For many families, children are growing up and moving out of the house, maybe leaving for college or taking a jump into the working world. Parents are finding themselves as empty-nesters for the first time. The question inevitably arises: is it finally time to downsize?
If you’re pondering that thought, you may also be wondering if you should fix-up your house before you sell it, or go straight to the market as-is, allowing a potential buyer to do the updates and remodeling. If you’re one of the many homeowners in this camp, here are a few tips to help you decide which way to go.
1. Analyze Your Market
A real estate professional can help you to understand your market and the potential level of buyer interest and demand for your home. Your agent should understand what features buyers are looking for and which updates will add the most value.
Are you in a seller’s market or a buyer’s market? This can change based on the price range of your home too. It’s always a good idea to do some fix-up in any market, so long as those repairs net you more money.
However, if you find your self selling in a buyer’s market or a slow market, you may want to think seriously about making your home stand out. If buyers don’t think there is anything special about your home relative to the other homes they are seeing on the market, chances are they won’t be interested.
Your agent should give you some insight on what you can change or remodel. They can tell you which items to focus on that will bring a good return and which items are a waste of money.
2. Get an Inspector
Before you start painting and ripping out carpet, get an inspection of the home. You don’t want to start doing cosmetic updates and find out you have a damaged foundation or a severe issue that will hold your home back. Also, a home inspection can give you a better idea of the condition of your home, and what items may need attention before you put it on the market.
3. Deciding If You Need to Remodel
You might be thinking you need a kitchen or a bathroom remodel. If so, first dig into the market value of your home, and compare it to the actual cost of the remodel. A local real estate professional can help you determine your home’s market value, and you’ll want to get a few quotes from contractors on the potential remodel pricing as well.
Once you have those two factors narrowed down, you can to decide if a remodel will give you a return on your investment when you sell. In some markets, it is more advantageous to price your house to sell, list it competitively, and then let the buyer pick the colors they want for their bathroom tiles and the type of countertop they prefer.
This issue is not a one-size fits all issue. What works for a home you saw on HGTV may not work for your home. Understanding the market, buyers, and construction in your area will ultimately determine which route is the best route to take. As a real estate professional with years of experience working in Santa Clara and helping clients rehab their homes, I am available to meet with you and discuss your situation and let you know what I feel would be the best course of action to get your home sold and get you the best results.