Should You Make Renovations Before Putting Your Home on the Market?
Many sellers grapple with trying to figure out how to make the most money when listing their properties with a real estate agent.
Though certain factors, such as market conditions, the Realtor® you use, and the location of your property, undoubtedly have an impact on your ability to sell, the condition of your house is most important. Without a doubt, a home with a dated kitchen and bathrooms is going to sell for less than one that has recently been redone.
The question that faces sellers, however, is whether or not it’s worth it to put money into renovations just so that you can sell your house more quickly or for more money. Unfortunately, there is no cut and dry answer that will hold true for every seller. Still, here are a few tips to consider when deciding how much money to put into a home that you (hopefully) aren’t going to be living in for much longer.
Minor Changes Can Make a Major Difference
Try to put yourself into the shoes of a prospective buyer. If your house is in fairly good condition, then minor problems might suddenly stick out like a sore thumb. It’s almost always worth it for those wishing to sell a home to invest in a new paint job or to fix issues like broken tiles before you put your home on the market. It’s amazing how much difference a fresh coat of paint can make–especially if you cover up cracks or holes in the walls using spackle before you paint. Even if you see nothing wrong with your walls, ask yourself whether the colors you’ve chosen will be universally appreciated by most sellers. If not, repaint in neutral tones to increase your chances of pleasing as many people as possible.
Details like cracked tiles, broken mirrors, or leaky faucets in your bathrooms or kitchen may have never really bothered you as a homeowner, but you can bet that potential buyers will hone in on them as possible deal-breakers. Spending the money to replace anything that’s broken will almost always be worth it–after all, the buyer will probably ask for you to address it after the inspection anyway–and it’s often a good idea to be proactive as well. Pay to have a bathroom retiled–or at the very least, replace the grout. You should also put in new layers of caulk around tub and sink fixtures. These little improvements can go a long way.
Decide to Invest a Little More If Advised
You should trust your own instincts and/or those of your Real Estate agent if you get the impression that your home could use a little more work than just covering the basics. Perhaps you have old carpet with hardwood floors underneath. Hiring someone to rip it up and then polish the floors could lead to increased interest in your home.
It may also be a good idea to do a few renovations on an extremely dated bathroom or kitchen. Replace cabinet doors or install a modern sink to make the room feel updated without really spending too much money. You may also find that replacing old appliances with mid-range new options will impress buyers. The point of this exercise is to make cosmetic fixes without spending too much money in the process.
Avoid Major Renovations Most of the Time
Convinced that you’ll make back your investment and then some if you spend the time and money to make major renovations? You may be setting yourself up for disappointment. In reality, most sellers only make back about 50 percent of the money they put into renovations when they actually make the sale. You also run the risk of alienating some buyers who aren’t happy with an ultra-modern bathroom or don’t like the color of the granite you chose for the kitchen counters.
Most professionals advise against making major changes unless your home is in really sorry shape as is. Even then, consider the cost of renovations against the price your house could fetch if you sell it without making changes. Though you may not be entirely happy with a lower list price, odds are you would end up spending that much (or more) by investing money into a house you’re trying to get out of anyway.