Remodeling to sell


There are several reasons for remodeling your home. One is because things are broken or worn out and just don’t function as they should. Outdated finishes and features are another reason. A third is to update with the thought of selling your home. It is the last reason I’d like to address here.

Having remodeled hundreds of homes in Lincoln during the past 30 years, I was often asked the same question over and over …”Will we get our money out of this project when we are ready to sell?” My answer was usually, “No, but you will get the benefit of enjoying the new space for as long as you live here.” That intangible benefit is worth a lot more than dollars and cents in my opinion.

Now, in my second career as REALTOR®, I often hear, “We just spent $30,000 on our kitchen, so shouldn’t our home be worth at least that much more now?” My answer now is, “No, but you have enjoyed your new kitchen while you lived here ,and now, your home will be market ready and should sell quicker than if you had done nothing.”

Kitchens and bathrooms are the two areas that buyers pay close attention to. It makes sense to keep them updated to current trends and functionality if you want to sell your home quickly and for the highest price. Just don’t expect to reap 100 percent of what you invested. One reason for that is the new owners may not value the super expensive custom-made tile you chose or instead of the unique whirlpool tub you installed, the new buyers would have rather had a large walk-in shower. If you are remodeling for the sole purpose of getting your home ready for sale, my advice is to keep things neutral and don’t go overboard on big ticket items that are not absolutely necessary.

Remodeling your home to sell will reap some additional dollars in your pocket, and it will also certainly make your home more attractive to potential buyers. We are finding that the majority of buyers are looking for more of a move-in ready home these days rather than for homes that require a lot of updating.

Some of the best things to do to increase the market value of your home are also the least expensive. The caveat is they require a little sweat and effort. De-cluttering is always a good idea. Box things up and rent a temporary storage unit if you have to. It will pay off in the long run. Buyers don’t want to walk into a cluttered, crowded home. It make it harder for them to visualize how they would use the space. A good thorough deep cleaning is a no brainer. Dirty counters and floors, dust and clumps of dog hair are not things buyers want to see. If your home smells bad from smoking or pets, there are companies that can help neutralize those odors which are an instant turn-off to many would-be buyers.

The first impression buyers get is from the street as they drive by. Homes that have what is known as “curb appeal” are inviting because they don’t have peeling paint, overgrown landscaping, missing downspouts, etc. Spend a few hours or a few days, if necessary and do some pruning, painting and deferred maintenance on your exterior, and you will increase your odds of that would-be buyer wanting to see the inside of your home.

Once you get the prospective buyers inside, that is your opportunity to sell them on the features and benefits of how you have maintained and updated your home. If buyers are looking at your home, that means they have already decided that it is in the area of town they want to live in, and your home is in their price range. If you have made significant improvements, make sure you or your REALTOR® points those things out.

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