to make updates before listing, they struggled to understand the best updates to make to get the most return on investment. So, they go at it alone with no budget and a lack of current market knowledge.


The good news is you don’t have to struggle. We have both the resources and the market knowledge to virtually ensure that your home is not only ready for sale, but will get you top dollar when you do sell.

Our RealVitalize® Program helps you make the needed improvements (including cleaning and staging) to prepare your home for sale. We pay the upfront costs. You pay us back at closing.  No hidden fees, charges, or markups. Really!


What is the big take away? Wait until your real estate agent weighs in before you start making updates. And, more importantly, ask your agent if they can help find you the money to make those upgrades!

Always remember, I’m here for you!

Headshot of Pamela Smith, REALTOR with Coldwell Banker Realty

Pamela Smith, REALTOR®




Copyright 2023 Pamela Smith