In the last couple of months, two homes sold in my neighborhood. For one property the previous owner did an extensive renovation, painting and yard beautification, etc. For the other property, the owner sold as-is. This got me thinking about the right strategy of fixes prior to selling a home.
The popularity of HGTV renovations and the idea that every house has to be perfectly polished when it hits the market have culminated into one thing: homeowners are wasting their money on unnecessary projects.
Although a fresh coat of paint can make things look nice, and pressure-washing the outside of your home can take ten years off of its looks, these are easy and affordable changes.
The following are the changes to keep away from when selling.
Don’t Finish That Basement.
Before you pull out your seller closing costs calculator, assuming you’ve gained thousands from updating your basement: you didn’t.
An updated basement may be nice aesthetically, but it doesn’t do much for the price or the speed at which homes sell.
Most home buyers like to imagine they can put their fingerprints on the house and make it unique to them, so let them!
Updated basements don’t add much value to the home, and you’re better off spending that money on fixing up your curb appeal and correcting any issues your home might have.
Every episode of House Hunters has at least one home with a terrible bathroom and at least one home with a perfectly updated bathroom.
The choice may seem obvious: but most people don’t buy their homes based on the bathrooms.
The money you pour into updating this bathroom might as well go down the drain because you won’t be seeing it again.
Avoid Taking Out Any Walls
Open floor concepts are still having a moment right now: resist the urge to take out any walls.
Whether it’s a wall in the kitchen (which buyers will see as lost cabinet space) or a wall between rooms (which can lower the price of the entire property regardless of how large the master bedroom is), could you not do it?
Instead, put that energy towards renovating the cabinets and tile in the kitchen. This is doubly true if you don’t know how to recognize a load-bearing wall.
Don’t Refloor The Whole Place.
The urge to put down endless luxurious soft carpet may be vital: but don’t do it!
People are almost fifty-fifty on whether they prefer hardwood flooring or carpet, and pouring this money into it will only impress less than half of the people who even notice.
So instead, put in forty to fifty dollars and rent a carpet cleaner for a day.
This will help deep clean, get any stains out, and allow you to save some money.
Avoid Re-Roofing Unless Necessary
Many may think that re-roofing a home is a must: but it’s not! If you’re selling, and the roof still has a couple of years left on it, don’t rush to replace it!
Replacing a roof can cost between ten and forty thousand dollars, and most buyers don’t see that as tacked on value: they see it as a given.
On the other hand, if a roof is slightly older, you can take five to ten thousand dollars off the asking price and save your time and money.