Green Formica or granite slab?

| Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

It’s the age old question: price a home to compensate for some outdated features or update the home and try to get more money? Ok, that is in no way an age old question and I apologize. The age old question is more like “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” Now that we’re clear on age old questions, let’s get down to business.

I have met with many a seller who asks me to come to their home and help them decide what needs to be done before it goes on the market. This is sometimes easy and sometimes not. It’s especially difficult when the home needs updating but the seller is either a.) not motivated to update a home that they will soon be selling or b.) not in a financial position to do so. But regardless, there are two options: update the home or price it well enough to entice buyers to overlook the outdated-ness (probably not a real word).

Let’s take a look from the buyer’s perspective. Having shown many homes, I can tell you that buyers like updated homes. Green Formica doesn’t go over as well as granite and hardwood floors are more pleasing to the eye than shag carpeting. Also, buyer’s hate popcorn ceilings! But as much as buyer’s love these things, they are not willing to overpay for them. My advice to sellers is this: if you are going to update a home, don’t expect to get back every penny you put in. What you can most likely expect is to sell your home faster than a similar home with less updates.

Secondly, if you are going to update your home, do it in a tasteful yet neutral way. Another thing I’ve learned is that buyers have a hard time if they think they have to redo an update rather than just update it themselves. What I mean is, don’t put in blue marble countertops because you think they are the latest and greatest; it can be a hard pill for a buyer to swallow knowing they have to tear out something that is brand new. Oh, and do it correctly! Paying your uncle’s cousin’s nephew to slap it all together will be glaringly obvious. Buyers are very savvy these days!

Lastly, do you have to update everything? No. If you live in a 1970’s house that hasn’t been updated, consult with an agent. They can most likely help you decided where to start. And you never know, your house may be so out of style that it actually might be back in style! If you are a seller who needs help getting your home ready to sell, call me (or text me because we all know I love texting.) I can certainly help you decide the most cost effect route to take!

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  1. Lisa Kyles says:

    what a great kitchen photo 🙂

  2. Holly Moe says:

    Great Advice!

  3. Lisa Kieffer says:

    Spot on Cara!

  4. Janet says:

    Your site is always so informative! In my case I’m just old and have a question: what came first the bankruptcy or short sale. Ha ha.

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