If You Make Upgrades to These 2 Rooms in Your Home You’ll Increase its Value

The focused carpenter marks with a pencil where he will cut the wooden material he needs during the renovation of the kitchen.
Kosamtu / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When it comes to selling one’s home, many tout “location, location, location,” but what’s inside the house can also certainly motivate a buyer. According to one real estate expert, making upgrades to your bathroom and kitchen can be a big game-changer.

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It’s especially important to stand out from the competition in today’s real estate market. According to CNBC, the very active housing market — one which resulted in bidding wars and 24-hour offers over the past two years — is “cooling.” Citing a report from Realtor.com, it’s said that one out of every five home sellers dropped their asking price in August. Reasons cited are rising mortgage interest rates and more supply coming to market (27% more compared to this time last year).

One common-sense tip is making your house more presentable. Per Forbes, decluttering and staging your home can provide a great visual impression to interested buyers and may make the difference in netting an offer.

Real estate consultant Dana Bull told Business Insider that the two main rooms she always tells clients to focus on are the kitchen and the bathroom. “Kitchens, primarily, and baths sell houses. That’s where you’re generally going to get the most ROI,” she told the outlet.

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Online real estate marketplace Trulia concurs with this assessment. As they noted, “The rooms buyers most closely inspect (and judge) in a house are the kitchen and master bath. These are the interior spaces where the most value can be added during a sale, so they need to look their best.”

Opendoor also cited data regarding how much these updates can affect home values. According to their findings, a full kitchen remodel will increase a home’s value by 4.8% and may net up to $15,000 more on an asking price. By comparison, a bathroom remodel will increase a home’s value by 3.7%, with up to $11,000 more added to the offer.

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Bull also had some great tips on how to make improvements in these two key rooms without investing a ton of money.

  1. Get advice from a designer and then go DIY. A visual expert might be able to suggest the right paint color, cabinet finishes and where to place items in the room. After getting their tips, you can do the rest yourself to save money. A paint store can even provide this type of expertise, often offering a free consultation with a related purchase.
  2. The biggest (and easiest) fix you can do is change the paint color. According to Bull, it’s the “best money you can spend” when it comes to home improvements and is one of the top ways to increase value.
  3. Always err on the side of clean and light colors and finishes. White and neutrals are great color schemes as they are airy and open a room up. As well, stainless steel will make the kitchen look clean and state-of-the-art.
  4. Skip customization. Anything that looks too personalized will potentially turn a buyer off if it doesn’t fit with their preferences. Your best bet is to always go with options that are timeless and have mass appeal. 
  5. Know your budget — and your home. A good rule of thumb is to itemize what you’re willing to spend, what estimates might be for each room and where you want to make cuts or do extra. For example, if your bathroom is up-to-date but your kitchen needs a makeover, focus your money there. Also, choose appliances and finishes that match the overall value of the home. Buying the most expensive fridge on the market won’t make sense in a modestly-priced home — and this may turn off buyers. Attending open houses in your neighborhood to see what their kitchens and baths look like, and potentially following suit, is another option.
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About the Author

Selena Fragassi joined GOBankingRates.com in 2022, adding to her 15 years in journalism with bylines in Spin, Paste, Nylon, Popmatters, The A.V. Club, Loudwire, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine and others. She currently resides in Chicago with her rescue pets and is working on a debut historical fiction novel about WWII. She holds a degree in fiction writing from Columbia College Chicago.
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