If you’re reading this article you want to earn the most money in the sale of your home, correct? I certainly don’t blame you for that! If you’re like me and thousands of other home sellers each month it’s a completely reasonable goal to set – let’s net the most money on the sale of our real estate.

So where do you begin? What is the homebuyer looking for in your neighborhood? What will they spend the most money on? Where do you invest the renovation money? In this article, you will learn renovation success secrets to make the property look like a million bucks while watching out for black hole money pits.

If you have only one take away from this article then let it be this: Only invest $1 where you will get at least $3 back. We like $4 or $5 more. Period.

Interior walls and flooring – Vanilla is a safe play.

I’m not talking about ice cream flavors. Natural colors are a safe bet. Forget about the rainbow, carpet, and even linoleum are out. Replacing the flooring with wood will grab you top dollar. The best look for uptick taste and style is a white oak unfinished which can be cheaply stained. You can expect roughly a 15% hiring selling price after this little trick.

Stain color samples hardwood floor

This is a renovation project of ours in the Glassell Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. We listed the house for $789,000.00 then received multiple offers up to $920,000.00 for our sellers. That’s $126,000.00 over the list price.

The best interior paint color is either a white or off white. We like Whisper white which is an expansive white. It’s bright and makes rooms appear larger which will earn you a higher sold price.

Let there be cheap lighting.

Interior lighting is a curveball that’s easy to overspend on and miss the mark big time. Most of my homebuyers decide to take down and throw away the seller’s lighting choices and replace them with something that is more their own style. So what should you do to make sure you impress the buyers and not overspend? The answer is simple. The more invisible the light the better. Amazon has plenty of tastefully quiet lighting options which are ridiculously affordable and gets the job done every time.
Kitchens and bathrooms.

Your first thought should be, “how do we make this place look expensive without spending any money?” A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. The brighter the better in shades of white. Don’t even think of glossy paint as that screams cheap or rental property – choose a matte color. You may be able to salvage the kitchen cabinets and simply paint them too instead of dropping hundreds or thousands on custom cabinets. New hardware could give the kitchen a fresh vibe on the cheap too.

Before reglazing kitchen project

Another renovation project of ours – this time we reglazed the tile floor and countertops, painted the cabinets, replaced the cabinet hardware, painted the walls, changed the lighting, and scraped the paint off the wood beam to expose the beautiful natural wood.

After reglazing kitchen project

After the VERY inexpensive kitchen renovation.

Before reglazing bathroom project

Again, all we did was reglaze this bathroom and remove the really bad frosted glass shower door. Look at the incredible difference below.

Reglazing bathroom project

A Simple bathroom that’s easy to understand.

Have you ever heard of reglazing? Instead of demoing and replacing the tile reglazing is an inexpensive alternative which gives you the flexibility of choosing endless colors or mix and match for an elevated look.

Depending on your market and target sales price appliances may make a big difference to the buyer. Here’s an area of the house you can lose your shirt if you’re not careful. Buying the wrong appliances alone can set you back north of $10,000.00. We recommend Kitchenaid. It’s an entry-level high-end appliance choice which is perfect for the Los Angeles market – where our renovation and sales team The Shelhamer Real Estate Group renovates homes.

Does staging really make a difference?

The short answer is 100% yes! The longer answer is there are two reasons our real estate team recommends staging a property with both interior and exterior furniture and props. On the one hand, staging creates the vibe and lifestyle story that attracts buyers who are willing to take the multiple offer bait ramping up the selling price. On the other hand, coupled with high-resolution photography, the staged properties are shown in their best light which attracts hundreds of prospective buyers, which creates mobbed open houses, which creates the energy and excitement necessary to generate multiple offers and ramp up the sales price. Make sense?

Lights Camera Action!

Smart elevated renovations and staging aren’t enough. You need to hire the right local Realtor who has their finger on the pulse of marketing and the neighborhood-style trends which are commanding top dollar. Getting your home for sale in front of the right group of prospective buyers can mean the difference between 15-20% more money in your pocket. It’s critical the agent you hire has a proven marketing plan and hard stop offering deadline. The listing agent needs to have a clear line of communication with the buyer’s agents leading them down the path to where the sellers want them to be. Nothing is left to chance. If your agent tells you the market will let us know what the house is worth and they’re floating around like a jellyfish in the ocean – you better look for a new agent.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you’re interested in renovation ideas or curious what your home is worth I’m happy to give you advice. Please contact Glenn Shelhamer at 310-913-9477 or SEND AN EMAIL!

Here are a few more helpful resources:
Home improvement mistakes that impact real estate value | Bill Gassett
6 Easy DIY weekend home improvement projects | Luke Skar
Home improvement projects that increase a home’s value | Kyle Hiscock

Shelhamer real estate group

David Clark - 805.280.1425​

I’m David Clark, a Californian, real estate advisor REALTOR®, and writer for the Shelhamer Real Estate Group located in Northeast Los Angeles California, the fastest growing real estate market in Los Angeles County. Connect with me for further information about this article, and to add and optimize the value in your property. Look for me on Instagram: @sellingnortheastla

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Mls Disclaimer:

Based on information from the / Association of REALTORS® (alternatively, from the /MLS) as of [date the AOR/MLS data was obtained]. All data, including all measurements and calculations of area, is obtained from various sources and has not been, and will not be, verified by broker or MLS. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information


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Los Angeles, CA 90042-3403


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THE SHELHAMER GROUP   |    DRE: 01950995

Glenn Shelhamer is a licensed real estate broker DRE: 01950995 in the state of California and abides by equal housing opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. To reach The Shelhamer Real Estate Group’s office manage please call (310) 913-9477.

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