Few can resist a classic makeover story – and home transformations are no exception. TV networks have built empires making it seem that anyone can take an outdated, ’70s bungalow and turn it into a dream urban escape – doubling the home’s value in just 30 minutes.

But before picking up a hammer, sellers should consult with a real estate professional. Each home and market is different. An agent can specify which updates will have the biggest return on investment and also advise if a home may be fine to sell as-is.

If you’re looking to sell your home and you are planning to do some renovations beforehand, get advice from a professional who can give you guidance. An agent can offer advice on everything from what colors to paint to what flooring to choose, and what will really make an impact in the sale.

Ready to list or wondering if it’s time to renovate? Here are a few important questions homeowners should consider asking an experienced real estate agent.

1. ‘Are there simple updates that can have a big impact in my home’s resale value?’

Updating a home doesn’t have to involve a complete overhaul and demolition crew. Before getting too carried away with updates, remember that they will want to make the house their home, too. For quick and simple updates, sellers can start by updating finishes, such as replacing door knobs or taps with fixtures in trending colors such as black or brushed gold. Lighting fixtures are another area that can be easily and often inexpensively updated.

For an even bigger impact, sellers should consider the power of paint. Adding neutral or modern colors to key features or even repainting the walls can completely transform a room.

2. ‘Which home renovations will give me the biggest return on investment?’

While new hardware and fresh paint may be enough to get most homes ready for the market, nothing stands out like an updated kitchen or bathroom, according to Fuentes. These renovations can be more expensive – depending on the size of a home, a full kitchen remodel can cost upwards of $50,000 – but they also tend to have the biggest influence on resale value.

If you have the money to do a new kitchen, do it for yourself in your new home. Deciding what the next person will want in the end product of the home you are selling would require looking into a crystal ball and seeing the future. Leave the big stuff for the next person to decide, and keep your cash to remodel the next house into your dream home.

3. ‘How can I fund (or afford to) pay for home renovations?’

The cost of renovating can add up quickly, which is why it is not uncommon for homeowners to fund a project through a small loan. (If you would like a recommendation for a short-term lender that won’t cost the earth, ask Kath!)

When it is time to put a home on the market, many experts agree – even in a competitive market where buyers have fewer options, many are still searching for an updated home. It’s simple ­– buying a home can be stressful enough. Why add the hassle of renovations?

People know that updating a home takes time, money and finding the right contractors. A lot of people just don’t want to do the work, it’s a headache. That’s why many buyers prefer an updated home. They would rather go and find something that’s already done and ready for them to move in. However, unless you want to do the renovation for your own enjoyment for a few years before you sell, you’ll simply be spending money on a gift you aren’t even sure that the next person wants.