Should You Stay and Renovate or Sell Your House?

renovated room with new french doors with a view of backyard

A real estate agent and interior designer walk into a house – insert punchline here. While one tries to convince you to stay and renovate, the other tries to convince you to sell.

So, should you stay and renovate, or sell your house?

It’s on TV so is it real?

This is the concept behind a popular property TV show, but it’s not real life. Making the decision to move or renovate is not a lightweight discussion. Pros and cons push and pull at your sense of reason, not to mention your bank account.

Once you make up your mind, the real stress sets in. Whatever you decide, your life will be disrupted for a period of time.

What does the market tell us?

When we see changes in the market and the value of our homes start to skyrocket, it’s hard not to think about selling. The sentiment goes out the window as we see dollar signs and the house becomes a building, real estate, rather than just “home”. Once you’re in the mindset that your house is a commodity that can be sold or purchased, the sentiment of staying fades away.

Should you sell your house?

It’s important to know what homes in your neighborhood are selling for today and talk to a real estate agent to learn whether your home can fetch those prime dollars.

Think about why you’re moving and what you’re looking for. Is it a bigger home? A better location? What would it cost to move to a different neighborhood? Your home could be worth more money, but what can you buy with the proceeds of your sale?

When market values increase, should you just ride the wave and do nothing to increase the value of your home? Or is this the right time to invest in your own property?

One of the first things I ask a client is, “why am I here?” Usually, they have gone through that conversation about staying or going and they’ve decided to make their home fit their current and future needs.

Should you renovate and sell?

You could sell your house as-is without making any improvements before putting it on the market. Or, you could renovate and increase the value of your home. But which rooms should you renovate?

Prospective buyers will often focus on the kitchen and the bathroom. If your kitchen looks dated with traditional wood cabinetry and old appliances, consider a renovation. White kitchens with updated appliances and flooring are popular and will give you a great return on investment.

Old wood kitchen with beige and brown tones before renovation

Before: dated kitchen with wood cabinetry and beige tones

white kitchen after renovation white island stool two silver pendant lights

After: bright modern kitchen with white cabinetry and a new floor

Primary bathrooms are also important to home buyers and another great room to renovate. If you can afford it, these home upgrades can help you sell your home and increase your asking price.

Is it worth replacing the roof or the water heater before you sell? Take a few minutes and learn how to sell a house that needs repairs.

Should you stay and renovate?

Whether it’s an addition, a full rebuild, or a room makeover, the outcome must address your needs. That’s why it’s a massive discussion at the start. It’s imperative that you know what the end result has to be. Sometimes a renovation may not be the answer for you. Make sure you know before the walls come down.

dated looking bathroom before renovation

Before: dated bathroom with an old tub

bathroom with new tub after renovation

After: luxurious bathroom with modern tub, new flooring, and cabinetry

Talk to the experts about your house

Consider that you will likely experience one or two major life events every 10 years. Your home may need to change as a result of these events. We’re not talking about replacing a carpet or painting a room. You may need to remodel a kitchen or a bathroom. Maybe an addition to your home will become necessary.

The dollars you invest back into your home should be in line with neighborhood house values. If you’re continuing to stay don’t worry about future buyers, it’s more important that your home fit your needs.

Talk to the design and real estate pros before you make a life-changing decision. Make sure there is a balance between the business side of home ownership and the sentimental side. Don’t wait for them to show up at your door. It won’t happen, except on TV!