Selling Sunsets' Emma Hernan says this simple renovation 'always pays off' and will make any home feel brand new

The real estate broker doesn't recommend a massive remodel – we should start with this easy change instead

emma hernana in a blue suit on a porch
(Image credit: Jason Kent)

Emma Hernan, reality star and high-end real estate broker at the famed Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles, is all about simple changes that make a big difference. Homes & Gardens sat down with Emma to discuss her tips for selling a home, and they're much easier than we expected. 

Her favorite renovation idea for the best return on investment when selling is simply adding a fresh coat of paint. 'I think that fresh paint inside and outside always pays off. I think it's the best return on the investment that you could have,' Emma says.'It honestly makes the home feel brand new.' 

Emma Hernan

(Image credit: Jason Kent)

Emma continues, 'Imagine walking to a house that smells like fresh paint; even if the home is not brand new, you think [that it's new] in your head.' If you're looking to sell your house, this feeling of newness for prospective buyers is a huge plus. First impressions are important, and Emma's tip is a great place to start. For the same reason, Emma always recommends 'switching out the light fixtures in the entryway if they're old.'

Furthermore, Emma says that many home improvements don't add value. She says, 'When I have clients looking to sell, I don't recommend a massive remodel. I honestly think it's about updating cosmetics and freshening the home up so that it's ready to hit the market.' 

She adds, 'Because someone's going to come in, and they're probably going to want to do their little fixtures and do their little home touches themselves anyways.' In Emma's opinion, as a real estate agent, it's about making the home as appealing to the broadest range of buyers possible, which personalization can work against.

If you are looking to make a quick and affordable renovation that will add value to your home and only have the budget to make one room, Emma recommends the kitchen. She says, 'I think it's the lowest hanging fruit, and you know, it's the heart of the home. Some fresh paint and some fresh hardware can go a long way.'

Emma Hernan
Emma Hernan

Selling Sunset star Emma Hernan is the go-to agent for many luxury home buyers and sellers, both across the US and internationally. Alongside her place in the real estate industry, Emma has a rich background as an entrepreneur and angel investor – simultaneously serving as the CEO of her successful food company. 

Shop Some of Our Favorite Paints

No matter the style or architecture of your home, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in getting the home ready to sell.

Sophie Edwards
News Editor

I am a London-based News Editor at Homes & Gardens. My interests lie at the intersection of design and popular culture with a particular focus on trends and celebrity homes. Before joining Future, I worked as a Content Writer and Communications Lead for Fig Linens and Home, a luxury linens and home interiors brand based in Fairfield County, CT. I have a BA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and an MSc from the Oxford University Department of Anthropology.