Tom Kaufman

Tom Kaufman

Richard B. Arnold Real Estate

5 Renovation Projects To Help Sell Your House This Spring

We met with Joe Batel from J & S Construction in Greenvale, NY to discuss renovation projects to help sell your home this Spring. Joe offered 5 ideas to improve the first impression buyers have as they enter your house. Joe’s renovation advice is to “maximize the effect for potential buyers while minimizing downtime with the function of your home.”

Often times, buyers ask their realtor what they can do to help sell their home.  The most common answer we give is to simply de-clutter and get rid of excess junk.  This makes your home feel more spacious and makes it more presentable.  

However, if you want to invest in your home before you sell, consider your potential buyers before you invest in any renovations. Is your house a great starter-home for first-time home buyers? Is your house perfect for a family looking to trade-up into their second home?  Is your house part of the luxury home market where discerning buyers are expecting all of the details to be just perfect?

A realistic assessment of your potential buyer is a key factor when deciding on a renovation project for the Spring selling season.  Each job below takes 3-4 days to complete and can be tailored to your budget and your potential buyers.

Paint High Traffic Rooms

A professional paint job is a simple and cost-effective way to show that your home is well-maintained; this impresses new home buyers.  In fact, when a buyer is purchasing a starter-home, one concern after closing is whether or not they need to paint.  Preparing a room for a fresh coat of paint requires fixing cracks in the walls and ceiling.  The fresh coat of paint also masks odors that can accompany older homes.

When a buyer doesn’t have to paint the home’s interior, this saves money when finances are tight after closing.  It also allows the buyer to simply move right in. All of these things factor into a buyer’s decision to purchase your home.

You should consider light, neutral colors when you choose a paint color.  Your favorite bold color might put a smile on your face; however, everybody doesn’t feel the same way about a bright orange accent wall in the living room!  Likewise, light colored paint makes the room feel brighter and cleaner.

Since your goal with this paint job is to help sell your home, remember that new paint looks great in pictures! According to a May 2018 survey by the National Association of Realtors, 50% of home buyers initially found their home on the internet.  This means that half your potential buyers look at pictures of your home online before they see your home in person. Therefore, make sure you “paint” the best picture possible for prospective buyers.

Refinish Hardwood Floors

In today’s housing market, hardwood floors are a desirable feature.  In fact, it’s one feature of a starter home that first-time homebuyers notice quickly.  If you have hardwood floors that were covered by carpet for many years, you may be in luck!  Often times, carpeting protects the floors underneath and preserves the wood’s quality.

In the late 1960s, carpets became a common feature in American homes because of lower pricing and better technology. Who knew that this design trend would pay dividends almost 60 years later!  If carpets in your home have preserved the wood floors underneath, consider hiring a professional to rip up the carpet and redo the floors.The work done to the floor depends on the floor’s condition.  Ultimately, you have to choose between recoating your floor or refinishing your floor.  Recoating adds a new layer of protective coating to the existing floor. Refinishing is a process of sanding, staining, & finishing the wood.

If your floors are in great condition, you might only need to recoat the floors with a layer of finish. Recoating a floor extends the life of the floor and restores shine & beauty to wood that is dull and worn. That said, sanding, staining, & finishing the wood is often-times necessary in high traffic areas. You should expect to spend around $2-$4 per square foot of hardwood floor depending on the specifics of your job.  

This financial investment can pay off when buyers are impressed with your floors in the pictures online and when they first enter your house. Before you put your house on the market, look under those carpets and see what’s there.  You might be pleasantly surprised!

Replace Your Front Door

Install a new front door to create an incredible first impression for guests. Purchase high-end hardware to maximize the impact as potential buyers enter your home.  

You can paint the door a bold color to complement the existing colors of the house and to draw attention away from areas that are not updated.


Joe Batel recommends that you buy a Therma-Tru fiberglass door for its durability, its affordability, and its appeal.  Between materials and labor, expect to spend in between $1500-$3000 on a new door installation, depending on your design choices.

In addition, buy new numbers for your house that coordinate with the door’s hardware. Many times the numbers on your house are the first thing people see as they search for your home.  You make it easier for your realtor to sell your house when potential buyers can find your home.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, this project decreases heat loss in the winter, resulting in lower heating bills. Your realtor will use this information when bragging about your home’s features during open houses and private showings.

New Tile & Flooring in Your Entry Foyer

New tile & flooring in the entry foyer creates a refreshing style as buyers enter your house.  

A bold pattern on the floor makes an immediate statement as people walk through the front door.  Visit Home Depot to view their wide selection of tile patterns. Merola Tile is a safe bet for quality and beauty. The “Twenties Classic” model has a matte finish in gray and white, and it compliments a variety of interior designs.If you have hardwood floors and do not want to replace the wood, consider painting the wood using a stencil. Experts recommend that you use a large pattern because smaller patterns get lost on the floor.  

That said, the large pattern you choose should have a lot of detail as opposed to easily defined straight lines.  This ensures that imperfections in the paint job will not draw a buyer’s eyes to this mistake. Rather, these imperfections become part of the pattern!

Finally, keep in mind that your foyer must be easy to clean.  When your house is for sale, buyers can request a showing on short notice.  You want the flexibility to quickly clean up before people arrive. Decorative baskets are great for hiding shoes, and attractive hooks can provide a quick, orderly way to get jackets and bags off your new floor.

Install Crown Molding

Crown molding is a detail that adds value to your home.  When done correctly, it gives your home a more upscale appearance. Likewise, home buyers in the luxury market expect details like this. The installation of crown molding is simple in theory.  In reality, though, it is tricky for a novice. We recommend hiring a professional to design & install the molding, especially if your goal is to impress home buyers as they walk through your home.


Crown molding is traditionally incorporated into the public parts of your house where people gather: the entry foyer, the dining room, the family room, etc.

Experienced contractors can recommend crown molding that compliments the size and the design of each room.  Crown molding that is too big will make your room feel cramped while crown molding that is too small won’t be noticed.

When you decide on a style of molding, consider how the molding compliments the design of your room and your home.  

Are the permanent features of your home more modern?  Is there a built-in bookshelf or a fireplace mantel that already has permanent design features?  If so, how is your choice of molding consistent with what is already there?

Finally, if you already have crown molding in your home, carefully examine what’s there for unsightly seems and cracks. These small imperfections can be easily fixed with some caulk and paint, and it will ensure your buyers notice the molding’s beauty rather than the molding’s imperfections.


Tom Kaufman

Tom Kaufman

As a life-long resident of Long Island, Tom appreciates the unique personalities of Long Island's diverse communities. Tom’s insight into Long Island’s North & South Shores uniquely positions him to find the best home for you and your family.

Joe Batel

Joe Batel

Joe is the President of J&S Construction Company. He has over 35 years of experience leading his full service, multi-trade interior & exterior construction team. To learn more about the services Joe provides, click on his picture to visit his website

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