We’re thinking of selling our 1950s Cherrydale house in the next year. Wondering why we would do certain fix ups (outdated kitchen/baths), if the purchaser could have a lower price and have work done to their taste. We’re pretty sure it’s not a teardown, but who knows these days? Any experience with listing as is, or having to replace ugly new stuff that you can share?
Realtors report that homeowners get the most bang for the buck when renovating kitchens and baths. But, at the same time, your taste in renovations may not be those of a prospective buyer. If the buyer loves to cook and is particular about the oven and stove, and your NEW appliances are not what they want, they will look elsewhere. The buyer won’t be able to justify replacing new appliances, esp when the price of house will reflect those costs to you.
I think some minor upgrades that make the house seem a bit more modern, that can be changed out by a buyer may help. For example, a new (but cheap) countertop to replace a dated (formica, wood grain) top. New ceiling fixtures. etc.
Any small changes that you can make to update the look of the home will be well worth it. Think new faucets, knobs or handles on kitchen/bath cabinets, giving the cabinets a fresh coat of paint or stain. You should assess your window treatments and fabrics on major pieces of furniture. Do they look old and dated? Simple panel drapes and slip covers are inexpensive and can instantly make a room look more modern. And lastly, declutter. That cannot be overemphasized; especially if you have lived in the home for a long time. As long as your prices reflects that the buyer is going to have to do a lot of work, you should be okay. You may want to Ask Adam what he thinks….
Don’t put in granite countertops because it’s just a fad and there will be another fad after making your house less desirable. let them make their “dream” kitchen.
This is how it works:
- homeowner waits until selling the house to make improvements and upgrades, even though they could have enjoyed them while actually living there
- since homeowner is leaving, homeowner puts in cheap upgrades just to make the home presentable
- new owner tears out cheap stuff and replaces it anyway
Seriously, to answer your question, I wouldn’t sell “as is.” That means you won’t fix anything, including things that just don’t work or need repairs rather than just upgrades. It’s also a red flag to buyers that there’s something wrong that they don’t know about.
Instead, fix broken stuff and spoof up the small things, like Sunshine suggested. If a buyer makes an offer but wants major improvements, explain it and remind them that they’re getting a discount (right?) A smart buyer will see the wisdom of getting to choose their own upgrades. This will probably turn off inexperienced or first-time buyers who want everything perfect at move-in, but I’ll bet there are enough smart ones out there for you. You only need one.
One thing you can do which will make the house look nice is to have your floors (hardwood) refinished, and get rid of old nasty carpet. That will go a long way. I agree with all the others — fix broken things and do small things to update a bit, but don’t buy expensive stuff like cabinets, granite, or appliances b/c that stuff is very person-specific (as has been noted) and if they do practically any renovation at all they’ll replace all that anyway, probably.
This always worked for me (bought and sold six houses in good and bad markets):
Clean your house and make sure it is spotless.
Make sure that the bathrooms are spotless which means you could eat off the floor. If The fixtures are old or a weird color, then replace them with white fixtures. Think about re-grouting.
Fix and patch and dents or scrapes in the walls. If you have wall paper and its old, you should really think about having it removed. Repaint with white (not taupe!) and be sure to paint the ceiling with flat paint.
If possible, move out and remove all drapes. If you have blinds pull them up so there as much light as possible inside. With the white walls and a lot of light your house will appear a lot bigger.
If the floors are wood refinish but not in a dark color, it shows dust and every thing else that gets tracked in and makes rooms look smaller.
Landscape, but not in a fussy way. trim bushes and edge grass but do not plant a bunch of fussy flowers. Put mulch down so that there in no bare earth.
If you have a unfinished basement, paint the floor grey and walls white. ventilate to take out any musty smell.
Don’t redo you kitchen, you will be tempted to save money by getting cheap but expensive looking stainless steel appliance and put in the cheapest granite but a lot of people will feel both ripped off and will not like what you have done. The thought of ripping out a crappy new kitchen that was just put in to bump the price is not worth it and once you have netted out the cost you would be better selling at a lower price with out the cost and not waiting for the contractor to be finished (and over run his budget).
Dont update fixtures if you have original fixtures and do not add recessed lighting (buyers know that they can’t be moved and a repairing a hole in the ceiling is more expensive than putting one in).
If the house is empty, do not “stage it” its just added cost, cheap furniture dose not help sell a house. Just a table and chairs in the dining room or kitchen
Question every recommendation from your realtor. They will sugget that you should spend a lot of money (new kitchen, bathrooms, chair rails and moldings to raise the asking price so that they will get a bigger commission. You will also find that they have recommended contractors and electricians which “they have worked with in the past” which means they are getting either a commission or kick back from the contractor. Im not saying this is crooked but they are trying to make a living and they under a lot of pressure to generate the largest commissions for their agency.
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