Before you sell, Remember these 15 best returns on investment


By Ron Wynn

Everyone is looking for ways to maximize return especially at the pivotal moment of selling a home, but it’s not always clear where money is best spent when it’s not part of the fix up process for your personal living enjoyment.

One sure good investment is interior painting and a thorough cleaning. Spending an average here of $5,000 to $7,000 will easily bring $15,000 to $20,000 in return

Another should do investment is exterior painting. Exterior painting will not only bring a two or three time return but will also create the much needed “great first impression” which will speed up the selling process.

Refinishing hardwood floors is another typical 3 times the investment return that is typically the case for homes when everything else is in nice visual condition.

Switch plates, electrical receptacles, light fixtures and cabinet hardware is a must do when painting and refinishing floors to realize the optimal look of excellence. Expect the return to be 3 times the investment.

Staging- outstanding staging is worth its weight in gold, but only when the items 1 to 4 above have been implemented first. Staging should also add at least twice the amount invested to the selling price of a home when done without cutting corners and when professionally executed.

Landscaping is one of the most important improvements a homeowner should consider because again, here is where you are providing that “great first impression”.

New appliances can also be a great investment when the kitchen is relatively nice and does not need a complete overhaul. Appliances should add a three to one return similarly to most all of the above.

New countertops will also bring three times the investment assuming the kitchen otherwise is move in ready and generally functional.

Total bathroom remodels should bring 3 times return if done in good taste.

Adding a bathroom off the master bedroom. A beautiful master suite with a great walk-in closet and plenty of space and with possible access to the yard may be screaming for its own private bathroom. Assuming everything else meet the mentioned criteria, a nice added bathroom should increase the home’s value by around $50,000, which generally is a twice the amount invested return.

Large deck and spa. Assuming you still have additional yard, a great deck and spa should bring a three to one return when landscaping is otherwise pristine and recently updated 

Central air- depending on the location, air conditioning, (especially in the summer) can make a huge difference- everything else nice and move in ready. Air conditioning might increase to home value by $30,000 and possibly more in a large scale, luxury home.

ADU – the guest apartment/ accessory dwelling unit. This is the most difficult improvement to access a value for. Accessory dwelling units come in many sizes and at many different levels of quality. Investing $150,000 in the construction of a high quality ADU should add $350,000, and possibly more in the case of a higher end property and for luxury homes selling above 2 million before the addition of an ADU

New high quality windows and French doors. This is usually a two to one investment return.

Detached office with no bathroom. This is usually three times return on investment- this room may also double as a home gym which can make it even more functional and more valuable. 

The important thing to keep in mind is the cumulative value of a home that is totally functional and move in ready. 

A home that is move in ready should sell relatively fast because the buyer can appreciate the “nothing urgently needed “

element – The confusion about return on investment is when the homeowner decides to do only a partial job and then expects a maximum return on the money spent.

Be sure to have a plan in mind and consult with a professional before moving forward and then regretting a poor outcome.

Remember, making good choices will provide maximum returns –

The purchase of a single family home is an emotional experience. Create that magical lifestyle that people dream about and success will quickly be in the palm of your hands. 

Named as one of the top 100 sales associates by The Wall Street Journal for the past 10 years, Ron Wynn was previously among the top 10 agents for Coldwell Banker® in the world for over 15 years consecutively, currently holding the number 14 position among all agents for the state of California and #49 among all agents in the United States. 

Before you sell, Remember these 15 best returns on investment