Updates in a Seller's Market - Do they Make Sense?

Blog Post Image
Real Estate

Do Updates Make Sense in a Seller's Market

The past few months have certainly shown to be a Seller's Market.  Buyers have flocked to Open Houses like a block party was happening.  Sellers are receiving multiple offers.  Offers for over asking price, offers to pay over appraised price, offers to pay for seller's closing costs and even offers to give the seller's a paid vacation.  With a market this crazy, does it make sense for seller's to update their home? 

I have been watching closing what is happening in our area.  Homes that have taken the time to clean, declutter, and do a lot of cosmetic updates have seen the most excitement and frenzy.  Homes that did some of those things did sell quickly but generally without as many offers to choose from.  Homes in need of a lot of updates certainly have taken longer to sell and have sold for a lower price in general.  So, even in a crazy seller's market, updates do make a difference.

A common misconception by sellers is that if they spend $5,000 on remodeling they can add $5,000 to the selling price.  It is always best to speak with a Realtor who can advise you on where you will get the most for your money.  Current trends change what items are popular and will get you a good return for your investment.  For example, barn doors and shiplap have been very popular.  Home owners also assume that replacing items such as a roof or HVAC will result in a dollar for dollar return.  This is not always the case as these items are considered maintenance that a home owner should be doing.  They can certainly be a good selling point though.  For example, right now a new roof in Florida is an important selling feature.  It can be difficult for buyers to get a reasonable insurance quote or get insurance at all for a asphalt shingle roof that is older than 15 years old.  

In general it is worth your time and money to make cosmetic updates such as interior painting.  Again, your Realtor can guide you on where this makes sense and what colors will appeal to the largest audience.

A good Realtor can also provide you will a detailed list of items to get your home ready.

First thing is always to declutter.  It you no longer need or want an item, sell or donate it.  Pack away items you can live without until you move to your new home.

Edge, mow and fertilize your lawn.  Re-sod any sparse areas.  Trim back overgrown bushes.  Put down a fresh layer of mulch.

Power-wash your driveway, sidewalks and homes exterior.

Replace any burned out light bulbs.

Wash the windows inside and out.  Including window tracks.  Repair torn screens.

Give the front door a fresh coat of paint.

Be sure your home is free of odors such a cat litter, cigarette smoke or pet accidents.

Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.

Steam clean all carpets.

Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.

Clean all cobwebs from corners, doorways and hanging light fixtures.

Wipe down all light switch, handrails and doorknobs.