The Top 15 Upgrades To Help Sell Your Home Faster & for More Money

Upgrades to Help Sell Your Home

In today’s competitive real estate market, making your home stand out among the myriad of listings is crucial. 

One of the effective ways to ensure your home makes a remarkable first impression is through strategic upgrades. 

Some home improvements not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home but also increase its market value, facilitating a quicker sale. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the top 15 upgrades to help sell your home faster and for more money.

With an eye on enriching your home’s appeal and maximizing return on investment (ROI), this guide is meant to empower homeowners with knowledge, clarity, and actionable insights.


Upgrades That Increase Square Footage

Upgrades That Increase Square Footage

1. Finish Your Basement

Finishing your basement can dramatically increase the usable square footage in your home. 

According to data, a finished basement can offer a return on investment (ROI) of about 70%

Basements can be transformed into anything from an extra living room, a guest suite, or even a home gym, providing potential buyers with a versatile space. 

It costs on average $20-$35 per square foot to finish a basement. 

This investment could lead to significant payoffs when it’s time to sell your home.

On average, you can expect to pay between $4,700 and $41,000 to finish a basement, for an average of $22,850.

This transforms the basement from a mere storage space to a strategic asset that amplifies the home’s square footage and overall market appeal. 

Diving deeper into data reveals that finished basements elevate a property’s value, often translating into higher selling prices

Buyers are magnetically drawn to homes that offer additional, usable spaces to facilitate diverse lifestyle needs and aspirations. 

A finished basement can profoundly influence buyer perceptions and decision-making.

2. Convert or Build a Home Office

In the wake of the remote work revolution, having a dedicated home office space has become increasingly desirable. 

By converting an existing room or creating a new space for a home office, you can enhance the appeal of your home to a broader audience. 

The average cost to convert a room into a home office is $2,500-$4,000.

Homeowners pay $3,500 on average to convert a bedroom into a home office with a fresh coat of paint and flooring upgrades.

The average cost of constructing a home office from scratch is $20,000.

That said, the benefits in terms of house value and marketability are profound.

Many buyers willing to pay a premium for a ready-to-use office space.

The ROI of a home office is 53-75% if it qualifies as a bedroom.. 

A home office stands as a beacon of modern functionality, enhancing the home’s appeal and competitive stature.

Buyers are increasingly interested in homes that facilitate work-life integration without compromising on comfort or aesthetics. 

A dedicated home office space will drive interest, engagement, and ultimately, decisive action from potential buyers. 

It’s an upgrade that wields substantial influence in bolstering a home’s market position.


Upgrades That Enhance Curb Appeal

Upgrades That Enhance Curb Appeal

3. Update Mailbox & House Numbers

It’s often the small details that leave a lasting impression. 

Updating the mailbox and house numbers is a cost-effective upgrade that can enhance the curb appeal of your home significantly. 

On average, these minor improvements can cost between $50 to $300 but can play a vital role in creating a positive first impression on potential buyers.

The power of these upgrades lies in their ability to infuse a sense of modern elegance and fresh aesthetic appeal to the property’s exterior. 

Statistics show that curb appeal enhancements, like updating mailboxes and house numbers, can offer an ROI of up to 96%. 

This subtle refreshment serves as an invitation, creating an initial impression of care, quality, and attention to detail that resonates positively with potential buyers.

4. Paint or Replace Garage Door

The garage door occupies a significant portion of a home’s front view, making it a crucial aspect to consider for an upgrade. 

A fresh coat of paint or a new garage door can drastically improve your home’s curb appeal

The condition, color, and style of a garage door play a pivotal role in shaping the property’s overall aesthetic harmony and curb appeal. 

Investing in painting or replacing the garage door is a strategic decision, promising tangible benefits. 

A new garage door costs an average of $1,200 but adds an average $2,797 in resale value for a 133% ROI. 

This underscores its economic viability and its transformative impact on enhancing a home’s visual appeal. 

5. Paint or Replace Front Door

Your front door is one of the first things buyers see. 

Painting or replacing the front door can be instrumental in creating a welcoming entrance. 

Elevating the gateway to your home—a refreshed or replaced front door—can be a profound emblem of renewal and welcome. 

This is more than a functional upgrade; it’s a statement, an expression of the home’s identity and a direct influence on curb appeal. 

For a relatively modest investment ranging from $100 for a fresh coat of paint to up to $1,200 for a full replacement, the front door can become a focal point of aesthetic allure.

Replacing an existing entry door with a steel one can result in an ROI of 65% to 91% at resale.

A stylish front door enhances a home’s market attractiveness and perceived value.

6. Upgrade Landscaping

Investing in landscaping enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home exponentially. 

In fact, a 2021 survey of HomeLight’s top agents found that on average, buyers will pay 7% more for a house with great curb appeal compared to one with a neglected exterior.

