While remodeling and real estate authorities will tell you that kitchen and bath remodels offer the biggest return on investment (ROI) when it comes to home improvement projects, this does not necessarily hold true when preparing to sell your home. Determining the best ROI when preparing to sell is unique to the specific property and depends upon location of the property, price point, competition in the marketplace and more. It’s important to work with your real estate agent early in the process to develop an exit plan containing recommendations specific to YOUR property, budget and timeline because no two home sales are alike. The main objective is to create value and avoid over-doing updates thus maximizing any dollars spent in preparation for selling.
Most real estate agents will agree that kitchen renovations, bathrooms, lighting, paint, and landscaping will all help with resale! However, before embarking upon major projects, in some cases just cleaning, manicuring the yard, organizing and/or staging will cost less and yield results over expensive, time-consuming updates. Buyers are most often attracted to spotless, well-maintained homes so something as simple as repairing or replacing inoperable items can go a long way toward buyer impressions. Plus, aesthetic design elements are subjective and, even if they are new, they might not be appealing to all buyers. Most buyers are able to look past dated finishes and décor if a home appears to have been well-kept under the care of the current sellers. If some updates were on the horizon and in the budget anyway and the timeline permits, fresh paint in a neutral color and classic finishes that stand the test of the time will benefit the seller in the short-term and allow them to enjoy a newly remodeled space as well as any potential buyers in the future who will appreciate a timeless approach to refreshing existing spaces. Updating the roof, windows, HVAC, and water heater are smart choices if the age or condition of these items are likely to be flagged by buyers. And, if adding/reconfiguring square footage and/or rooms is a possibility, sellers should concentrate on additional bedrooms, bathrooms, and larger living spaces in order to maximize the value to the buyers. More taste specific upgrades such as adding a fireplace, hot tub, even a pool (while more popular now with the onset of Covid) are risky in that some buyers could actually consider these items a drawback instead of an asset. When it comes to home improvements, even sellers who are years away from selling may benefit from consulting not only with their designer but with their real estate agent as well to determine what today’s buyers are looking for and how to get the most out of your renovation dollars.
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