Should I update my home before I sell? This is a classic home seller’s dilemma. And, like so many questions, it really depends on your specific situation. There are a number of improvements that are “no brainers”… so let’s take a look at those first. The least expensive investments with the greatest returns are undoubtedly the following:
- Fresh paint. Choose a neutral color, and give the interior a bright, new look. You may want to consider doing some early packing, and not re-hang all your pictures (less clutter will make rooms look larger, and the new owner will not have to fill holes).
- Landscaping. A carefully manicured lawn and weed-free beds are an indication that the property is well cared for. Mulch and some color in the flower beds will go a long way toward creating that important curb appeal.
- Replace carpet, if necessary. New flooring, in a neutral color, allows the buyer to feel that they are moving into a “new” home.
All three of those improvements tend to encourage a stronger offer on your property, because the prospective buyer isn’t moving in with a laundry list of “to-do’s” which are likely to be estimated at a higher cost than what you’ll pay. By doing them, in advance, you preclude a buyer for reducing his offer price by the amount he feels he’ll need to invest.
Other additions that aid in the marketability are minor kitchen and bathroom remodeling, such as replacing dated counter tops and appliances, and refacing or replacing out-of-style cabinets. Because these improvements can be a bit more pricey than painting and landscaping, be sure to include me in the decision-making process. Not only will I be able to advise you whether or not the project makes sense, I will be able to guide you to affordable and reputable contractors to do the work.
Carefully consider any major renovations, such as room additions, garage conversions, or swimming pools, too. It is very important to make these investments to enjoy while you are living in the home, because chances are that you will not recoup but a fraction of the cost. Garage conversions, for instance, may add a great bonus room or extra bedroom, but when it comes time to sell, you’ll have to subtract the value of the garage that you no longer have. Garages are likely customary – the loss most likely will exceed the gain.
Bottom line, let’s talk so that I can steer you away from costly changes that you won’t recoup and help direct you toward changes that will help you sell faster. Want to know what your home is worth? Click here.
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Rolf Kramer, REALTOR®, ABR, SRES, e-PRO 757-564-4455 Licensed in Virginia with Liz Moore and Associates, 5350 Discovery Park Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23188 Williamsburg has become a Mecca for retirees over the past dozen years because of its history, charm, vacation amenities, proximity to major cities and airports, and affordable cost of living. Check out www.retiringinwilliamsburg.com for information about the Williamsburg community, lifestyles available, and search for homes for sale.