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Home Renovations That Are Proven to Pay Off When It’s Time to Sell

If your home has the right mix of what today’s buyers are clamoring for—trendy amenities such as open floor plans, stylish backsplashes and heated hardwood floors—it can help you sell faster and at a better price. Here, reveals a variety of common amenities featured in homes that close the quickest—and for the most money.


Smart home features are all about convenience and control for already overworked homeowners. In fact, the median listing for a home with smart home features is $575,000—up a staggering 82.6 percent over the past two years. That’s partially due to heavy demand, but also because many newer, higher-end homes come with these new-fangled gadgets already installed. Smart home tech actually is an umbrella term covering a range of products and levels of connectivity. The common denominator: The technology operates with minimal human input, is interconnected, and can be manipulated or tracked remotely from a device, or in home from a central control. Smart home devices include household items such as ovens, lights and thermostats, many of which learn your preferences and adjust to you. Security systems, often an integrated part of the connected home, also are going strong, posting a 11.5 percent price appreciation during the past two years. Energy Star appliances, a government designation for efficiency, are a popular home-selling feature as well. The median list prices for homes with appliances such as refrigerators, ovens and air conditioners that carry the label has risen nearly 27 percent since 2015.


Just about everywhere in the country, you’ll find homeowners installing hardwood because buyers love it. And there are seemingly endless variations showing up now: bamboo, walnut, oak, ash, Bolivian rosewood, even heated hardwood for colder climates. In fact, home listings with hardwood floors have appreciated 14.8 percent since 2015. Another popular feature is granite countertops. The two-year price appreciation of homes with these counters might not seem like much—just 1.2 percent—but that figure has been rising steadily for years. Homes with granite also go off the market faster, at 112 days. And granite is less expensive and easier to maintain than marble. Many home buyers also are still attracted to fireplaces, real and artificial alike, with the typical home with fireplaces of any type going off the market in 126 days.


Making the most of outdoor living spaces has become a national obsession among homeowners, with people spending more time and money building out luxe outdoor kitchens complete with sinks, pizza ovens and gazebos. Yet the hottest outdoor home features still are the basics: patios, front porches and two-car garages. And homeowners are finding new and fun ways to make use of their patios, which have a median 108 days on the market, by putting in fire pits and setting up outdoor furniture. Dual garages, meanwhile, have posted a 16.1 percent price appreciation during the past two years. In most American housing markets, households typically own more than one car. So two-car garages often are seen as more of a necessity than a desire. Homes with two-car garages have a median value of $313,350, or about a 16 percent appreciation since 2015.

Interior design

Among interior design elements, walk-in closets go off the market the quickest, at 110 days. But eat-in and open kitchens still are getting plenty of buzz, too. Eat-in kitchens last 113 days on market, while homes with open kitchens stick around for 118 days.


Finished basements are in hot demand because they give homeowners space they can customize. And everyone knows just how big of a lifesaver a dedicated laundry room can be. The prices of homes with such rooms have jumped 15.6 percent since 2015. Dedicated dining rooms also are staging a comeback. Sure, outside of the holidays, most people don’t need them. But there’s an uptick in homeowners hosting guests instead of going out, so listings including these entertainment spaces have increased 11.6 percent during the past two years.