home2Would you rather buy a home with old laminate counter tops or pristine marble? It seems like an easy choice, but many home sellers are so immune to the outdated features in their homes that they can’t understand why buyers can’t see past them, too. But even if you’re not ready to list your home just yet, a few smart changes can make a big difference in adding to your home’s value — especially in competitive markets like Green Hills and East Nashville.

If you want to increase your home’s potential value in a hot market, some of these strategic home improvement ideas will give you the biggest return on your investment.

Remodeling the Kitchen

The old adage is true! Kitchens and baths are what sell a home. A dated kitchen can be a major turnoff to potential buyers, and there are lots of ways, both big and small, you can make yours as refreshing and inviting as possible, without investing in a total overhaul. When it comes to improving your kitchen for resale, you don’t need to splurge to make a better impression.

Instead, bring the space to the point of what’s known as “builder-grade luxury”: Replace basic black appliances with stainless steel, for example, and ditch the laminate countertops in favor of granite. Yes, these home improvement ideas might sound pricey, and you could spend a pretty penny on appliances and granite, but builder-grade improvements stop far short of those over-the-top luxuries.

If you’re really on a budget? Simply refinish or repaint your cabinetry and add updated hardware (such as new hinges and drawer pulls), which can dramatically transform the look of the room for well under $100.

Improve the Bathroom

When it comes to bathrooms, most buyers look for a modern, sleek space. The most basic upgrade starts with replacing old ceramic tiles with modern tiles like white subway-style ceramic or 12-by-12 porcelain tile. Almost all tubs are being replaced with tiled showers, about $1,000. It might seem like a lot, but it can dramatically improve your selling power.


Painting is the easiest and cheapest way to refresh any room, especially if you DiY the project. Whites and neutrals can help buyers envision themselves in the space, since they provide a blank slate to serve as a backdrop for buyers’ stuff. No bold colors! Neutral, neutral, neutral… no matter how much you hate it, personally.

Update the Flooring

Like paint, quality flooring changes the look and feel of any room. Hardwood is always appealing to a wide range of buyers, as are high-quality laminate options and more affordably eco-friendly choices like bamboo and cork. If your home is hiding hardwood floors under that carpeting, let them shine if they’re in good condition. If you already have hardwood floors but they’re looking a little worse for wear, it’s time to invest in a good sanding and refinishing.