Selling Your Home? These Are the Upgrades Buyers Actually Want

JR-stock /

JR-stock /

If you’re currently selling your home to take advantage of the hot real estate market, you may want to make a few upgrades before listing so that you’re able to get the best offer possible. But don’t waste your money on renovations that buyers don’t actually care about.

Read: Which Home Renovations To Make — and Skip — Before Selling Your Home
See: 20 Insider Tips To Save Money on Every Part of Your Home

Coldwell Banker surveyed over 2,000 Americans to find out what upgrades buyers actually want — and these are the projects worth investing in.

Kitchen Upgrades

  • Average cost of installing or replacing cabinets: $5,050

  • Average cost of refinishing cabinets: $2,850

  • Average cost of new countertops: $3,000

Kitchen upgrades, such as freshly painted cabinets, new cabinets and new countertops, are the No. 1 thing buyers want, with 45% of those surveyed saying that this is a must-have.

Read: 26 Home Makeover Ideas That Each Cost Less Than $500

Bathroom Upgrades

Forty-four percent of those surveyed consider upgraded bathrooms a must-have.

Avoid: Renovations That Will Hurt Your Home’s Value

Updated HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical

  • Average cost to replace an HVAC system: $7,000

  • Average cost to replace plumbing: $350 to $2,000

  • Average cost to upgrade or replace an electrical panel: $1,182

Only 19% of those surveyed consider updating their HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems a must-do update before selling their homes, yet 43% consider this a must-have if they were to buy a home.

Discover: 5 Affordable Ways To Make Over Every Room in Your House

New Appliances

  • Average cost of a cooktop: $320 (low-end) to $4,030 (high-end)

  • Average cost of a refrigerator: $430 (low-end) to $10,600 (high-end)

  • Average cost of a washing machine: $445 (low-end) to $2,300 (high-end)

  • Average cost of a dryer: $445 (low-end) to $2,100 (high-end)

Buyers are seeking homes with new stoves, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers — 38% consider this a must.

See: Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back

Updated Interior or Exterior Paint

  • Average cost to paint home interior: $1,901

  • Average cost to paint home exterior: $3,042

Both sellers and buyers are aligned about the desire for a fresh coat of paint — 34% of sellers say this is a must-do upgrade and 34% of buyers say this is a must-have upgrade.

Related: What Homes Will Be Worth in Your State by the End of 2021

Carpet Cleaning or Installation of New Carpets

  • Average cost to clean carpets: $178

  • Average cost to install carpets: $1,762

Unsurprisingly, buyers do not want to buy a home with dirty or worn carpets. One-third of those surveyed say that cleaning or installing new carpets is a must-have for buyers.


Having attractive outdoor space can make your home more appealing to buyers. Of those surveyed, 31% consider landscaping to be essential for buyers.

What Adds More Value to Your Home: Indoor or Outdoor Upgrades?

Refinished Wood Floors

Consider freshening up your wood floors before putting your home on the market — 31% consider this a buyer must-have.

Updated Lighting

Thirty percent of those surveyed said that updated light fixtures would be a must-have if they were to consider buying a home.

More From GOBankingRates

All cost estimates are sourced from HomeAdvisor.

Last updated: Sept. 30, 2021

This article originally appeared on Selling Your Home? These Are the Upgrades Buyers Actually Want

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