You’ve decided to sell your home, and now the real work begins. Preparing your home to be sold is a long and difficult task but when done right, your home will command top dollar in the market and will sell quickly. To accomplish this, the most important question on a homeowner’s mind will be, “What changes can I make that will actually bring a return on my investment?”
In addition to decluttering and minor cosmetic work, many homeowners who are selling wonder if remodeling is a good idea. We’ve all heard that kitchens and bathrooms are what ‘sell’ homes. Could you lure potential buyers and get more money for your house if you remodel the kitchen or bathroom?
Real estate experts tend to agree that a kitchen or bath remodel CAN improve your home listing and get you top dollar for your house. However, there are certain things you should consider when you are deciding if a remodel is right and defining the scope of your remodeling project:
(1) When are you moving?
Moving is a serious decision, one which homeowners typically plan for years in advance. The time frame for your move will help you determine if a remodel makes sense.
· If you’re not going to be moving for a year or two or longer, a remodel can be worth it because you will get to live in the home and enjoy the changes you’ve made before you sell the house.
· If you’re looking to sell quickly and are not concerned that you may get a lower price, you’re probably not interested in spending extra time and money on a remodel.
· If you are somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, a remodel may make sense – review the other considerations below to decide.
(2) Area Home Comparison
Next, you may consider comparing your home to other houses in your area, especially those that are currently on the market. What do homebuyers expect from homes in your neighborhood? If your home is seriously under-delivering, you will probably want to make adjustments so your home becomes more attractive to buyers. If your home is on par with other houses for sale in your neighborhood, you may also consider some custom upgrades and features that will make your home stand out from the others and sell faster.
When you’ve finished comparing your home to others in the area, you also want to consider the condition of your kitchen or bathroom in isolation. The fact is, if your kitchen needs serious help or if your bathroom looks rundown, buyers are not going to want to pay full price for your home. Most buyers are looking for something that is move-in ready. If they see that renovations are needed, they will offer less to compensate for the costs to do their own remodeling. The kitchen and bathroom are the most important rooms in the home, so if they are in bad condition they will seriously hurt your home’s value.
(4) The Extent of Upgrades
If you do decide to remodel, you’ll want to think about the extent and type of upgrades you perform.
· Avoid an upscale or luxury remodel because you won’t see a return on your investment.
· Choose a midgrade remodel, which will be the perfect balance between costs and returns.
· Consider cabinet, countertop, and flooring changes in the kitchen. If updating appliances, choose energy-efficient models.
· Consider tile, vanity and shower changes in the bathroom. Even small upgrades like upgrading the lighting will improve the home’s value and buyers’ perceptions.
· Choose a remodel that will appear to the average home buyer. Avoid unique, personalized upgrades and stick to basic colors and classic renovations.
Bathroom and kitchen remodels are often a great idea for homeowners who are looking to sell their house, but a remodel isn’t necessarily the right move for everyone. Evaluate the considerations listed above and plan a remodel that balances costs and returns. Through careful planning, you can use your bathroom or kitchen remodel to improve your home value, attract more potential buyers, and sell your home faster.
If you're a homeowner living in California's Central Coast and are considering a kitchen remodel, contact us to discuss your options.