Should I Improve My Home Before Selling?

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A new post from Alan Kennedy’s blog:

After living in our homes for a while we are acutely aware of many defects that need repair, and when we decide to sell our homes, these defects may cause a lower than desired offer, or cause a potential buyer to consider the next home on their list. But those same defects may be negligible to some buyers. It is difficult to know whether to repair or let them go. Sometimes our bathrooms, kitchens, doors, etc. are terribly outdated and we suspect we could get a better price if they were just a little more modern . . . . but we don’t know if we could realistically recoup our money on modernizing our homes. What should a seller do?

When selling your home it is important to have an honest evaluation of your home. Hire an inspector to determine all the damage to the home, both cosmetic and structural. Armed with list of the home’s liabilities, you can make better decisions. And to be fair to potential buyers, a disclosure of these problems will garner trust and help the buyer make a better decision.

Also, with your real estate agent by your side, walk through your house to determine your aesthetic liabilities, such as an avocado green bathtub or orange kitchen counter tops. Sometimes the “home decor dos” of one decade become the “home decor don’ts” of another and unfortunately can be costly to change.

With any repairs or improvements, you have two choices: 1. make the repair / improvement yourself and hope for an increased sale price, or 2. lower your sale price and leave the repairs and improvements to the buyer.

Consider these questions before deciding “to repair or not to repair”:

1. Do you have the time and money to make the repairs / improvements?

2. What will the cost of the repair / improvement be?

3. Can you realistically increase your selling price to cover the cost?

4. How much will you need to lower your asking price if you do not make the repairs / improvements?

5. How badly do you want to sell the house and move on?

Answering these questions can help you determine your best course of action, but of course speaking to your real estate agent and mortgage banker is advised. Considering the needs, wants and expectations of an interested buyer and also the effect of your home sale on the purchase of another property, may be deciding factors in your decision.

So, should you improve your home before selling? It depends on your situation. Get the input you need from your real estate agent and mortgage banker to make the best decision for you.

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About christinahammondhomes

Christina Hammond is currently a real estate agent for Keller Williams Greater Athens in Athens, Georgia. Her interests in real estate began when she was an undergraduate at Arizona State University, where she studied business and psychology. During her years at ASU, she apprenticed with one of the top producing real estate brokers in the area, learning the details of real estate sales in a large metropolitan area. This practical experience, combined with her university studies, further increased her interest in real estate as a career. Christina excels in developing close working relationships with clients that often grow into long term friendships. She has 15 years of real estate experience, the last 8 in the Athens area. As in Phoenix, she has fostered many connections with her clients and finds this part of her work more satisfying in this smaller venue. As Christina says, “It is enormously rewarding to help a client find a home that is right for them. Homes are the physical manifestation of many people’s dreams, and it is hard to express the satisfaction of helping someone find a home that they love.” Of course, selling real estate requires shrewd understanding of the market and competing forces. Such skills were honed through her academic experience, understanding legal contracts, business negotiations, market competition, etcetera. But from Christina’s perspective, real estate is fundamentally about the people, rather than just buying and selling. When she is contracted, her obligation to her client is paramount, and she will represent them as assertively as is necessary. Christina states, “You learn quickly that in a big city, as well as a smaller community, a great agent must be thorough and aggressive, so that the client can know that their interests are being managed effectively, and it allows them to relax and focus on the big picture.”
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