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“To Renovate or Not to Renovate?…. That is the Question” (sponsored)

When preparing to sell your home, a common dilemma faced by many sellers is whether to invest in renovations before listing. “The decision to renovate, make minor updates, or sell “as-is” can significantly impact the sale price, time on the market, and overall selling experience” says Jackie Rossiter, a Principal of The Zolan Rossiter Team at Compass. Let’s explore the options and their respective pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Option 1: Selling “As-Is” and Pricing Accordingly

Choosing to sell your home in its current condition without making any improvements is known as selling “as-is.” This option can be appealing for sellers looking for a quick sale or those unable or unwilling to invest in renovations.


  • Simplicity: Selling as-is simplifies the selling process, eliminating the need for contractors, design decisions, and the stress of overseeing renovation work.
  • Speed: This option can expedite the listing process, making it ideal for those needing to sell quickly due to relocation, financial reasons, or personal circumstances.
  • Cost Savings:  Avoiding renovations means no upfront costs, which can be particularly beneficial if funds are tight or if the potential return on investment (ROI) is uncertain.


  • Lower Sale Price: Homes sold as-is may attract lower offers, as buyers will factor in the cost of necessary repairs and upgrades.
  • Limited Buyer Pool: Some buyers are specifically looking for turnkey properties and may bypass homes that require work, limiting your potential market.

Option 2: Making Minor Updates (Paint, Caulking, Etc.)

Minor updates can freshen up a home without requiring a significant investment. Simple improvements like painting, caulking, deep cleaning, and minor repairs can enhance a home’s appeal to potential buyers.


  • Improved First Impressions: A well-maintained appearance can make a strong first impression, potentially increasing interest and offers.
  • Higher Sale Price Potential: Even small updates can improve a home’s perceived value, possibly leading to a higher sale price.
  • Cost-Effective: These updates typically offer a good ROI, as the cost is relatively low compared to full-scale renovations.


  • Time and Effort: While less intensive than full renovations, these updates still require time, effort, and some level of investment.
  • May Not Address All Buyer Concerns: Cosmetic updates won’t fix underlying issues, which could still deter some buyers.

Option 3: Undertaking a Full Renovation

A complete renovation can transform a property, potentially maximizing its sale price and appeal. This option involves significant updates and possibly reconfiguring spaces to meet current market trends.


  • Maximized Sale Price: A newly renovated home can command a premium price, especially in competitive markets like Brooklyn.
  • Broader Appeal: A turnkey home can attract a wider pool of buyers, including those looking for a property that’s ready to move into without any additional work.
  • Potentially Quicker Sale: Homes that meet or exceed buyers’ expectations can sell faster, reducing the time your property spends on the market.


  • High Costs: Full renovations can be expensive, with no guarantee that the costs will be fully recouped through the sale price.
  • Time-Consuming: Renovations can take months, delaying the listing process. There’s also the risk of unexpected delays or complications.
  • Stress and Complexity: Managing contractors, making design decisions, and overseeing a renovation project can be stressful and complex.
  • Subjective Design: The renovations may not appeal to some buyers thus limiting 


The decision to renovate before selling your Brooklyn home is a multifaceted one, touching on aspects such as budget, timeline, the present condition of your home, and the specific dynamics of the current market. In some cases, opting for minor updates might offer the ideal balance of cost-effectiveness and appeal, enhancing your home’s marketability without a significant outlay. Conversely, for certain properties and situations, either proceeding with a full renovation or choosing to sell “as-is” could present a more strategic choice. 

The team encourages sellers to engage with their real estate agents for tailored advice that considers their unique position. Debbie Zolan loves the brokerage’s Compass Concierge program. “Some sellers would rather not have to front the costs of certain home improvement services prior to listing. Compass does that for you  – with no interest incurred, “ says Zolan. Their goal, as always, is to partner with you in making informed decisions that not only reflect your personal and financial circumstances but also position you advantageously in the market, ensuring the best possible outcome for your home sale.

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