3 Appliances You Should Upgrade to Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

published Aug 9, 2020
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Not everything you can do to improve your home’s resale value is fun (does anybody really want to spend money on a new roof?) but there are definitely some big-tickets things that you get to enjoy and that can have a payoff. At the top of that list is appliances. 

Yes, they’re utilitarian, but I know I’m not the only one who can get excited about a shiny new refrigerator. And if it’s exciting for you as a homeowner, it could also be just the thing to spark the interest of a potential buyer in the future. Even if you don’t plan to sell anytime soon, that’s always something to keep in the back of your mind. With that, a few experts have laid out which appliances are most worth upgrading to increase your home’s resale value. Ahead, catch advice from Bill Collins, a real estate agent with ERA Queen City Realty, and Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance, a Neighborly company.

First, know where your home is in the market

Before you run out to pick out the sleekest new stove, keep this rule in mind. There’s a point of diminishing returns, according to our experts. “Unless your home is in the high-end market, don’t go over the top when purchasing appliances,” Shimek says. He explains these splurges often “won’t recoup your costs, so it’s important to get the best value overall when selecting an appliance.” 

Say you’re a gourmet chef living in a neighborhood with a median home value of $250,000, and you spring for Thermador appliances and a built-in sound system, for example. “That’s all well and good for your personal use, but when you sell the property,” you may be in for a rude awakening, Collins says.

Appraisers are looking for your house to be in line with other properties in the neighborhood, he explains, “so if you’re over-improved, you’re not going to get the valuation from the appraiser.” That’s where it’s important to consult with a licensed real estate professional experienced in your area, he says. They can let you know where comparable homes are in terms of upgrades. (I second that advice; I consulted with our realtor before remodeling our kitchen two years ago!)

That said, it’s also worth remembering that buying is an emotional experience, Collins said. Most buyers start with looking in the kitchen, he says. “If you can capture them based upon your presentation being appealing—because they’re buying with their eyes—then you’ve got them.”

So, what are the best appliances to upgrade?


Look for fridges featuring French doors and built-in water and ice dispensers for the greatest ROI, says Shimek. While there are other trendy options, both experts gave stainless steel props for resale value. Collins notes that eco-friendly appliances with an Energy Star logo can boost ROI, too. “When investing in one, leave the ‘Energy Star’ tag on the appliance instead of removing it,” he suggests.

Built-in stoves

Stoves with a built-in feel, rather than standalone ones, often fetch more money, Shimek notes. Options that can also increase value include things that make life easier, such as flat tops that minimize mess and self-cleaning functions.

High-efficiency washers

Washers and dryers are often part of price negotiations in home purchases, Shimek says. “The best type to invest in is a high-efficiency, top and front-load washer paired with matching dryer.” Definitely look for the Energy Star logo here, as well, he says.

A few other items can make a home more appealing, according to our experts. Shimek suggests considering WiFi-enabled appliances, since that adds convenience in the buyer’s mind. And Collins notes that separate beverage chillers—or even a separate door dedicated to grabbing drinks from the refrigerator—are having a moment. As for one appliance to de-prioritize, Collins says that dishwashers, which have a life span of about 10 years, won’t allow for a huge ROI.