Embarking on landscaping enhancements is akin to nurturing a living, breathing canvas of natural beauty that amplifies a home’s exterior charm. 

For an investment that could range from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the complexity and scale of changes, landscaping upgrades can have a significant effect on a property’s curb appeal.

In terms of return, a well-executed landscaping project could recoup up to 200% to 400% of the investment

From lush lawns and blooming gardens to elegant pathways and sophisticated water features, landscaping upgrades can play a significant role in selling your home

This positions the home as a haven of beauty and quality living, aspects that resonate deeply with prospective buyers’ aspirations and considerations.


Upgrades That Improve Energy Efficiency

Upgrades That Improve Energy Efficiency

7. Replace Toilets With Low-Flow Models

Upgrading your bathrooms with low-flow toilets can significantly reduce water usage, appealing to eco-conscious buyers

Such upgrades typically cost $100 to $1,500 and use no more than 1.3 gallons per flush compared to a standard 1.6 gallons per flush.

Look for the EPA’s WaterSense label to find toilets that meet the highest efficiency and performance standards.

Transitioning to low-flow toilets is a deliberate move towards enhancing your home’s energy efficiency. 

The introduction of low-flow toilets can reduce water usage significantly.

Based on EPA averages and statistics, a low-flow toilet can save your home about 11,000 gallons of water a year.

This means saving $140 to $180 per year in water costs.

With the average price of a low-flow toilet around $250, you can break even on a new low-flow toilet within two years of purchasing.

The ROI of incorporating such energy-efficient fixtures can soar to an impressive 125%. 

This makes it an upgrade that balances immediate cost implications with significant long-term gains and market appeal.

8. Replace Windows With Energy-Efficient Windows

​​Drafty windows can let up to 30% of a home’s heat or air conditioning out. 

Over time, this can equate to high losses and wasted energy.

Energy-efficient windows are a remarkable investment, that will save homeowners significantly in annual energy costs. 

Energy-efficient windows are precision-engineered to reduce energy costs, optimize thermal comfort, and contribute towards a sustainable living environment. 

Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s online guide so you can shop for your region’s standards for stopping heat flow, blocking the sun’s heat, and allowing a certain amount of light to enter.

The financial investment in this upgrade is marked, with costs ranging from $300 to $1,000 per window, including installation.

Homeowners can anticipate returns upwards of 80% on the investment, augmented by reductions in energy expenditure. 

They enhance the property’s market position and resonate powerfully with informed, environmentally conscious buyers. 

This amplifies the home’s appeal, aligning it with contemporary expectations and standards of energy efficiency and ecological mindfulness.

9. Replace Appliances With Energy-Efficient Models

Energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen and laundry areas enhance your home’s marketability. 

These upgrades, ranging from $400 to $8,000, resonate with buyers who prioritize long-term savings and sustainability.

Try appliances that are ENERGY STAR certified, including dryers and washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators, among others.

Revamping your home with energy-efficient appliances combines sustainability and modern functionality. 

Energy-efficient appliances, celebrated for their reduced consumption of electricity and water, save homeowners up to $500 annually in utility bills. 

This enhances the home’s attractiveness to potential buyers who value sustainability and long-term savings.

The return on investment (ROI) in energy-efficient appliances is also adorned with tax credits and rebates, enhancing their economic appeal. 

With an average ROI of 15% to 50%, these upgrades stand as a testament to practical wisdom in home improvement strategies, marrying immediate benefits with enduring value.

In the competitive arena of home sales, energy-efficient appliances elevate a property’s profile. 

This investment, is a powerful tool, enabling homeowners to navigate the market with confidence. 


Upgrades That Enhance Aesthetics

Upgrades That Enhance Aesthetics

10. Replace Flooring

New flooring can transform the look and feel of a home. 

According to Angi, flooring installation costs about $1,500 to $4,460 for a 500-sq. ft. room.

The cost depends on the room size and type of flooring. 

Opting for popular options like hardwood or luxury vinyl can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Curbio found when examining their own projects that the average ROI of 348% on refinished hardwood flooring.

Replacing flooring can be a transformative upgrade. 

The variety of materials—from hardwood and laminate to tile and carpet—offers a spectrum of choices. 

Each has a unique aesthetics and cost implications, ranging from $3 to $22 per square foot, including installation.

Furthermore, updated flooring can expedite the selling process, being a pivotal factor that enhances the property’s aesthetic appeal and functional value. 

11. Swap Out Fixtures

Changing outdated fixtures for more modern or stylish ones is an excellent way to refresh the home’s appearance. 

This relatively minor upgrade, costing between $100 and $5,000, can substantially influence a buyer’s perception of the property.

Fixtures play an unsung yet powerful role. 

Replacing outdated fixtures with modern, stylish alternatives can breathe new life into a home’s aesthetic ambiance. 

