Make It Well Before You Sell? 6 Truths About Remodeling An Old House Before Selling It

Make It Well Before You Sell? 6 Truths About Remodeling An Old House Before Selling It

In 2018 alone, more than 5.34 million existing homes sold to new owners. Though many buyers choose to invest in properties that they can renovate themselves, others much prefer to buy homes that are move-in ready.

Believe it or not, remodeling an old house can increase its resale value, but that doesn’t mean you should start renovating each room. You need to be smart about the improvements you make.

Here are a few key things you need to know before you start renovating and remodeling a home for sale.

1. Understand That You Might Not Recoup the Full Value

Unfortunately, renovating your home before you sell it may not increase the value of your house as much as you might think. In fact, it’s possible that you won’t recoup the full cost of the renovation when you finally do sell your property.

Before you start making improvements, consider how much money you’re willing to spend on the renovations. Then, make sure you’re willing to potentially earn less than that amount back when you sell the property.

If you’re not comfortable with the thought of recouping less than you spend on the renovation, it may be best to avoid renovating altogether.

Remember, some buyers want homes that are blank slates. They want to be able to make it their own and want complete control over the renovations. This means they may not be willing to pay top dollar even if you put the time and money into the renovations for them.

2. It’s Okay to Put Yourself First

There’s no way of knowing how quickly your home will sell. It could sell in as little as a month or you may get stuck in the house for more than a year, depending on the market.

If you’re going to renovate a house for sale, focus on adding features and making improvements that you’ll be able to enjoy using.

Even if you’re moving out of the house, you’ll end up getting to benefit from those improvements while you’re there. This can make waiting for the right buyer more pleasant.

Before you start renovating, think about the features that you’d most enjoy in the house. Just remember to keep your renovations simple and avoid installing features that will make the space too specific to your needs.

Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes before you start looking at your options. You can even ask your real estate agent for suggestions since they know the market and have an idea of what buyers are looking for.

3. Focusing on the Kitchen Is Always a Safe Investment

Buyers almost always look for homes with modern kitchens. After all, it’s the heart of the home and when the appliances are new, it can make the rest of the house feel more modern.

If you’re not sure where to invest your time and money on a remodeling project, start with the kitchen. Replace outdated appliances, repaint scuffed cabinets, and consider updating the countertops.

These improvements won’t cost as much as other renovation tasks, saving you the cash upfront. Even better, they can speed up the sale process so you’ll get more offers and will be able to get a better price for your home.

4. Don’t Focus on Improvements That Won’t Add Value

Some renovations may end up making your home look nicer, but they won’t increase home appraisal value when it matters most. Schedule a pre-sale inspection before you set your asking price and see what the inspector finds.

If they discover problems with your property, think about fixing them instead of spending your money on cosmetic improvements. The fewer issues buyers have to fix on their own, the more money you’re likely to get when your property does sell.

Just remember to compare the estimated cost of the repairs after the home inspection. Some major repairs, like installing a new roof, may end up costing more than you’d be able to recoup. Other repairs will cost far less, but can still increase the total value of your home.

5. It’s Okay to Look at Other Renovated Homes for Sale

The best way to see what remodeled homes are selling for and why they’re selling is to look at their listings. See which features their previous owners changed and which ones they kept the same.

Use this to help you prioritize the renovations for your own home.

By using their properties as a guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of what current buyers are looking for. Consider the styles, the colors, and the additions that make those properties stand out, and try to mimic them in your house.

This will make your home more competitive in the market.

6. Buyers Will Notice If You Cut Corners

No matter what plan to renovate or change in your house before you put it on the market, make sure you do it right. If you cut corners, buyers will notice. Worse, they may assume that the rest of the house wasn’t properly maintained or repaired.

If you can’t do something yourself, either hire a professional or don’t make the improvement. If you find the process overwhelming, get help rather than trying to rush the job. Unfortunately, rushing the job and cutting corners to save money can end up hurting your property’s value and, ultimately, your sale price.

Remodeling an Old House Can Make It Sell Faster

When you make the decision to sell your home, you want it to sell as quickly as possible for as much as possible. Remodeling an old house with outdated features is a great way to increase the value of the property and make it more attractive to buyers.

Just remember to weigh the potential rewards with the costs of each renovation before you decide which improvements to focus on. This way, you’ll protect your bottom line and won’t spend money that you won’t be able to get back.

Looking for more helpful tips to make your house as buyer-friendly as possible? Check out our latest posts.


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