For many home sellers, one of the most difficult questions to answer is how can they make the most money when listing their home for sale with a real estate agent.
Though certain factors, such as market conditions, where the property is located, and the REALTOR® you use, undoubtedly have an impact on your ability to sell, the most important factor is the condition of your home.
A home with an updated kitchen and bathrooms is certain to sell for more than one that is dated. The question sellers face, however, is whether it is worth the money to do the renovations just so you can sell for more money.
The answer to this question will vary from seller to seller but here are a few tips to consider when deciding on how much money you should put into a house that you (hopefully) won’t be living in much longer.
Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference
Always try to look at your home through the eyes of a buyer. If your home is in good condition, all the minor problems become much more noticeable. As buyers walk through your home they will take note of these minor issues and will probably come to one of two conclusions… They will make a low offer on your home as a way to compensate for the work they will need to do, or, they will be scared off completely by the number of repairs needed, no matter how small they may be, because they don’t have the extra money to the work, or they may be looking for a home that is move-in ready because they don’t want to do any repairs.
It is almost always worth the cost of doing small improvements if you are looking to sell for top dollar. Fixing any cracks or holes in the walls and adding a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in how your home shows. If your walls aren’t in need of repair then take a look at the colors you’ve been living with and ask yourself whether those colors would be appreciated by most buyers that come through your house. If you don’t think it will be, then paint the walls a neutral color to increase the odds that buyers will like it.
Spending the money to repair anything that is broken or not working properly is always worth it. Fixing things like leaky faucets in the kitchen or bathrooms, or cracked tiles in the floors and baths will always save you time and money in the long run. Chances are, the buyer will ask you to address these problems anyway since these items will be noted during the home inspection. Be pro-active and do those repairs before putting your home on the market.
Follow Your Instincts and Listen To The Advice Of Professionals
Always trust your gut… If you feel like there are some things that you could do to help your home sell faster and put more money in your pocket then you are probably right. Replacing worn carpet, or refinishing the hardwood floors can make a huge difference on how your home shows and will almost always make your return on investment worthwhile. Ask your real estate agent for their opinion on what repairs would be a good investment for you. A knowledgeable real estate agent is in the market every day and knows what buyers like, and what they don’t like. The trick is to make cosmetic fixes that bring in the highest return on investment without spending too much money in the process.
Major Renovations Should Be Avoided Most Of The Time
Doing major renovations may seem like a good idea to help your home sell for more money but in reality, most sellers only recoup about 50% of the money they put into the renovations when they sell their home. Finishing the basement or remodeling the kitchen or bathrooms are great ideas if you plan on living in your home for a while, but not necessarily when trying to sell it. Unless your home is in poor condition, most professionals advise against making major changes prior to selling your house.
Before making any decisions, consider the price your home would sell for with the renovations versus not making any changes. Although you may not like the lower price, chances are you would end up spending at least that much, or more, by putting the money into a house you are going to sell anyway.