Home Improvement Payoff
October 24, 2022 | Suzanne Powers

Top 11 Home Improvements that Make You Money | Milwaukee Real Estate

Home buyers are more selective than ever when purchasing a home and want move in ready condition at every price point. Is Your Home Ready?
Top 11 Home Improvements that Make You Money | Milwaukee Real Estate

Top 11 Home Improvements that Make You Money | Milwaukee Real Estate

As the market begins to get more challenging, sellers will need to once again focus on improving their homes to win buyer’s offers. We have developed a winning list to get top dollar for your Milwaukee Home:

Top 11 Home Improvements that Make You Money | Milwaukee Real Estate

1. Painting the Walls One Uniform Color on the First Floor

2. Add Recessed Lighting

3. Replace Old Kitchen Appliances

4. Replace Old Counter Tops in the Kitchen and Bathrooms

5. Replace Old Fixtures

6. Paint the Basement Floor

7. Refinish Hardwood Floors

8. Replace Hardware

9. Dress Your Front Door

10. Service Your Mechanicals

11. Replace Outdated Thermostats for Programmable


Painting is the least expensive and most impactful improvement sellers can make to get top dollar for their home. My suggestion is to paint the entire first floor one uniform wall color. https://www.powersrealty.com/home-improvement-payoff/suzanne-powers-top-paint-colors-for-2023-milwaukee-real-estate/ Buyers want a clean uniform look to give the house a more spacious and cohesive flow and feel and paint is the best way to achieve this goal. The return on investment is into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Recessed Lighting:

This feature works well in older homes built in the 1920’s. Adding recessed lighting to your plaster ceiling in your 1920’s home is fairly easy and inexpensive to do and immediately modernizes your space. Be sure to use 4-inch cans only and make sure they are a warm lighting. If you are installing LED’s, they will need to be 3000 Kelvins. I am still a big fan incandescent lighting because they still have not worked out the kinks in LED lighting. To give your home the best warmth and resale, make sure every light is on a dimmer. LED technology on the dimming component is not as good as incandescent. Damage to the plaster ceiling with a skilled electrician should be zero.

Appliances and Fixtures:

This probably goes without saying but replace all appliances with the latest stainless steel options. Be sure to purchase counter depth refrigerators for a built-in look for the kitchen. Replace all your faucets, knobs, and pulls to modernize both the bathroom and kitchen. This is so inexpensive to do and will set your home apart form all the others. My favorite hardware store is https://www.neushardware.com/  in Menomonee Falls. You can buy the latest pulls and knobs right off the floor and they carry the top of line Water Street Fixtures. Trust me, you will be impressed.


Counters should be a solid surface and a very light bright color, preferrable white or a variation of white. Black counters are out. If you are selecting granite, go as white as possible. You may find that quartz counters are quite a bit less expensive than granite and offer more variety at less expensive prices.

Basement Floor Paint:

I cannot say enough. Paint the basement Floor! The home inspection lasts 3 hours on average and half of that time is spent in your basement. Accepted Offers are won and lost in the basement. Make it look good. Here are my suggestions on epoxy paint solutions for your basement floor. https://www.powersrealty.com/home-improvement-payoff/why-a-clean-shiny-basement-floor-makes-a-difference-and-how-to-get-one/

Refinish Harwood Floors:

This is the most intrusive suggestion I have and a pain in the ass. Sellers hate this suggestion because they must move all their furniture out, refinish the floors, and not return for 5 days. This is my sellers least favorite home improvements to tackle to sell their home, BUT it has an almost greater return than paint. Buyers want clean expansive cohesive floors between rooms. If you can stand in a home’s foyer and see more than two different floor colors, your home’s sale price will suffer. Buyers are overwhelmed by floors. They do not want to do them and will pay top dollar for your refinished floors. Bleached, clean, natural white oak floors are all the rage and almost every Milwaukee North Shore home has the gorgeous original oak floors. Refinish what you have, and the buyers will reward you with a fabulous price.

Dress Your Front Door:

The first impression is a lasting impression. To get top dollar, Sellers need to have a well-groomed front door complimented by seasonal planters. Shiny hardware, freshly painted, and a new front door mat go a long way to impressing your buyer. Buyers want to feel that they are buying something special. The front door sets the tone, and much like paint, is in the top 3 things sellers can do to help get a great offer.

Service Your Furnace and AC:

Servicing your mechanicals just before listing will save you time and headaches on the inspection and you can list this on your list of improvements. Buyers love this value add.

Install Programable Thermostats:

Everyone LOVES a programmable application for their thermostat. This will immediately modernize your home and set you apart from most of the other properties for sale. Technology for houses is getting much like the technology in our cars. Having the house be temperature regulated from anywhere around the world on an app is here and buyers love this feature.

If you have questions on today’s market, I am always available for a no obligation consultation to help advise you on your home sale. You can reach out to me, Suzanne Powers 414-870-7175. Thank you for your interest in Powers Winning Home Improvement Payoff Strategies for your Milwaukee Home.

Experience a seamless home selling and buying process with Powers Realty, Milwaukee’s trusted local experts for over 2 decades. Our tailored approach ensures optimal results. Contact me today to discuss your home needs.

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