Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report

2022 was a roller coaster year in the real estate world. There were record-breaking months followed by early signs of a slowing economy – and agents had to adapt to the high highs and the low lows. We wanted to find out more about their daily challenges and shifting strategies, so we reached out to our expansive agent network to find out more. In addition, we queried homeowners about the many obstacles and challenges they face during a home sale. We found that there are many agents recommending pre-listing updates to their selling clients in order to maximize their home sale… but very few are currently working with a white-glove concierge solution like Curbio.  

Real estate agents weren’t the only ones having a record-breaking year; we released the Curbio mobile app! This cutting-edge tool enables agents to streamline the inspection process, get instant estimates on common home improvement projects, and to be able to tell their clients with confidence which updates will yield the highest ROI. With this extensive, accurate data at our fingertips, we decided the timing was perfect to release our 1st annual State of Renovating to Sell Report. With this report, we want to fuel the conversation around pre-listing updates, helping agents increase listings and decrease stress, and putting more profit in the sellers’ pocket. 

cartoon man looking for home

The numbers don’t lie. The majority of buyers are looking for move-in ready homes.

77% of buyers want move-in ready home

Potential home buyers are also concerned about:

home buyer concerns infographic

These home features make the best first impressions:

open house best impressions infographic

When it comes to buying a home, first impressions matter, and sellers will often decide whether or not they like a house within seconds

What are the biggest deal breakers at open houses?

open house deal breakers infographic

Why does something like buyer preference matter so much to a pre-listing home improvement company?

Because our #1 goal is to deliver the most successful home sale possible to our clients. This is an essential component to creating a win-win-win scenario. (What’s our win-win-win scenario? So glad you asked.) 

cartoon moving in

Win-Win-Win Scenario:

  • Sellers win: They maximize profit on their home and sell for an average of 28% more than homes listed as they are.
  • Buyers win: They get a move-in ready and modern dream home.
  • Agents win: They get happier clients without added work like managing the projects or chasing down contractors- oh, and they win more listings by offering our concierge service

The home selling process can be complicated and confusing for homeowners with many hurdles along the way. 

When you sold your last home, what was the worst part?

worst part of selling infographic

Inspections can be a hassle for sellers, but they do not have to be. Our inspection repair tool makes home inspection reports easier to read and provides instant pricing for projects. We can even do the repairs for you with no payment due until closing.

home inspection repair tool cartoon

Although the overwhelming majority of buyers want modern features and updated homes, a quarter of sellers said fixing up their homes was their biggest pain point in the home-selling process. As a result, not every seller took steps to update their home. 

Why didn’t you make updates and repairs?

why not make repairs and updates before selling infographic

Yes, funding these updates upfront can be unrealistic.

Yes, general contractors rarely finish on time. 

Yes, it is easier to sell as-is. 

Yes, home improvement projects can be stressful. 

But, homeowners who sell as-is are leaving a lot of money on the table. And that doesn’t sit well with us. 

cartoon- coins used as stepping stones to house

At Curbio, we found solutions to all of these problems to make the home-selling process faster, easier, and more affordable so sellers can turn a bigger profit. The question is, are homeowners working with the agents who will deliver the best possible outcome for them? 

As it turns out, many agents are already suggesting updates to their clients. 

agent statistics- home improvements before selling & concierge services

So, while agents have been sharing these issues with the homeowners, they haven’t offered a solution.   

Plus, let’s face it; pre-listing updates and repairs often fall on the agents’ shoulders. While homeowners may front the money for the work, agents have to pick up the slack themselves on executing the project. And that is no small feat. 

Real estate agents: When you have worked on making pre-listing updates and repairs with your clients, what has been the most challenging part?

agent pre-listing update pains infographic

Lose-Lose-Lose Scenario:

As a result, pre-listing repairs have often been a lose-lose-lose scenario:

  • Sellers lose: They either sell as-is and walk away from their hard-earned equity, or they pay upfront for work from unreliable general contractors.
  • Buyers lose: They don’t get the move-in ready home they are looking for and have to make updates themselves. 
  • Agents lose:  Without a turnkey concierge solution, sellers are saddled with responsibilities and have to spend time they don’t have on project management. 

Being an agent is tough enough without being a project manager as well. Especially in today’s market, agents are facing many difficulties.

As a real estate agent, what is the biggest challenge you’re experiencing in the current market?

real estate agent market challenges infographic

The landscape has also changed. Gone are the days of listing homes as they are and receiving multiple offers. With increasing interest rates, buyers are choosier about their homes, and the market itself is slowing significantly. As a result, real estate agents are facing new challenges.  

How many listings do you currently have?

how many listings agents have infographics

Curbio can help agents win listings.

