Fix it Up or Sell As-Is?

Should we fix it up or sell as-is? The Mom of two friends is dying. In the evening after a long day of caring for their Mom, they asked each other if they should renovate or fix up the house after she is gone or sell it as-is. Renovation is something to consider before selling if the house is older and hasn’t been updated in a while. But, the short answer is: “It depends.” In my experience, many sellers put way too much money into fixing up their homes for sale. They make repairs a buyer may never notice or will not pay extra for. Talk to your agent before making any repairs.

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market — and the numbers point to a strong spring market — kitchen and bathroom renovations remain the best projects for upping the value of your home.

Should We Fix It Up or Sell As-is?

Marine Cole, at The Fiscal Times, suggests several things homeowners can do to upgrade their house and increase the value of their house in case they do decide to sell.

  • Installing a steel entry door. Replacing your front door has been a long-time favorite for those who want to boost their home’s value. This is the only project to return more than 90 percent of the cost (it returns 96.6 percent.).
  • Adding a wooden deck. Building a wooden deck onto your home adds living space as well as an area to host outside. This project returns on average 87.4 percent of the initial cost, though the ratio is more than 100 percent in some 25 U.S. cities, Remodeling magazine said.
  • Changing your garage door. If you replace your garage door, whether, with a midrange or upscale version, it can usually be done at a low initial cost. It has a strong positive effect on curb appeal, returning close to 84 percent of your investment.
  • Kitchens and bathrooms also increase the resale value; kitchens more than bathrooms. Buyers often look for updates in the kitchen and bathrooms, but they can also be turned off by other things that make the property look dated, such as popcorn ceilings, wood paneling, worn or dated carpet, old doors, and

Here are 10 basic improvements to make before selling your home:

  1. Patch holes and cracks in walls and ceilings.
  2. Fix all broken appliances and HVAC systems.
  3. Repair leaky faucets.
  4. Replace worn or stained carpeting.
  5. Repaint dark or marred walls with neutral paint (not white).
  6. Replace broken window glass.
  7. Repair the roof.
  8. Change out any dated light fixtures / ceiling fans.
  9. Replace old drapes and window coverings.
  10. Fix code violations.

If your real estate market is extremely hot — a seller’s market — you can get away with fewer fix-ups before selling; however, a home that needs repairs will still deliver a lower price.

First impressions matter. A buyer who walks into an outdated kitchen or a dirty bathroom might not even want to see the rest of the house.

Bottom line, it’s important that you spend some time going to open houses in your neighborhood to see what type of updates buyers expect in your neighborhood. They don’t need expensive new flooring or granite countertops if simply upgrading the appliances or installing new windows will be enough to impress buyers.


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