architectural visualiser george nicola

By George Nicola (Expert Stager)

If someone considers selling a house “as is” and is unsure if that’s the best option or someone is planning to renovate and spruce up and then sell the property.

In this article, you will read about:

  • Virtual renovation
  • Kitchen and bathroom renovations
  • Landscaping and planting
  • Technology updates
  • Improvements that offer little or no payback
  • Remodelling vs. renovating

Virtual renovation is a process similar to physical renovation except it happens digitally, mostly done on real estate photos. Virtual renovators replace and revive walls, furniture and decors with special 3D software.

Tips to consider before renovating your house for sale

Think wise before spending a fortune on renovating a dream kitchen or bathroom for the people who will live there after you’ve sold them the house unless the efforts are going to reap financial benefits for you.

House renovations do not add up value equally. Some may be very expensive but add less value while others are cheaper but the cost recouped are almost 100% if not more; for example, covering a bedroom to a master suite is much more important than repainting a storage area.

What if there is another way that works like a charm? It’s called Virtual Renovation!

Renovating a house for sale is viable only when there is a value-added to the sale later. Use virtual renovation to plan every step of the process before executing the renovation and save money.

George Nicola (Expert Stager)


Tips to consider before renovating your house for sale

Inspect and plan before you renovate

Find out any significant defects requiring replacement, repairs, or upgrades before you start your renovations.

There is an institute of specialists in every country who have compared the most common renovations and evaluated which ones are most likely to be worthwhile when you’re selling your home in that country. 

Although most of the renovations equally add value, some buyers might appreciate certain features more than others, and sometimes it’s even down to the local government or city.

In the U.K., a good example is the Planning portal. Also, the U.S. News has posted a great list of information on this topic as well. 

10 (not virtual) renovations that increase the return on the house

  1. Repainting and re-décorating – 74%
  2. Kitchen renovations – 71%
  3. Bathroom renovations – 69%
  4. Exterior repainting – 65%
  5. Floor upgrades – 62%
  6. Windows or doors replacements – 57%
  7. Family room extension – 51%
  8. Fireplace addition – 50%
  9. Basement remodeling – 49%
  10. Stove/heating system replacement – 48%

Coincidentally, three of the top four most inquired renovations produce the best payback; kitchen, bathroom, and exterior painting. The fourth most inquired renovation is landscaping/garden, which has a 30%-60% payback if executed right. In each of these spaces, some changes give you more value than others, and this is where research must be done.

Kitchen and Bathroom renovations

The kitchen is regarded as the home’s heart, the place where guests gather and fine meals and created. Take proper care to make your kitchen spectacular. Allow your prospects to imagine themselves entertaining with their friends and relatives there.

Don’t spend a fortune to make your kitchen stand out. Even small adjustments can add to a different life.

Neatness and good lighting are essential, like the right-sized food preparation area, good quality floors, and modernized fixtures. In the case of kitchens, payback can be as high as 200%.

First, plan a budget, shape the layout and surfaces and hire a specialist installer. 

A profitable kitchen renovation hinges on four factors: 

  • adequate funding
  • proper planning
  • quality materials
  • expert installer

First, write down the list of all the areas that need to be updated. It is said that “the devil is in the details,” so make sure you consider every aspect. And don’t forget to find out if you need construction permission from your borough.

Study your bathrooms

Potential buyers must be able to envision taking a shower in your bathroom. Mould in the grout is easy to fix, and repainting the bathroom does is wonders. In addition, the cost of upgrading the cabinet knobs and handles, lighting appliances, fixtures, and installing a brand-new toilet seat is low and has enormous payback.

It generally costs no less than $3-4,000 to do a decent bathroom upgrade; furthermore, it can cost considerably more if you have an expensive taste. Therefore, it is crucial to work out a budget and stay on track, as most upgrades money has a habit of running amok.

Landscaping and painting

Landscaping and exterior painting add excellent curb appeal. Remember that the outside area of your home will give your buyer the first reaction. Make those first impressions count.

