My wife and I are expecting our second child this fall- and we’re moving to a bigger home.
Our realtor suggests updating our current home will raise the value, and help us sell faster. But I don’t know if it’s worth the money. Should we remodel before listing? And, what would give us the biggest bang for the buck?
Will J. from Allentown, PA
Congratulations on your growing family!
So, the big question: Do you invest in repairing or remodeling your home before you list…or do you sell it ‘as is’?
The answer is tricky. Like you pointed out, you don’t want to spend money remodeling if you can’t recap your investment when you sell. On the other hand, as your realtor suggested, sprucing things up can go a long way towards helping you get to ‘sold’ faster.
To answer your question: It depends.
If your home needs several major system updates, such as a new roof or updated electric, you might want to consider listing it below market value ‘as is’ if you’re on a time crunch. New home buyers will say they’re looking for a deal to ‘fix up’…but when it comes down to it, most aren’t comfortable taking on anything beyond a little cosmetic work.
I’m going to assume your home is in solid condition- just a little ‘lived in’. If that’s the case, investing in some light remodeling before listing can help you put your best foot forward.
Here’s what I’d recommend:
First, make a list of everything that needs minor repair or maintenance in your home: The leaky kitchen faucet, the toilet that won’t stop running, the caulk peeling up around your tub- the easy weekend fixes you or a general handyman can make before listing.
Buyers want to walk in and know a home has been maintained. Having carpets deep cleaned, raking the yard, and a good powerwash helps buyers see the features that make your home unique, instead of being distracted by surface wear.
Next, call the pros. A good general contractor will understand your position and can help you complete light remodels in a budget and style designed to attract buyers.
As far as what to remodel?
I suggest concentrating in three places: bathrooms, kitchens, and curb appeal.
#1. Remodeling Your Bathroom:
Priority Number One? Updating your bathrooms. Bathrooms are high-traffic personal spaces- so making sure these areas are spotless and fresh will score points during your showings. Plus, recapping your investment is a sure win with thoughtful, professional bathroom remodels.
Research shows a simple bathroom remodel, such as replacing your toilet or adding a double sink, recaps at $1.71 for every $1 spent. Are your bathrooms still sporting the 90s linoleum? Consider installing tile, updating your lighting, and replacing fixtures.
And don’t forget your master bathroom. Installing luxury fixtures, like a ceiling mounted rain shower, might take a little plumbing- but the ‘wow’ factor is worth it.
#2. Updating The Kitchen:
Updating your kitchen before you list your home is usually break-even when you go to sell. The big advantage to remodeling your kitchen is attracting better- and more- offers faster on your home.
Why? Think about how your family has used your kitchen in the last week.
Chances are you do a lot more than just cook in your kitchen. You eat breakfast, you help with homework, you catch up over a glass of wine with your wife after the kids go to bed.
With the rising popularity of ‘open concept’ floor plans, the kitchen has become the new ‘living room’ for most families. Even if your home doesn’t have an open concept layout, buyers want a kitchen that feels modern, clean, and- most importantly- feels like home.
That doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend thousands on appliances. Instead, buyers want great lighting, refreshed fixtures, and quality accents. Adding a backsplash, replacing or refreshing cabinets, and repainting your kitchen in clean, light colors all help turn this traditionally utilitarian area into a welcoming living space.
#3. Improving Your Exterior:
It’s true what they say- first impressions count. The first photo in your listing is going to be the front of your home. So, make sure your exterior reflects the same quality they can expect on the inside.
Here are some things to consider- especially for your front yard.
- Is your siding chipping, bubbling, or cracking? Buyers don’t want to move in- and immediately have to spend time finding a contractor and overseeing a project. Think about replacing it before you list. Contact us here and we can help with an estimate.
- Is your fencing/gating in working order? Is your fence leaning to one side? Does it have rust or broken planks? It’s time to get it shored up- especially if you can see it from the front of your property.
- How healthy are your trees? Dying, unkept, and dead trees can distract from your landscape and worse- threaten your roof! Again, buyers don’t want to buy a home, only to turn around and spend time on maintenance.
So Will- hopefully this helps you get the wheels turning about what your next step is. With baby #2 on the way, you’ve got a lot going on!
Remember, if you’re looking for professional home renovation to help your house sell- we can help you make great decisions throughout the process and build out quality updates potential buyers will love.
Want to know more? Talk to our team today.
Until next time!