What home improvements help a house sell faster?

Alex Quintana  —  February 8, 2022

Hand holding paintbrush paints a blue heart

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we at Knock took a look at our Home Prep Concierge data to identify the improvements homebuyers love to see the most when searching for their dream home. 

The analysis found that homeowners who make improvements before listing their home sell 30% faster than those that don’t, and there are a handful of improvements that can increase sale speed exponentially. When dealing with already historically low days on market – just eight days for those who utilize our Home Prep services before listing, and 12 for those who sell as is, we found the following improvements to have homes swept off the market in a heartbeat.

ImprovementAverage CostAverage Days on MarketDays Faster
Kitchen cabinet repaint$1,3192.010
Bathroom shower remodel$1,0432.69
Kitchen countertop upgrade$2,3562.99
Backsplash refresh$6413.09
Bathroom vanity upgrade$1,1004.58
New carpet$2,4865.37
New interior paint$3,6675.47
New exterior paint$3,3075.66
Powerwash$4805.66
New laminate flooring$2,523111

It most likely comes as no surprise that the top five improvements that buyers love are located in the kitchen and bathroom. These two rooms have long been the apple of many buyers’ eyes and can easily leave a lasting impression when viewing a home. It also explains why nearly 40% of sellers and their agents chose to spend Knock’s interest-free home prep funds in these rooms, but the cost of these renovations may be lower than you think.

Improvement Spend Doesn't Have to Break the Bank

With the average spend amongst a wide range of upgrades at just $1,349 in the kitchen and $866 in the bathroom, getting a home show-ready doesn’t have to  break the bank, to increase its marketability. 

The analysis also found homeowners who had two or more improvements completed on their home sold nearly 40% faster (in an average of six days) than those who only made one improvement. These additional improvements can be as minor as a fresh coat of paint, updating fixtures like lights, faucets, and knobs, as well as simply power washing the exterior of your home. 

Our team of Knock Home Prep experts say consistency is key when selecting renovations for your home. Some rooms may be more important to homebuyers than others, but if one room is painted with a fresh coat of paint, it is important that the rest of the house follows suit. Furthermore, neutral colors are best when selecting any improvements to paint, flooring, and surfaces, and ensure the pool of buyers swooning over your home will be at its broadest.

Red bathroom with outdated decor
Before
White bathroom that has been recently renovated
After

Source: VHT Studios

Renovation Season is All Year Round

The elongated renovation and buying season go hand-in-hand, with our data showing more home sales and renovations outside of their usual peak season of spring and summer since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

This increase in demand has resulted in heightened remodeling activity since the start of the pandemic that is expected to reach 20-year highs this year.1 Our Home Prep experts say this uptick directly impacts the types of available and cost-effective improvements to those looking to renovate, and something that homeowners thinking about selling this spring should keep in mind is the average time to schedule a renovation is between two to four weeks, and depending on the extent of the home improvement it could take up to two weeks longer to complete the project.

Outdated kitchen pre-renovation
Before
Updated kitchen with white cupboards and granite countertops
After

Source: VHT Studios

Furthermore, our Home Prep experts note a major shift in the level of home improvements sellers needed to complete from pre-pandemic to current times. So, for sellers who may not want to pay for home renovations, having your home deep cleaned can increase its curb appeal substantially and go a long way in buyers' perception of the overall maintenance of your home throughout your time there.


Methodology

Analysis was conducted on Knock Bridge Loan™ transactions within the 70 markets we currently operate in from 2020 to year-end 2021. The top renovation selections were ranked based on the average days on market from a home’s listing to the time it went under contract. 

Sources

  1. Zonda. “Zonda Residential Remodeling Index.” www.remodeling.hw.net, 2021, https://www.remodeling.hw.net/benchmarks/economic-outlook-rri/rri-strong-remodeling-growth-despite-supply-chain-constraints_o.

You can find the full press release here.


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(866) 996-1695

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