Maximizing Your Home Sale

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Welcome to Part 2 of Seller Sanity, a 3-part blog series I'm writing for prospective sellers in 2020. You are invited to check out Part 1, Staging a Home to Appeal to Millennials in 7 Affordable Steps and stay tuned for Part 3, The Six Biggest Mistakes Sellers Make dropping later in 4Q20.


Whenever homeowners think they might be selling it's natural to wonder what they need to do to get the "best price."

I believe a better question to ask is what to do that will deliver your best return on investment.

Return on Investment, or ROI, includes money of course; but also time, labor, and market trends that are being missed or maximized. This #SellerSanity installment helps future sellers put total investment costs into perspective, consider factors that add up (or don't!), and provide reliable bets that are safe to bank on.

The Bottom Line: No matter your sale price ... if your overall investment of money, labor, and market timing isn't returned at the closing table you lost. And missing an extraordinary sales opportunity by delaying a listing during an unprecedented seller's market could be the most costly seller mistake of all.



Substantial home improvements almost always yield less than you paid at resale. Here is Remodeling Magazine's most recent report that outlines typical project costs vs. resale locally, regionally, and nationally. In all but two categories, cost is less than fully recouped with many returns being in the 60-70% range.

This is not to suggest sellers avoid doing upgrades or proceed with needed improvements. It is to alert them to the fact that money put into a home is not guaranteed on resale, even in an extreme seller's market.

I recommend that any substantial project be one that a seller actually wants and has the opportunity to appreciate long before listing their home. In real estate, this is referred to as the Joy Factor.


Being the most affordable home in the neighborhood at the time of sale often pays off big. Ironically, the most expensive home on the block is often its competition's best advertising and traffic-enhancer.

If your home is in a buyer's desired location, offers the right layout and features, is competitively priced, and within their budget, necessary updates will often be seen as welcome opportunities to many buyers who prefer to create a home in their style