When it comes to resale value, real estate industry insiders swear by these interior and exterior upgrades.

By Caroline McKenzie
March 20, 2017

So many projects, so little time! If you've ever pondered what home upgrades are the best for resale, ponder no more. A joint study issued by the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of The Remodeling Industry asked realtors to rank home projects in terms of their appeal to buyers. While the winners are by no-means low-cost or low-time endeavors, they all also ranked high on percentage of value recovered at time of sale. Here, the interior and exterior projects you can complete to win over prospective buyers.

1. Kitchen Upgrade: Not to be confused with a complete kitchen renovation (see below) a kitchen upgrade includes easier fixes such as new appliances or cabinet refinishing. Of the realtors surveyed, 25% said a kitchen upgrade recently helped cinch a deal that resulted in a closed sale. Realtors also predicted a seller would recover 67% of the value of a kitchen upgrade project with the sale of the home.

2. Complete Kitchen Renovation: Coming in at number two was a complete kitchen renovation—a floor to ceiling overhaul that updates every last surface from cabinets to countertops to appliances and often revamps the floor plan for better function and livability. Realtors also projected sellers would recover 67% of project costs.

3. Bathroom Renovation: Bathroom renos are often at the bottom of homeowners’ to-do lists. (In fact, this study found that only 9% of homeowners would choose to tackle this project first!) But realtors concur that an updated bathroom is a major selling point for would-be-buyers and can yield up to 58% of project costs.

Related: Our Most Relaxing Master Bathrooms:

4. New Wood Flooring: With carpet becoming less and less acceptable in buyers' eyes, 19% of surveyed realtors had recently suggested installing new wood flooring to a seller before listing his or her home. While flooring projects can often require you to vacate your home for several days, there's an upside to that sacrifice. The report estimated that a whopping 91% of project costs would be recouped.

5. New Bathroom: Similar to bathroom renovations, adding a new bathroom ranked low on homeowners' wish lists. But realtors estimated the project would add an average of $26,000 to a home's asking price.

6. New Roofing: Forty-five percent of realtors have suggested sellers install a new roof before attempting to sell, and 32% said the project most recently helped cinch a deal for them, resulting in a closed sale. What's more, the report estimates that 105% of project costs can be recovered.

7. New Vinyl Windows: With energy efficiency top of mind for many buyers, airtight, weather-resistant vinyl windows were another exterior favorite for surveyed realtors, with estimates that installing them throughout your home could add approximately $12,000 on average to an asking price.