No. 2: Refinished hardwood floors
Want to get back all of your home renovation dollars? Refinish those hardwood floors.
Refinishing costs an average of $2,500 and that's about what it adds to home value, the study finds.
"How many bedrooms, how many bathrooms -- that's what gets you in the door," says McGrew. "But sizzle is what gets you to sign the contract, and hardwood floors are part of that."
"It's really a smart thing to do to market a home," says Severance. "But you won't get any of it back if the paint is peeling." It has to be part of the total package, she says.
She recommends that potential sellers paint the house. "There's no ROI (return on investment) higher in real estate than paint," says Severance.