Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pre-Sale Renovations: Do's and Don'ts

To get right to today's market, expensive pre-sale renovations, for the most part, are not worth it! According to the National Association of REALTORS, the numbers bear this out: "In general, a home remodel will cost quite a bit more than you'll get back when you sell; remodels done in 2010 will only recoup 60% of their price when the house is sold".

What are the two areas that often are remodeled before selling? Right, the kitchen and the bathroom. So lets talk about what to do and what to avoid when considering a pre-sale renovation.

DON'T...Put in expensive professional-grade cook's appliances. How do you know the buyer is a cook? They might be take-out addicts.
DON'T...Replace your cabinetry, well not completely. People have different tastes.
DON'T...Go granite crazy. Or marble. Or etched-Murano-glass-accented tile. Get the point yet...People's tastes are different. It's impossible to find one that pleases most people.

DO...Service the appliances you have. If you do have to replace some seriously outdated appliances, replace with those that are $1000 or less. However, if there are any appliances that you don't have that most buyers feel are a must, for example, a dishwasher, then it would make sense to buy one.
DO...Invest in cabinet refacing, IF they are seriously outdated. Many refacing companies will give you a fresh face for well under $2000.
DO...Hire a professional cleaning company to come in and make what you have sparkle, for example, tile floors. The company will not magically make the tile look magazine-worthy, but it will certainly help with discoloration that has occurred from age.

A few more kitchen tips:

Declutter your counter tops. I know from many years of experience, that if the buyers come in and see clutter...they can not look past it, which means they will shake their heads no and move on.

Keep your pantry and cabinets clutter free. Can you imagine a buyer opening a cabinet and something falls out on their head? No thank you....

Give your kitchen table or breakfast bar some life please. It's simple...placemats, a colorful vase, flower arrangement, something
to reinforce the idea that the kitchen is the heart of the home.


DON' expensive tub/shower repairs or replacements. Just like the kitchen, this is going to be a matter of taste

DON'T...Replace your smallish vanity with a new, built-in model. It can be quite beautiful for sure, but it's also risky and again, a matter of taste.

DO...Replace dated bath and shower fixtures because this can be done relatively inexpensively. For example, your shower head. If you have a 30-year old, tiny little shower head, do replace that. You can replace it with a large, rainwater-style model that has a subtle spa-like quality without costing a lot.

DO...Freshen up the vanity area. Invest in a big mirror with lights above it. And a few hundred dollars spent on a nice faucet is well worth it also.

A few other tips for the bathroom:

Do you want to add a little life to the walls? Try floating shelves with a few candles. It creates an elegant, boutique touch without the cost.

Want to add color? Throw down a colorful floor mat to add a little warmth.

Please, clear clutter, even your beauty essentials. They should not be left on the counter, especially during an open house.

So, here we have it. It's all about basics. In most homes and markets, this is all you really need to update. Just focus on these items. If you do these few simple tips, they will help in the sale of your home. Of course, you have to have your house priced correctly as well. So, if your ready to put your home on the market, follow these steps and then give me a call. I specialize in Stevensville and surrounding cities. I am a certified residential specialist. Allow me to provide you the skills needed to assist you to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. I'm waiting...Lisa Longest, 443-786-4200. Or visit me at 1241 Shopping Center Rd, Stevensville, MD 21666

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