3 expenses you can skip before listing your home, according to 'Selling Sunset' stars

A side-by-side of Mary Fitzgerald and Maya Vander.
Insider spoke to Mary Bonnet and Maya Vander.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor / Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty Images
  • It can be hard to know where to invest your money when preparing to sell your home.

  • Insider spoke to "Selling Sunset" stars Mary Bonnet and Maya Vander about renovations that aren't worth it.

  • It's not worth adding new decor before you sell, and you may not need to buy new appliances.

Buying and selling a home is often an emotional process for people, but at the end of the day, it's a financial decision.

And if you're selling your property, it's important to make changes to your home that will increase its resale value.

But people who aren't experienced in the world of real estate may struggle to know what they should — and shouldn't — spend money on when getting their home prepared for a sale.

Insider spoke to stars of Netflix's "Selling Sunset" and real-estate experts Mary Bonnet (née Fitzgerald) and Maya Vander about the home improvements sellers can skip before listing their homes.

You may not have to splurge on brand-new appliances

Both Bonnet and Vander, who left the Netflix series and the Oppenheim Group after season 5 to work at a different brokerage in Miami, told Insider that you should look towards your kitchen when you're preparing to sell your home.

"If you have a completely dated bathroom and kitchen and you want any model to increase value, those are the first two locations I would recommend people to focus on," Vander said.

But that doesn't mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on a brand-new refrigerator, stove, and wine fridge.

A kitchen with dark blue cabinets and a wall of windows.
Appliances don't need to be replaced if they look new.Tony Anderson / Getty Images

As Bonnet said, appliances that look fairly new will usually be enough for buyers.

"You can get away with it they still look good," Bonnet said. "If they're stainless steel refrigerators that are just five years old or something that's in good condition, you can get away with working around it."

However, appliances that look dated likely need to be replaced to maintain the value of a home.

"If you got a 1990 white fridge or that old yellow kind, get rid of it," Bonnet said.

Be careful when you make changes to your floors

When you're putting your home up for sale, it's important for it to look new and clean, particularly features like floors and walls, as both Bonnet and Vander told Insider.

But you shouldn't rush to replace your floors if the home has good studs.

For instance, Bonnet said someone would be an "idiot" if they had "really nice but old original hardwood floors, and they ripped them up and put laminate in."

In that scenario, it would be better to refinish the floors rather than replace them, as the hardwood would be attractive to buyers.

But Vander said it's always worth the value of the home to replace carpet in your homes, as they're not appealing to buyers. "People don't like carpets," she said.

Bonnet agreed, saying "nice hardwood floors are always a great idea. You never lose money on that."

"The bigger the plank and longer is worth more," she added. "If you see tiny planks that are short and skinny, those are cheaper."

It's better to get rid of things rather than add decorations

When you imagine sprucing up your home, you may think of adding art you love or new photos of your family.

But for potential buyers, pictures of your family or your statement sculptures might make it difficult for them to imagine themselves living in the home.

Vander told Insider it's "very important" to declutter your home before you start showing it to potential buyers.

"Don't collect things. Make it look presentable," she said. "People get offended when you tell them that because they have pictures and a bunch of stuff, and for them it's amazing and makes it look like home. But for buyers who will come and look at it, it might look too personal and it might turn them off."

A messy, cluttered office in a home.
A cluttered home is hard to sell.DGLimages / Getty Images

So instead of investing money in decor, spend money on cleaning out your home and making aesthetic changes that will help it sell.

Bonnet also said you could invest in staging instead of adding decorations to your home, as stagers know how to make a home look beautiful for a wide audience.

"Most buyers don't have vision," she said. "You have to show them what the possibility is because they can't see past what it is."

Read the original article on Insider