Especially in a highly competitive market, agents can benefit from having a service that helps them stand out. So, while homeowners can be hesitant to make improvements because of issues like time, money, and stress: they are open to a solution. And agents who can offer the solution that removes 100% of these obstacles for them are going to win their business

Join the 68% of real estate agents who have won listings simply by pitching Curbio.

of homeowners chose agents who came to listing presentations with options and white-glove solutions.

of homeowners said they would choose an agent who offered a pay-at-closing solution over those who don’t. 

Curbio agent quotes

The only thing left to do is decide…

Where can you get the most bang for your buck? 

Different home improvement projects will result in different returns, so it can be hard to know where to begin. Especially in an ever-changing market where buyers’ tastes are always shifting, knowing what is currently hot and what is not can be a challenge. Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you. 


With 7 out of 10 buyers saying they would purchase a house if it had a gorgeous kitchen, they are the heart of your home investment. With unbelievable returns, any work – large or small – will help you see a nice profit in your pocket. 

kitchen cartoon graphic
kitchen update rois

A kitchen refresh will involve simple or aesthetic changes like painting cabinets, replacing countertops, and upgrading appliances. Because these updates tend to be less expensive to make, your dollar goes further, and you can see a higher return like in this past project. While a refresh can go a long way, this just won’t cut it for some kitchens. Instead, a remodel can transform the kitchen and bring in multiple offers – all while maintaining a stellar return. Just look at this remodel.

bathroom cartoon


A modern and luxurious bathroom is now a big selling point for buyers. If your bathrooms are outdated or lack spa-like features, you could miss out on a large chunk of change when you go to sell.    

A bathroom refresh may include painting the vanity, updating light fixtures, and reglazing the tub. All these updates can transform the room, and with a low project cost, they typically lead to a high return. This refresh is just one example. For bathrooms needing a little more love, a remodel will focus on appealing to buyers’ tastes so you do not miss out on extra profit at the closing table. This bathroom remodel is a great example of that.

bathroom ROI infographic


Don’t forget about your home’s curb appeal. These exterior home updates can transform your outdoor space and deliver an incredible return on your investment. See for yourself.   

porch cartoon
various exterior updates ROI
bedroom cartoon


Bright carpets, damaged tiles, and old hardwood floors can send buyers running for the hills. These flooring updates can modernize your home and boost its value. See how this Maryland home was transformed through flooring updates.

various flooring updates roi

Basic Prep Package

A little can go a long way; just take a look at one of our past projects. Many times, minor updates and basic preparations can drastically increase the resale value of a home. So, our Basic Prep package is the ideal ‘less is more’ package that delivers a whopping 297% ROI.

cartoon of living room
roi for Curbio basic listing prep


When selling a home, looks matter. Staging can transform a space and show buyers the home’s full potential.

According to agents, the main benefits of staged homes include:

As a result…

of agents believe staged homes positively influence buyer decisions and regularly recommend the service to sellers.

of agents utilized staging on a listing in the last year. 

While helpful, staging can be a burden for agents. 

Paying out of pocket may seem like the only way agents can get some homeowners on board. 

23% of agents pay for staging infographic

Location, Location, Location

While all markets Curbio serves see an average ROI of 269% on home updates of all sizes, some markets stand out from the pack. These cities boasted the highest ROIs in 2022. 

roi map Curbio

Let Us Help

The vast majority of buyers want move-in ready homes, but these home improvement projects usher in a variety of hurdles for homeowners and agents alike. Instead of getting bogged down by potential problems and missing out on a big return, Curbio has created the solution. 

At Curbio, we are a white-glove concierge service with no payment due until closing. Along with our fix now, pay when you sell model, we also help homeowners and agents save time and eliminate stress. Our projects are completed faster than typical general contractor work, and our homes spend 50% fewer days on the market. Our focus on profit-driven results and smart home improvements also ensures that homeowners are getting the greatest return on their investment. With project management covered, agents can rest easy knowing that they have happier clients without having to add any work to their own plate.

Do not miss out on growing your business. Learn more about how Curbio works or get started with our mobile app.  

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  • Cost: The amount spent on work based on the raw line-item data. 
  • Profit: The value added minus the project cost. 
  • Refreshes or a refresh: Simple cosmetic updates that cost less than structural remodels. Examples of refresh work may involve updates to lighting, cabinets, hardware, or furnishing as well as a fresh coat of paint. *Note: For this report, refresh projects are additionally categorized as home improvements that cost under $8,000. 
  • Remodel: Structural renovations that make homes more livable and require more labor, resources, and money to complete than refresh projects. Remodel work includes reconfiguring electrical, plumbing, or gas lines as well as removing or adding walls, rooms, and other permanent fixtures. 
  • Return on Investment (ROI): A performance metric used to assess an investment’s profitability. It measures the return on a particular asset or project relative to its cost.

Agents, Let Us Do The Work. You Take The Credit.

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