Renovate Kitchen Before You Sell: Expert Guide [2023 Update]


Should I Remodel My Kitchen Before Selling My House?

Should you renovate your kitchen before selling your house?

Selling your house is difficult at the best of times. Renovating the kitchen before you sell will increase the stress significantly. It would be best if you weighed up all the PROS and CONS of taking on a kitchen renovation. Ask yourself some questions.

  1. Why do you want to remodel your kitchen before selling your house? Are you looking for more profit?
  2. How would you feel if you spent all the time and money, but the value didn’t go up? Risk versus reward.

Finally, let me ask you this.

Why would you remodel your kitchen only to sell your house to someone else? You’re not going to get to enjoy the fancy new stove and granite countertops.


Well, it was for me.

If you are asking if you should fix up your kitchen before selling a house and want to do it for the money, you are in the right place!

I have everything you want to know.

Will You Make Money With Your Kitchen Renovation?

There is a bunch of good information about how to fix certain things and make money on a kitchen remodel.

I talked to some expert house flippers and real estate PROS who shared some great advice.

But let’s cut to the chase.

Can the average homeowner make money by fixing up a kitchen before selling their house?

The answer is 9 times out of 10.


If that’s all you wanted to know there is your answer.

That said there are some things that you can fix up that will make you money. I include those later on. 

Here’s all the things I cover today. 

Table of Contents


Example of Kitchen Remodel I Did Before Selling a House

Before we dive headlong into this topic here are some photos of a small kitchen remodel that I recently did. 

I’m showing you these to give you insight into who I am. My friends call me an expert real estate investor. That’s up for debate! 

I am a cash home buyer in Denver. I will buy your house and then fix it up tastefully. Once the remodel is done I rent them out or resell the house. 

Below are photos of before during and after. Feel free to comment at the bottom. Your feedback could be the difference between me being a successful real estate investor in the future!

Do you thing we made money on this kitchen remodel?

And are you wondering how long it took?

I can do a small kitchen renovation like this pretty easily in 4 weeks. Some investors could probably knock it out in a week. But I like to take my time. I don’t like to stress out too much!

Of course each step, no matter how minor it may seem adds time. For example widening the doorway added almost 3 days to the project. AND that’s with an expert carpenter and expert drywall guy getting it done!



Selling a House is Like Baking A Cake [More Science Than You Think]

Selling a house is like baking a cake. It’s more science than you might like to think. AND It’s not as sexy as TV would make you believe.

To sell a house you have to use the correct ingredients [just like when you bake a cake]. Just the right amount of this and a pinch of that. When you get it right you will achieve success.

BUT of course, there are lots of different cakes you can bake. It’s not one recipe for all situations! 

AND just like there are lots of cake recipes there are many different things you can do to your house to get it ready to sell.

FOR TODAY let’s dive into the very popular home improvement topic KITCHEN RENOVATIONS. 

And more importantly, if you fix up your kitchen to sell it will you make more money?


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Kitchen Remodel and Resale [Everything You Want to Know]


Jumping back to the start of this article we determined that you are worried about recouping your money, right?

Makes sense to me. Because renovating a kitchen can cost a lot of money. When you sell your house it’s only fair you sell it for more. But is all the effort worth it?


Do you want to make a profit too?

“The reason we remodel kitchens, bathrooms, or any part of a house is to make a profit,” said full-time cash home buyer Rachel T, of Arvada, CO. “as a home-owner anything you fix up you should expect to make some cash too!”

AND that brings me to the first question I have for you today.  Why remodel a kitchen before selling a house?


Why Remodel My Kitchen Before Selling My House? [Why do Experts do it?]

“I want to remodel my kitchen before I sell my house to make more money. I watch HGTV, I saw them fix up the kitchen nice, and then the owner was able to sell I for top dollar!”

Is that the little voice in your head?

A kitchen remodel equals fast cash?

Are you sure it’s a slam dunk return on your investment?

I talked to home improvement expert Kimberly J, of JK Real Estate, who said, “Just because you renovate your kitchen it doesn’t always lead to more profit. Most times the price of the house does go up. BUT many times the renovation costs more than the price increase!”

SO how do the real estate experts do it? How do they renovate a house and make money?

Professional Real Estate Investor James R had this to say, “Because I am in the industry, I can get much cheaper prices. For example, a kitchen countertop might cost the average homeowner $7000. I can get it done for less than half that price!”

So it seems that real estate PROS can make money renovating kitchens before reselling homes. But where does that leave us?


Keep The Renovation Small to Make Money

If you want to remodel your kitchen, AND MAKE A PROFIT, you need to keep it small. The second you start tearing our cabinets and replacing countertops you are going to be throwing money down the drain.

It’s very easy to demo a kitchen. In-fact you can tear out an entire kitchen in a day. Putting it back together is a much bigger deal. Don’t fall into the trap that many homeowners have before you.

You must resist the temptation to take on a major kitchen reno. It will become a huge headache. It will cost you a ton of money and you will not recoup your cash! A complete kitchen renovation is definitely on the DO NOT FIX LIST when preparing your house to sell!

What if I open up the kitchen?

Knock down a wall.

Creat a flowing modern concept.

Open up the kitchen!

You can absolutely do this. The result could be stunning. However this is a kitchen renovation on steroids!

