Pre-Listing Updates: Renovating vs. Refreshing

Even the most cared for homes can benefit from pre-listing updates, but the range of updates varies. Some homes simply need a refresh—cosmetic updates like a fresh coat of paint and minor repairs—while others call for a major renovation of every space. Whether a property needs a refresh or a renovation depends on the condition of the home, of course, but other factors are equally as important. What is the seller’s target sale price? How does the property compare to homes recently sold at that price point? What do buyers in this neighborhood expect in a property at this price point?

  • Renovation
  • Rip and replace
  • 8-12 weeks
  • Larger investment
  • Refresh
  • Cleaning and cosmetic updates
  • 3-4 weeks
  • Smaller investment

If a homeowner consults with a typical general contractor for advice on which renovations they should invest in prior to listing, the GC is likely to suggest a full renovation, no matter what. That’s because a bigger scope of work means more money for them, and (unlike Curbio) the GC is going to get paid when the work is finished, regardless of whether or not the improvements actually help the house sell.

The truth is that in many cases a refresh can have dramatic results, greatly increase the value of the home and decrease days on market. Let’s put this idea to the test.

Is this renovation a refresh or a renovation?

Even though it looks like a completely different kitchen, all Curbio did in this kitchen was paint the cabinets, paint the walls, and replace the backsplash. Those small changes made the dark countertops appear more modern.

Kitchen refresh options:

  • Paint cabinets and replace hardware
  • Remove wall paper and paint walls a neutral color
  • Replace outdated appliances with standard, stainless steel appliances
  • Replace outdated light fixtures

Let’s take a look at a bathroom. Reno or refresh?

This is a refresh—in fact, all Curbio did was remove the wallpaper, paint, and replace the mirror and hardware.

Bathroom refresh options:

  • Deep clean and declutter
  • Glaze tile
  • Replace shower doors
  • Paint vanity cabinets and replace countertop and mirror
  • Replace finishes and light fixtures
  • Remove wallpaper and paint walls a neutral color

Here’s another bathroom refresh.

By painting the cabinets, replacing the light fixtures, and replacing the flooring, we were able to make the window and tub look much less dated.

Here’s an example of a refresh of a living room.

We unified the space with cost-efficient LVT and painted the walls to make the space feel larger and cohesive, rather than dark and dated.

Living space and bedroom refresh options:

  • Clean and stretch carpet instead of replacing
  • Use LVT for flooring
  • Remove wallpaper
  • Paint walls neutral colors
  • Replace outdated light fixtures

Understanding which renovations will help the home compete with comps is one of the top 4 characteristics sellers are looking for in a real estate agent.

Join our next webinar The Truth About Pre-Sale Renovations to learn more about renovations vs. refreshes and their impact on seller profit.