These Are the Top Renovation Categories Home Sellers Are Investing In

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Recent trends and research point to a current seller's market — but before you go calling your real estate agent, you might want to think about renovations first.

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According to a new survey by real estate firm Coldwell Banker, most Americans recognize the value in renovating their homes prior to selling them — 89% of respondents who have sold their homes in the last three years reported doing so before selling. The survey gathered data from a little more than 2,000 adults, ages 18 and up. A little more than 1,000 of these respondents were homeowners.

"Raised on a consistent diet of DIY and designer lifestyle television, paired with endless streams of Instagram-worthy home inspiration, today's Renovation Generation of home sellers and buyers have varying wants and expectations when selling and buying a home, and there is a significant disconnect among them," the survey explained.

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

For sellers, the most important things to upgrade in a home are interior or exterior paint (34% of respondents picked this answer), bathrooms (32%), new or freshly cleaned carpets (31%), landscaping (30%), and kitchens (30%).

Other Home Renovations to Consider for Sellers

Buyers, however, have a slightly different set of renovation interests. Kitchens and bathrooms topped the list — 45% and 44% named those upgrades as must-haves, respectively. They're followed by updated HVAC/plumbing/electrical (43%), new home appliances (38%), and interior or exterior paint (34%).

Of course, there's plenty to take into consideration even within these categories. For starters, you can find useful research out there on the best interior colors to use. The major home trends of this year could also be a good place to start. And, most importantly, keep in mind that these upgrades will cost you more than you might expect.

So if you're looking to sell any time soon, you might want to do a little research into what upgrades buyers are looking for in order to maximize your home's value.

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Stefanie is a New York–based writer and editor. She has served on the editorial staffs of Architectural Digest, ARTnews, and Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company, before setting out on her own as a freelancer. Her beats include architecture, design, art, travel, science, and history, and her words have appeared in Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Popular Science, Mental Floss, Galerie, Jetsetter, and History.com, among others. In another life, she'd be a real estate broker since she loves searching for apartments and homes.