Simple, exterior landscaping improvements – such as trimming trees or mowing the lawn – can give the grounds a freshness they didn’t have previously.

Plant flowers and tidy the pathways to show the buyer that people who live in this house care about their property. Further, reinforce their sense that the home has been maintained.

A fresh coat of paint has the last outlay – reaping a 73% return on the dollar – for maximum appeal. It might turn out to be more cost-effective and quicker to hire a good quality expert painter. In the long run, it may be cheaper than doing it yourself.

Professional painters prepare surfaces, use quality materials, work expeditiously, and clean up before they go.

Repainting the fence, the carport doors, and the entrance door all give an excellent return for very minimal time and investment.

Window and door trim, including shutters, should all be examined. Even if you bother to look at your local Google maps, it’s almost guaranteed to find companies specialized in renovating houses for sale.

Impress your buyers right at the door with a beautiful entrance by outing a fresh coat of paint on the front door.

The front door is the entrance to your home. It should not only be welcoming but characteristic. There is a tasteful way to make it stand out – such as adding trim, a door knocker, and new door handles – it will be well worth your effort.

Never paint the garage doors the same colour as the entrance door. You don’t want to make the garage doors stand out.

That might be the usual entrance when parking the car and carrying in all the groceries, but the appropriate entry is the front door for your guests. The garage doors should be painted to blend in with the facade colour, whether brick, siding, or cladding.

On the interior of your dwelling, repainting the walls and skirting will make the rooms seem refreshed. In high traffic areas – such as a foyer, family room, children’s room, toilet, and kitchen – use a pearl or a satin finish to make cleaning more manageable.

Matt or flat paint on walls in the living room or master bedroom will create a luxurious look. Semi-gloss paint on the moulding will make cleaning simple; it also makes the room appear more spacious.

Stay away from high gloss paint unless the surface is in good shape, as it will show flaws.

Technology Updates / Smart home

Technology is hot. Incorporating some of the latest technology along with the renovation it can make your home for sale seem more exciting than the rest. It can create a feeling of high quality, and state-of-the-art innovation can significantly increase the perceived value of your home.

Before you go tech-crazy, keep a couple of things in mind:

  • A few hundred bucks spent on smart-home products will probably not make a multimillion-dollar home stand out.
  • Overspending on a starter or mid-priced home might distinguish it from the competition, but you will probably not recuperate the expense.

The top three tech trends are sure to make potential buyers remember your home:

  • A TV that can be mounted under a kitchen cabinet and can be folded out of sight
  • A deadbolt door lock with a fingerprint sensor
  • Wifi controlled lights / wallplugs

Gadgets, such as remote control light dimmers and electrical outlets or a wireless home control and automation system that turns on the lights and heater before entering the house are cool yet practical.

These systems are available for every use and every budget. Be sure to explain the value of the unique features to your potential buyers. 

For a few hundred dollars and a couple of hours of your time, you can seduce buyers to enjoy the ultimate comfort and safety provided by these systems.

  • FullHD TV mounted in or on the walls
  • A wire concealment system to hide your cables and cords with a “spine” or ‘ribbon’ that blends with the wall’s color.
  • A digital sound system that allows you to listen to the same or different music in various parts of the dwelling.
  • Window coverings with motor-operated shades, blinds, or drapes can add the “wow”! factor. Some products will even open or close at a specific time each day.

If you install some of these items, it is essential to leave short, concise directions, telling the new owners how to use these high-tech gadgets.

Renovations that Offer Little or No Payback.

The following renovation offers little or no payback and can even decrease the value of the home. Many passionate renovators have spent a lot of money, only to be disappointed in these items’ returns.

  • In-ground swimming pools are never a great selling feature. Generally, they add very little to the value. If the pool is in bad condition, they most certainly will detract.
  • A do-it-yourself renovation of low quality or design will decrease price.
  • Expensive, high-end upgrades in a small house in a low-end neighborhood will never be able to pay for themselves.
  • A major basement renovation in a large house will give very little return, compared to the cost.