Emphasizing the economic logic, the act of swapping out fixtures offers a favorable ROI, generally hovering around 85%. 

This upgrade, marked by its accessibility and impactful outcome, serves as a strategic move to elevate the home’s value. 

High-quality fixtures enhance perceived value, compelling potential buyers to view the property with an appreciative eye. 

Potential buyers may recognize the care and thought invested in maintaining and upgrading the home’s appeal.

12. Paint in a Neutral Palette

​​A fresh coat of paint in a neutral palette can make spaces feel larger and brighter. 

This cost-effective improvement is essential for staging a home and making it feel welcoming.

Color has a profound psychological impact, playing a pivotal role in shaping perceptions and moods. 

Painting in a neutral palette is an artistic strategy to universalize appeal, creating spaces marked by calm, space, and possibility. 

The cost of painting a home varies, ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 for an average-sized home.

A freshly painted home can enhance the property’s sale price by up to 5%, weaving a narrative of care, modernity, and readiness that resonates with potential buyers. 

Neutral tones allow prospective buyers to envision their lives and decorative preferences within the home.


Upgrades That Improve Outdoor Living Areas

Upgrades That Improve Outdoor Living Areas

13. Add a Deck or Patio

Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly desirable. 

A deck or patio is a common staple of a home’s backyard living area. 

It’s a place to dine, have a beverage, entertain, or work outdoors for a few hours. 

A backyard deck adds over $7,000 in resale value on average.

The national average cost to build a deck is $8,035. 

According to HomeAdvisor, most people pay between $4,159 and $11,915. 

So, it’s likely that you can break even or even see a positive ROI on this project.

These spaces offer potential buyers additional areas for entertaining and relaxation.

Embracing the outdoors with the addition of a deck or patio creates a blend of comfort and natural beauty. 

This transformative upgrade not only expands the living area but also introduces a new realm of possibilities for relaxation and entertainment. 

The overall cost of this upgrade depends on size, materials, and design complexity.

It becomes a vibrant selling point, enhancing the lifestyle quotient of the property, and facilitating an enriched experience of the outdoors. 

The intrinsic value of expanded outdoor spaces resonates strongly with potential buyers.

14. Install or Build a Fire Pit

A fire pit is an appealing feature, creating a cozy outdoor space for friends and family to gather. 

The average cost of installation ranges from $300 to $1,400, making it a reasonably priced upgrade that can enhance the usability of outdoor areas.

A fire pit acts as a centerpiece of outdoor charm and functionality, which helps to explain the dramatic increase in popularity.

Diving into the financial metrics reveals that a fire pit can enhance a property’s appeal and competitive stance in the market, offering an average ROI of 60%

15. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen can transform a backyard into an entertainer’s paradise. 

In addition to a built-in grill, outdoor kitchens often include features such as cabinets, a bar, a sink, standard kitchen appliances, and sometimes a flat-screen TV. 

They can be lavish or basic, depending on budget.

This upgrade is on the higher end of the budget, costing between $5,976 and $25,098

It can significantly increase the appeal of your home, especially in warmer climates.

The integration of an outdoor kitchen stands as a luxury upgrade with pragmatic charm. 

Initial investment might be steep, but outdoor kitchens offer countless benefits and enhanced lifestyle experiences.

In terms of ROI, outdoor kitchens can recoup between 50% to 300% of the investment.

It’s largely dependent on regional climate and buyer interests. 

Outdoor kitchens are powerful magnets for potential buyers.

They symbolize a pinnacle of outdoor living sophistication and modern convenience. 

The market often responds with enthusiasm to such upgrades, viewing them as valuable extensions of the living space.


Wrapping Up the Top 15 Upgrades to Help You Sell Your Home

Wrapping Up: the Top 15 Upgrades to Help Sell Your Home

Strategically upgrading your home can dramatically increase its market value and appeal to a broader range of buyers. 

From enhancing curb appeal to improving energy efficiency and expanding living spaces, each upgrade plays a pivotal role in making your home stand out in the competitive real estate market. 

Armed with this guide, you can make informed decisions that will help facilitate a quicker and more profitable home sale.

Each upgrade, enriched by careful selection and cost-effective implementation, serves as a building block that contributes toward optimizing the home’s market position, appeal, and selling potential. 

Armed with this comprehensive exploration of the top 15 upgrades to help sell your home, homeowners are equipped with a robust foundation to navigate the market with confidence.

To learn more about selling a home or if you have questions that weren’t addressed in this post, give us a call at (817) 923-7321 or contact us.

Helen Painter Group Realtors is here to offer our knowledge and expertise to help facilitate your home-buying journey.

A long-standing and trusted Fort Worth real estate agency, we’ve been serving buyers and sellers since 1958. 

With over six decades of success behind us, you’ll surely have peace of mind knowing your best interests are being represented throughout the home-buying process.