51. Selling an Old House: Should I Renovate My Kitchen and Bathroom?

Old House Exterior

Are you ready to sell your house but are stuck wondering whether or not you should update your kitchen or bathroom?

This blog post will share tips for selling your house without renovating and look at some options if you are interested in a bath and kitchen remodel.

Benefits of Having an Old Home

Old House Living Room

If you’re unsure if bathroom and kitchen updates are necessary when selling an old house, the answer is no.

Old houses can be seen as a unique selling point to some buyers. Many homeowners like the idea of having a one-of-a-kind house that doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

Buyers may also see the outdated features as an opportunity to update the space themselves and make it their own. Many people are drawn to challenges and enjoy the idea of taking on a home improvement project.

If your bathroom and kitchen are outdated, this could be an advantage in attracting buyers. An older bathroom or kitchen may also come with a lower price tag, which could be appealing to some prospective homeowners. This gives them more means to take on their own projects, and it opens it up to buyers looking in a lower price range.

On the other hand, highlighting unique features has the potential to attract more buyers. Depending on the state of your home, keep this in mind when pricing!

Selling Without Remodeling

If you are interested in selling your home with an outdated bathroom or kitchen, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. 

First, it’s important to be honest about the state of your bathroom and kitchen with potential buyers. If they know what they’re getting into upfront, they may be more likely to make an offer on your home.

Second, make sure that your bathroom and kitchen are clean and free of clutter. This will give buyers a good idea of what the existing space could look like with some updates. Removing any clutter highlights countertop prep space and potential storage.

Finally, consider staging your bathroom and kitchen. This means putting away all of your personal belongings and styling the space in a way that is appealing to buyers.

Drawbacks of an Outdated Kitchen and Bathroom

Outdated Kitchen

There are some disadvantages to selling with an outdated bathroom or kitchen.

Potential buyers who do not want a remodeling project will likely be turned off by these types of features, regardless of the other selling points of your home.

This could cause your home to take longer to sell or even sit on the market for an extended period of time.

Additionally, a bathroom or kitchen that is very outdated can often be more expensive to update than one that has been recently updated.

If buyers are familiar with the costs of remodeling, this may discourage them from making an offer.

Home Remodeling

When deciding whether bathroom and kitchen updates are necessary before selling, it’s essential to consider cost and how much it affects your home’s resale value.

If you want to update your bathrooms or kitchen before putting your home up for sale, what are some things that you can do? Depending on the state of these spaces in relation to their age, there is a wide range of possibilities.

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchens are often a focal point for many homeowners. If you’re interested in doing a kitchen remodel before selling, it’s important to know how much it will cost.

Kitchen Remodel

Complete Remodel

The cost of a complete kitchen remodel, for an average kitchen, can start around $20,000. Appliances alone can cost anywhere from $2,000 – $5,000. It is also important to remember that a complete remodel can be very time-consuming, 6 to 12 weeks for an average kitchen. You also need to remove all of your belongings to do the work, which can be very inconvenient.

Affordable Updates

The good news is that you can dramatically change to your old kitchen, even if you’re on a tight budget.

One popular update is to paint kitchen cabinets a new color. Painting can be a dramatic change that is relatively affordable. Choosing a white or light color makes the kitchen seem brighter and gives the appearance of more space.

Adding new hardware to cabinets and drawers also gives the kitchen a modern feel and a complete look.

Consider replacing dated light fixtures with more modern styles or adding a new sink and faucet.

Depending on your budget, you can consider replacing old appliances with newer models. This will give your kitchen an updated look and improve its efficiency.

Another popular update for kitchens is to add granite or marble countertops. Countertops can be a more expensive option but can make it look like a new kitchen. It can also add value to your home.

Bathroom Remodel

Outdated Bathroom
Remodeled Bathroom

A bathroom remodel can be a good investment when selling, but they aren’t mandatory.

These remodels can be significantly cheaper than kitchen remodels. For smaller bathrooms, you can expect to spend a few thousand dollars for a complete remodel. A full bathroom renovation usually takes around two weeks. Like with kitchens, you will have limited access to using the bathroom while renovating.

Budget-Friendly Options

Some of the most budget-friendly renovations include adding new fixtures like faucets, sinks, towel racks, and cabinet hardware to give it a fresh look.

Removing old wallpaper can also create the feeling of more functional space, especially if the wallpaper has a very busy pattern.

Depending on bathroom size and budget, you can also consider flooring material. Vinyl flooring has a variety of patterns and can look like tile. The average cost for vinyl flooring is around $0.50 to $4.00 per square foot.

Consider adding a small vanity, cabinets, or another storage unit to help the organization if you have the space.

For a larger budget, it’s often a good idea to remove the existing tub and put in a shower.

Return on Investment

Return on Investment

If you’re wondering whether or not updating your bathroom or kitchen will add value to your home when selling, the answer is generally yes.

For bathroom remodels, you can expect to get back around 55-65% of the project’s cost.

You can expect to recoup about 50-60% of the original cost for kitchen remodels.


Selling an old house has its benefits and drawbacks while renovating comes with its pros and cons.

An old house can attract buyers who may want to renovate the space with their personal style and focus on the unique charm of the house. However, buyers who do not wish to do home renovations’ work will likely not be interested.

Although you will get some return on investment by remodeling, it can be expensive and inconvenient, especially if you still live in the house.

In the end, it is essential to weigh all options as you sell your house.

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