“Should I update my kitchen and bathrooms before I put my home on the market?”

 

When it comes to major renovations such as kitchens, bathrooms, hardwood floors and basements, my best advice is to update your home if it will make you happy and it will contribute to the quality of your life, not as a selling strategy to net more in a sale.

Unless you are doing the work yourself, the chances of recouping the cost of most home renovations is slim.

 

I’ve appraised thousands of properties in the past 15 years. Each appraisal has five or six comparable properties and for each comparable I make monetary adjustments for factors contributing to value.  Multiple regression analysis is used to support those adjustments.  So when I advise a seller what updates to make, it is supported by actual market reactions.

 

With that said, there are definitely actions that can be taken that will increase the value and result in a quicker sale.  And none of these recommendations will cost anything close to a new kitchen or bathroom.

 

First impressions matter.   Buyers make judgements walking up the driveway.   A dented garage door and rotted wood trim should be addressed.   Standing at the front door waiting for the Realtor to get a key out of the lockbox, buyers will have over a minute to find flaws.   A minute doesn’t sound long but it’s plenty of time to notice issues with wood trim, paint, gutters, roof tiles, and landscaping. Sales aren’t made in the first 5 minutes of a showing but they are definitely lost.

 

We have all heard the recommendations for neutral colors and new carpeting for flooring that is showing its age.  I see strong support for these updates.   I do not recommend replacing hardwood floors, however.  If the hardwoods are in bad shape, then a seller credit is a more cost effective way of dealing with the issue.

 

The one caveat I make regarding kitchens and bathrooms is that if it is partially updated, then spending the additional money to complete the project will generally pay off. But if nothing has been done, there is no value benefit in doing an update “halfway.”

 

Finally, a house that has not been updated can still do very well in Woodlea if it is perceived as being meticulously maintained.  How do you do that most effectively?  Organize and de-cutter.  Sellers that live in highly organized houses generally do not live with deferred maintenance issues. They see wood rot, a leaking window or a rattling furnace, and they fix it. You may not actually live your life like this, but before you put your home on the market, your goal should be to organize your home as if you do. When buyers inspect a property and see that even the basement storage area is spotless and organized, it makes a huge impression.

 

If you have any questions regarding how to maximize the value of your home in a sale, give me a call.  I’d be glad help.

 

And if you would like to see the homes that are currently on the market in Woodlea Manor or learn more about the neighborhood in general, click here.