Is a Pre-sale Kitchen Renovation Worth It?

Why would anyone selling a home consider spending money on it? A renovated kitchen adds value to a home and makes it more attractive to buyers. Notice—I did not say that it makes a home “worth more money.” Statistics compiled by the National Association of Realtors show that the average kitchen renovation takes two years to complete and has a return on investment of about 68.76%.

So why do it?

In today’s competitive seller’s marketplace, many buyers will simply pass on an outdated kitchen.

If you are considering a kitchen remodel for the sake of improving your home’s sale potential, it’s a good idea to share your plans with a real estate professional. The kitchen pictured here belongs to one of my clients. This was a pre-sale renovation that we discussed. This home was sold the first week it went on the market.

You have to be smart about it.

If your home will be priced under $1M, you can save money by skipping the professional grade appliances. If your home will be priced over $2M, I think it would be a mistake to install anything other than professional grade appliances.

Install a good quality and neutral granite counter-top. Buyers can see right through the pre-fab counter-tops with the half-inch trim. You don’t need to go overboard on high priced granite unless you are planning to stay in the home to enjoy it.

If cabinets are high quality wood, they can be refaced and/or repainted.

High quality hardware and new paint are inexpensive and easy upgrades that have a high impact.

So, is a kitchen remodel worth it? If you want your home to stand out as being the best value in its price point, then it can be worth it. You just have to know what you are doing and not over- or under-improve for your price point.


  1. It really depends. If there is a lot of competition and your kitchen in the home you are trying to sell is severely outdated, it would be worth it to put in the money. You don’t have to remodel with the most upscale materials, just match it with the proper expectation of your potential buyers.

  2. I don’t think so. I would much rather do my own remodel than to do a half job remodel with subpar materials.

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