What to Remodel When You’re Selling - Archived

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Week before last I wrote about energy efficiency in your home and a couple months back mentioned some remodeling I’ve been doing in mine. This week I’m going to combine the two a bit and toss a little extra in for good measure.

When deciding how to approach a remodel there are so many things to consider such as budget, longevity, and motivation for doing it in the first place. If you’re remodeling in preparation for selling, consider your audience. If your current home will appeal to first-time home buyer your choices will be different than if it will be marketed to second or third-time buyers looking to upgrade.

Let’s start with the youngsters. First time home buyers will be more concerned with the big stuff being newer and more reliable than the cosmetic stuff being pretty. After renting and having the landlord (or parents) take care of things when they break, one of their biggest anxieties of purchasing is the responsibility of fixing what will inevitably malfunction. Another important issue to them is energy efficiency, not only for lowering utility costs but for environmental concerns. If this is your focus group, invest your repair budget in the HVAC, water heater, and roof first before the flooring. Changing all your lightbulbs to LED is a small but effective touch, and if light fixtures themselves need replaced lean toward LED as well. Other considerations would be windows and doors if the current are single pane or wood framed. Young buyers get excited about DIY projects and making a new house their perfect home, so take care of the big scaries and leave the warm fuzzies to them.

If the latter category is your focus that’s completely different. As a general rule they want move-in ready homes. If the big components we mentioned above are aging, offer a home warranty and invest your budget in the bling. You hear the tired cliché that kitchen and master bathrooms sell a house all the time mainly because it’s true! It could be as simple as switching out your hardware, faucets, and countertops or as in depth as new everything but if you’re smart about it you can at least recoup your investment and could very possibly see a return on it. Replace the carpets and paint the walls! If you go with neutral and trending colors, they’ll like it! Move-up buyers are busy and don’t have time to do it themselves once they move in. When discussing this I frequently get pushback from sellers who say ‘that way they can pick their own color’, but the truth is they don’t wan to. They may want to paint one room, such as the master bedroom, a specific color but they don’t want to paint the whole house. Doing this will ensure a better offer price and faster selling time which makes it worth the upfront investment.

Now if you’re remodeling to better enjoy your home for years to come, as I am, do whatever floats your boat. Just try not to break the bank. Or your spouse. It’s kinda stressful. But oh, is it worth it. Until next week…

Melissa Berube, 2019 MBOR President