Thanks to the market rebounding in a big way, it’s no longer a difficult process to sell a home. On the other hand, making an actual profit can be like pulling teeth. Sure, there are plenty of buyers out there, but they’re all hoping to get in under market value. As a seller, it’s your job to present a home that’s able to sell while still giving you a healthy profit. More often than not, this requires some innovative renovations.

Renovating your home isn’t always about turning a quaint garden home into a McMansion or adding a second story. So if you’re conflating remodeling with renovations, simmer down a bit and put your loan application away. While you’ll still have to spend money if you’re planning on making it, you don’t have to break the bank.

Here are some great tips to use when renovating your home for a profit.

How to Renovate Your Home for Resale Profits

1: Market-Based Planning

The home of your dreams isn’t necessarily the home of anyone else’s dreams. So while you may want to slap an addition onto the home with a huge hot tub and an outdoor kitchen, you have to understand that this might not be a good selling point for people. Before you start any renovations, research the market. Take account of the home type you have and look into the type of people most likely to buy it.

For example, if you have a home that’s suited for families (3 BR, 2 bath, large yard, etc), then you wouldn’t want to deck the place out as a bachelor pad. Part of smart renovation spending is going the niche marketing route with your fixes. Renovate in areas that are most appealing to a broad range of buyers.

2: Let the Pros Handle It

Not every home needs extra rooms and brand new fixtures to sell for a nice profit. Some homes can sell for much more than you’d expect if they’re simply maintained and cleaned up well.

For instance, instead of cosmetically covering any damage, go ahead and get the professionals in there to handle the job. Professional damage restoration ensures that the fix is going to last, and also that the inspection will reveal no further issues. This in itself can add value to the home – an as-is, move-in-ready abode, not a fixer upper.

3: Adding Rooms

One feature that’s hot on today’s market is extra rooms in the home. A lot of older homes boast huge bedrooms, three separate living spaces (living, family, den) and even large utility rooms. Toying with the home’s layout and adding in an extra bedroom with an en suite bathroom can easily triple your investment.

If you’re willing to spend and don’t run into many zoning issues, an addition can also pay off. However, it’s a safer investment to work internally by changing the home’s existing layout and adding bedrooms and bathrooms. More rooms appeal to a broader range of buyers.

4: Open the Space

One of the hottest features right now is an open floor plan. Much how it sounds, an open floor plan has the living/family areas, dining area and kitchen laid out in an all-in-one fashion, typically separated by things like counters, islands, pillars, etc. If you’re able to remove a wall to open things up, even older homes can take on a very modern and appealing feel.

Remember that an open floor plan is typically only attractive as it pertains to communal areas. Bedrooms, bathrooms and the laundry will be better suited to their own confined spaces. Some make the mistake of incorporating too much in the “open” concept.

5: Kitchen Focus

Shopping around and being creative is a great way to get new floors and some basic design features for cheap, but one place you don’t want to skimp is in the kitchen. Homebuyers are looking for modern, functioning, roomy kitchens, and this means stainless steel appliances, a good layout, and plenty of storage space.

If you fix nothing else in the home, it’s a great idea to work on that kitchen. Updating the appliances should be a given, but also think about adding a center island, redoing the flooring and the cabinetry, and going for a more modern look.

6: Proper Proportions

Homes need to be laid out in proper proportions if you’re hoping to achieve a profit. Some homeowners may decide to take these tips to heart and create new rooms, but they may only add more bedrooms. The end result is an upgrade from a 3BR 1 bath home, now a 5BR 1 bath home. You can see how this might be a problem.

Homes with multiple bedrooms should have multiple bathrooms, and multi-story homes need a bathroom on each floor. Likewise, make sure the bedrooms are proportionate to the rest of the home. If you don’t know what to do with that large utility closet, leave it alone. Don’t turn it into a very small and out of place bedroom if it’s going to throw the home out of synch.

7: Cosmetic Surgery

Believe it or not, some of the best renovations are the cheapest. Replanting the lawn, touching up the garden, adding a fresh coat of paint, putting down new flooring options – these are all relatively quick, inexpensive fixes, and they can boost your bottom line in a big way.

So if you don’t do anything else at all to the home, make sure you treat it well cosmetically to ensure that it appears fresh and new to potential buyers.

There are many different renovation ideas you can use in order to boost your potential profits. Just remember to cater to the home market, not to your own tastes; allow the professionals to handle what professionals handle best; always keep the home in proportion; and always, no matter what, give the home a cosmetic upgrade before putting it on the market.

Guest post by Sarah Brinkley, writer for Polygon.com enthusiastic about
home improvement, housing and real estate business. Always happy to share
tips and tricks helping people to get the most of it when it comes to safe
and comfortable living.