Top 5 Home Improvements that Will Deliver Sellers the Greatest ROI

When it comes to selling a home, every property has two opportunities to make a first impression on potential buyers: when they drive up to your house and when they open your door and walk inside. That’s why your home’s curb appeal and interior setting are among the first steps to unlocking its true value.

However, the art of selling a home at the highest possible ROI takes more than making great first impressions. Getting the most out of a home sale lies in making the right improvements that appeal to buyers’ emotions and practical needs. Let’s explore five home improvements that can deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI) to sellers.

1. Curb Appeal – Your First, First Impression

house exterior curb appealYour home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive for a viewing. Ensuring that your property looks well-maintained and inviting from the street can significantly impact its perceived value.

Focus on improving your home’s softscape, which includes elements like flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, flower beds, grass, soil, groundcover, and mulch. A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed hedges, or colorful flower beds can create a welcoming atmosphere that draws buyers in.

In addition to landscaping, pay attention to other exterior elements that can influence a buyer’s first impression. Updating outdated exterior light fixtures and giving your front door a fresh coat of paint – or installing a new one – can make a big impact.

If your home’s exterior paint is looking tired or dated, invest in new paint. While this can be expensive, it can also provide an excellent ROI by making your home look fresh, clean, and well-cared-for.

Remember, your home’s curb appeal is your first opportunity to create an emotional connection with potential buyers. Investing in these exterior improvements can set the stage for a positive viewing experience and increase your chances of securing a better offer.

2. Fresh Paint and Consistent Flooring – Setting the Tone

home living roomOnce potential buyers step inside your home, the first two things they’ll notice are the paint and the flooring. Fresh paint throughout your place can provide one of the highest ROIs, second, perhaps only to curb appeal. But buyers often expect the home to have fresh paint, so focusing on flooring is just as important.

When it comes to flooring, consistency is key. Avoid mixing and matching different styles and materials, as this can make your home feel choppy and disconnected. The most proven approach today is keeping flooring complementary—either the same or something that fits—throughout. Yes, there are exceptions, like tile in entryways, laundry rooms, and sometimes kitchens. Whether it’s hardwood, luxury vinyl plank (LVP), or another material, the key is to ensure that it matches the overall feel and look of your home.

If your home has outdated or worn flooring, consider replacing it before putting your property on the market. New flooring can instantly update the look and feel of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. If you have hardwood floors that are in good condition, consider having them refinished to bring back their original luster.

3. Kitchens – The Heart of the Home

family kitchen cookingThe kitchen is often considered the focal point of a home, and it’s no surprise that kitchen remodels and upgrades can deliver a high ROI. A well-designed, updated kitchen can be a major selling point for potential buyers, as it’s where many families spend a significant amount of their time.

While a full remodel can be costly, there are ways to save time and money by improving what you already have. If your cabinets are in good shape and less than 10 years old, consider painting or resurfacing them and adding new countertops and hardware. This can give your kitchen a modern, updated feel without the expense of a complete remodel, as it reduces labor and material costs. If your appliances are outdated or mismatched, consider replacing them with newer, energy-efficient models that will appeal to buyers.

When planning your kitchen improvements, it’s vital to know what comparable homes in your area offer. You don’t want to over-improve if all the homes in your neighborhood selling have original kitchens. You want to ensure your updates compete with other listings at your price point.

4. Bathrooms – Anchor of Appeal

home bathroomBathrooms are another area where improvements can deliver a significant ROI. While not all bathrooms require the same level of attention, focusing on your primary bathroom can make a huge impact.

Decking out your bathroom with updated finishes and fixtures, a standalone soaking tub, or other spa-like features can make your home more memorable for buyers. Well-appointed bathrooms often feature modern vanities, rainfall showers, and updated lighting.

Here’s a home improvement hack: You may not need to do as much to improve hallways or secondary bathrooms. A simple update can still make a big difference. Replacing the vanity, updating the flooring, and epoxying the tile can create a fresh, new feel without breaking the bank. Also, update your fixtures to match the look and feel of your decked-out primary bathroom. Using similar materials across all bathrooms can help tie the spaces together and make your home feel more polished and professionally designed.

Remember, bathrooms are one of the most personal areas in a home, and buyers will be looking for a clean, comfortable, and relaxing space. Investing in bathroom improvements can create a more attractive and functional space that will appeal to a wide range of buyers.

5. Accessories – Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

home interior bedroom lightFinally, don’t underestimate the power of small improvements to increase your home’s value. Focus on the accessories. Think of the items in your home that will complement its overall look, like earrings complimenting a dress. When you have a beautiful dress, if you don’t accessorize well, the dress doesn’t shine the way it could.

Accessories include light fixtures, switches, electrical plates, faucets, doorknobs, handles, and hinges—subtle things. Little things, collectively, can make a big difference. You can also avoid the feeling a buyer gets: that your house feels old and dated or looks worn out. Subtle changes can help your home feel well-maintained and updated.

When selecting accessories, consider your home’s overall style and aesthetic. If your space is modern and minimalist, choose sleek, streamlined fixtures that complement the look. If your home has a more traditional feel, opt for classic finishes like brushed nickel. Consistency is critical here as well—try to choose accessories that have a similar finish and style throughout your home.

Pulling it all together

Selling a home is all about creating an emotional connection with potential buyers. By focusing on these top five areas of improvement—curb appeal, paint and flooring, kitchens, bathrooms, and accessories—you can create a space that feels fresh, inviting, and move-in ready. Making the right improvements can make a lasting impression that will help you secure the best possible price for your home and maximize your ROI.

Jon Salas heads up sales at Revive Real Estate, is a 20+ year real estate industry veteran, spending 16 years as a real estate agent in Irvine, CA. Revive Real Estate partners with real estate professionals to provide the funding, guidance, and contractors needed to get strategic pre-sale renovations done fast and for maximum value. By providing access to Revive’s network of top contractors, Revive homes sell for more and help sellers move ahead by maximizing their sales value. Discover more at

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