If a seller was looking to renovate his or her home on a budget prior to selling, what are the top two areas in a house he or she should focus on improving? (Which two spaces—if fully renovated—could boost the seller’s asking price the most?)
Buyers look for recently renovated kitchens and master suites when buying pre-owned homes, assuming that maintenance has been done all along by owners on things like foundation, roof, plumbing and air conditioning/heating equipment.
The scope of remodels should be dictated by current trends as well as neighborhood-specific standards. An outdated kitchen or master bath can easily knock a home out of the running in the Plano luxury market where home sales in the $1.5-2.5 million are still soft with plenty of inventory. Commercial-quality, name brand appliances for kitchens, and granite counter tops in baths and kitchens are standard now. Your home can be in a desirable neighborhood on a valuable lot, but if your kitchen has double ovens from 1980, it is not going to sell as quickly.
There are markets in the Dallas area, however, where cosmetic renovations are less important. The Park Cities, for example, is about location, location, and location. An old stovetop would not be a deterrent for people looking in that hot-selling market. The older homes there are more likely to need maintenance-related renovations, and people buying in that market often tear down existing homes and build from scratch.
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, 59% of people who remodeled in the first quarter of this year did so to improve home prices. That said I recommend that homeowners consult with their real estate professionals before completing renovations to discern the best way to invest their remodeling dollars.