Remodeling vs. renovating a house for sale?

The words “renovate/refurbish” and “remodel/rebuild” are often used in similar contexts regarding interior or exterior changes.

Yet, for specialists running in one or more of these industries, these terms involve two very different things.

The difference in these terms is that a renovation (refurbishment) refers to restoring something to a former state, while a remodel relates to creating something new.

Whenever you choose a project that completely transforms the layout of a structure, called – remodeling, changing the look and layout of a space, not merely updating or tweaking it; some remodeling projects can be partly down to a room’s design or a completely new house’ floorplan.. 

For example, the most popular remodelling project is merging the kitchen with a living room or dining room for a more contemporary and open-concept lifestyle.

If you decide the above is a good idea, you’re planning a remodel, not a refurbish! Likewise, if you plan to install a kitchen peninsula to create a more functional cooking space, it is called remodelling a room.

Remodelling and renovating can be costly if they are not planned carefully, mostly if done to sell the property.

If the project involves demolishing or building new walls of a space, you must ask yourself if the cost is justified and potential buyers like the improvement?

While giving off a whole new look and feel, you can bet that it’s a remodel—not a renovation!

Renovate “virtually” house for sale

Watch me do virtual renovation (for free)

Virtual renovation is a great addition to your marketing tools when you are trying to sell or release property. In the video tutorial below you can watch me doing a virtual renovation to a room step-by-step.

The process might seem easy, but there are a few vital parts in the process that should be followed for ultimate results.

If you are on a tight budget, you can learn how to do the virtual renovation yourself (DIY) on this page, pay us to virtually renovate your property here, or have one virtually renovated image of your property for FREE by sending us an e-mail at and don’t forget to mention the secret words “free house” otherwise won’t be FREE.

When it is time to sell your dwelling, knowing which renovations will raise your home’s appeal and which result in needless expense can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Remember, you are renovating the home to appeal to your buyers, not yourself. You may have always wanted to live in a house with a swimming pool, but if the statics show that most people find a collection a liability, your money will be better spent elsewhere.

Have you ever heard of PLAN A and PLAN B marketing?

If not, here’s how you can use it to add more value to your listing.

Market with Virtual Renovation

Let’s assume that you have been watching HGTV or Grand Designs. Both tv shows are all about remodelling and renovating, they don’t do it to sell the house, but the common thing between them and virtual renovation is that both shows use this technology to show the before-after project of the house.

Virtual 3D remodelling provides you with a future version of your property used as a future project to add value. Let’s call it a road map for prospective buyers, which will help them visualize and make the house better and fit their needs. 

Comprehending all the details in advance eases concerns, worries, and uncertainty throughout the design phase, decreasing the need for expensive orders during development.

And the best part of virtual remodelling is that the costs to it are low compared to real remodelling, where you need planning and design projects as well (if you want to stay within a budget).

Plan the Virtual Renovation as opportunity!

Because the prospective buyers will be looking at more than one property, you face the competition of at least four other houses on average. According to 

The average home buyers will visit ten homes over ten weeks before finding “the one”—that special place that inspires an offer. But that number can vary widely: Some may fall in love with the first place they see, while others feel compelled to check out several dozen.

Providing options for exploring increases the potential for purchase and perceived value. It shows that the seller has taken great care of their house and wants to ensure the new owners will be equally responsible.

Virtual Remodeling probably is the best option is for those home sellers or realtors who don’t want to deal with real-life refurbishments but still want to provide more value to their prospects. 

Here is how buyers see Plan – Virtual Remodeling

Immediately they start comparing all houses and places, their pros, and cons. With a virtual design plan in place, they could now concentrate on visualizing beyond the actual purchase. They picture themselves living there, and the brainstorming sessions are on a new – higher level.

As soon as they realize what they have on offer, the virtual renovation is not perceived as “virtual” anymore. Materials for cabinets, countertops, flooring, drapery, storage areas, fabric, decor selections, and more are all being served on a “platter,” urging them to make the right decision.