Sellers – Talk To Your Realtor Before Doing Any Home Renovations!

June 13, 2023

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One of the questions I get asked a lot from my past clients and many potential sellers is:  should I renovate my home before putting it on the market?  If I renovate, will it add value to my house?

If only there was an easy, one word, answer for these questions.  Of course, renovating a house will add value – BUT it most likely won’t be as much as you think it will add AND it probably won’t be as much as you spent on the renovations!  There is a Cost Vs Value Report that comes out every year – when I look at the 2023 report, there really aren’t any renovations that have added as much to the value as the owner put into the renovation!

So should you renovate or improve your home?  Is it worth it?

Well, one reason to renovate or improve your home is to increase the value, even if it is not as much as the renovation may cost you!  By doing some smart renovations, you can make your home sell faster and get higher offers.  Many people think that because we are in a seller’s market right now, that there really isn’t much need to renovate or improve on your home!  Yes, the seller’s market we are currently in has cut down on the need to renovate homes as there is very little inventory for buyers to choose from; but that doesn’t mean a buyer will buy your house for top dollar if it needs a lot of renovations, improvements, updating and/or repairs!

One of the things we hear a lot is that kitchens and baths sell a house!  And they are correct.  However, if you look at the 2023 Cost Vs Value Report, you see that in our area, a minor kitchen remodel (new cabinet fronts, new appliances, new laminate counters, new floors, sink & faucet, paint) will run around $27K – but you will only get about 80% increase in value!  And a minor bathroom remodel may cost around $25K – but only return about 65% of the cost!

So if you are thinking of doing some renovations, even if they are renovations for you to enjoy while living in the house, then the first thing you should do is talk to a local Realtor, one who knows the area and knows the market!  They will be able to tell you how your home compares to others that are selling for top dollar in your area!  With virtual tours on most listings today, and as many as 50 pictures allowed in our MLS, your Realtor can show you what other homes that have sold for top dollar have done in their homes!  Look at the features the owner kept the same, and what they changed – consider the styles that were used, the colors and the additions that may have been done!

You may also want to consider doing a pre-listing inspection!  Sometimes it is better to fix problems rather than doing a complete renovation on your house!  Keep in mind that the fewer issues a buyer has to take on after closing on the house, the more money you will make!

After talking to your Realtor, talk to a contractor to get estimates on what it will cost to renovate.  Don’t go overboard on the renovation – keep it universal and neutral to appeal to the broadest group of buyers out there, and make sure you keep cost in mind!  Also remember that some renovations may make your house look nice – but they won’t increase your appraised value!  Your Realtor will be able to talk to you about this!

But if you decide you want to improve and update your home, but don’t want to spend large dollar sums to do so, there are some DIY tweaks you can do on your own!  Remember not to cut corners – buyers will be aware of these and will end up lowering your value!  What are some of these?

  • Exterior improvements – add fresh mulch, add color flowers to the landscaping, power wash or paint the exterior of the house, new front door numbers, freshly mowed lawns, no toys in the driveways!
  • Update the kitchen and baths with new cabinet fronts or repaint older cabinets with an updated color, replace old hardware with new hardware.
  • New flooring can go over older ceramic tile floors.
  • New subway tile backsplash will update kitchen & baths.
  • New light fixtures or ceiling fans.
  • Repaint any rooms with bold colors to a neutral.

If you are thinking of selling your home and are considering renovating or improving, feel free to contact me – I would be happy to come by, take a look at your home and make recommendations based on my years of working with buyers in our real estate market!  And if you need any recommendations to good reliable licensed contractors, feel free to get in touch!