Ready to Sell? Here’s How to Refresh Your Home During Lockdown

A fresh coat of white paint is a relatively inexpensive improvement that can substantially enhance the look of a home, and one that many homeowners can do on their own.

Refinishing wood floors can be a pain, but if the home is empty, it may be worthwhile. Or maybe not: The 2019 Remodeling Impact Report prepared by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry estimated the average floor-refinishing job was a financial wash — a $2,600 job could potentially boost the sale price by the same amount.

The value of kitchen and bathroom renovations is far less certain. Sellers might recoup only $20,000 of an average $38,300 kitchen upgrade, the associations estimated, and $20,000 of a $35,000 bathroom renovation.

Of course, some kitchen and bathroom renovations are more appealing than others. Renovations completed by Curbio, Mr. Rudman said, regularly earn more than they cost. That’s because his contractors focus on using simple, inexpensive materials that will appeal to the broadest group of buyers possible, he said — like white subway tile and white Shaker-style cabinets.

“It’s stuff that may not be somebody’s dream kitchen or dream bathroom,” he said. “But what they do say is, ‘Hey, I can live here for three, four or five years, and I don’t have to do anything.’”

Homes with extremely outdated, unappealing kitchens and bathrooms stand to benefit the most from such renovations. So if your kitchen and bathrooms are generally acceptable, focus on cleaning and decluttering instead.

“If you want to get the best price and attract the most buyers,” Mr. Rudman said, “you want it to look fresh, modern and move-in ready.”

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