To perform a renovation of this size, on top of the normal trades people like builders and plumbers, you will also need:

  • Architect
  • Structural engineers
  • Designers

PLUS you will need to know your property zoning to make sure you do everything right. Because if you do something wrong the local government could fine you or even worse make you put it back the way it was!

If you think that’s a lot of work, look for a Denver cash home buyer and sell your house as-is. Check out, a certified Denver cash home buyer.


3 Kitchen Upgrades to Sell Your House for More Profit

Here are 3 things you can do to your kitchen before you sell it. These items can be upgraded or repaired for a small amount of money. They are repairs that will add real value to your kitchen. They will absolutely help you sell your house for more money!



Boring? Yes.

Effective? ABSOLUTELY!

A clean kitchen sells for more money than a dirty kitchen. That is a fact.

Cleaning your kitchen will give you a much higher return on your investment than almost any other kitchen repair or renovation item.

If you are serious about selling your house you need to get DEAD SERIOUS about cleaning your kitchen. Take everything out of drawers, cupboards, and off shelves. Make appliances shine, surfaces gleam, and windows spotless.

A clean kitchen is a cared-for kitchen. A cared-for kitchen sells for more profit!

PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF THE BUYER: You walk into a kitchen. Reach down to look in the cupboard and as you open it you feel the grease on the handle.

Would you buy it?



A super pro tip that will elevate your kitchen for a small amount of money is soft close hinges. You can upgrade your entire kitchen for less than $100.


We all love soft-close doors. No slamming. Just silence.

If you want to remodel anything in your kitchen before you sell it you must install soft close hinges.

Any average DIY’er can do this in a few hours!



The key is matching the paint. If you don’t have an old can you may just have to paint the entire kitchen.

Painting a kitchen is home improvement 101. Talk to any real estate expert or professional home buyer and they will tell you painting is one of the best returns on investment there is.

What is return on investment in real estate?

SIDE NOTE: Return on Investment. In real estate, a return on investment is how much you spend versus how much you get back.

Let’s run through 2 examples real quick. A bad return on investment and a good one.

BAD RETURN ON INVESTMENT: You spend $30,000 remodeling your kitchen. The value of your house goes up by $10,000. This is an example of a bad return on investment in real estate.

EXAMPLE OF GOOD RETURN ON INVESTMENT: You spend $100 on paint and a few paintbrushes to upgrade your kitchen. You want to freshen it up, as they say. When you sell your house you sell it for $2000 more! This is an example of a good return.

So, in real estate, a good return is when you make more money than you spend. Make sense?


In Conclusion: Should I Remodel My Kitchen Before Selling My House

SO, Should I remodel my kitchen before selling my house?

The final word on whether you should remodel your kitchen to sell your house is:

  1. Do not take on a major renovation project. You will not recoup your cash!
  2. Talk to home improvement experts and real estate professionals to get their advice.
  3. Look for small repairs and renovations that will give you a good return on your investment such as:
    1. Deep clean your kitchen
    2. Soft close hinges
    3. Repainting the kitchen
These small upgrades are fun, easy, and will give you a high return on investment!

Selling a house has been voted as one of the most stressful things a person will do in their life. Why make it harder by taking on a massive project that even experts struggle with?

FAQ's: Quick answers

You should renovate your kitchen before selling your house if:

  • You are willing to spend more money.
  • Dealing with contractors doesn’t bother you.
  • You want more profit when you sell.
  • But you understand that you might not get more money.
  • You don’t want to sell your house as-is.
  • You intend to sell your house on the MLS with w real estate agent.

Renovating a kitchen before selling is a big undertaking. It is not for everyone. However, if you make good plans and understand what adds value, there is a good chance you could walk away with more cash. 

It is not worth it for most people to update a kitchen before selling. AND THIS IS WHY.

The average homeowner will spend way more money than they will get back. PLUS, it can take several months to remodel a kitchen completely. So if you need to sell your house by a specific date, you could be out of luck.

Most home improvement projects take more time and money than the original budget says.

For these reasons, updating a kitchen before selling a house is often not worth it.

A kitchen remodel does add value to a home.

The general rule of thumb is for every $1000 you spend fixing it up, the value will go up by roughly $600-$700. This table shows some details on real estate renovations and the return on investments.

So a kitchen remodel does add value to a home. However, the renovation will cost you more than the price of your house increases.

If you remodel your kitchen and list your house at an appropriate price, it will sell faster. Now, let me paint a picture for you.

There are 2 houses for sale. The 2 houses are identical in size, shape, and price.

The only difference is that one house has a remodeled kitchen.

The house with the remodeled kitchen will sell faster than the house with an old kitchen. 

However, before you jump headlong into a kitchen renovation, you need to consider how long it takes to upgrade a kitchen.

We talked to a reputable home improvement expert in Denver, CO, who said, “Every $1000-$5000 you spend fixing up your kitchen is going to take you 1 week. So if you spend $5000, the renovation could take 1 – 5 weeks. A $30,000 kitchen (costs of a small kitchen to be completely remodeled) could take over half a year!

So as you can see, once the kitchen is renovated, it can sell fast. Getting it renovated can take a very long time!

How fast do you need to sell?

Other Useful Resources

An in-depth look at what repairs to avoid when getting a house ready to sell. 

Research shows selling a house can be stressful. We talk to real estate experts about the who, why, when where, how, and what you can do about it. 

Best Solution Sell Your House Fast For Cash

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