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Planning ahead

Planning ahead

askphyllis real estate question, real estate q and A

Dear Phyllis,

We have lived in our home for thirty years. Over the last several years, we have spent almost $15,000 on the outside. We have a new driveway, fresh paint and new drought tolerant landscaping. Five years ago, we completely gutted and remodeled our master bathroom. However, the rest of our home needs attention. The powder bathroom and kitchen are from the 80’s – lots of oak. Our plan is to put our home on the market next year when our youngest son goes off to college. We aren’t sure how far we should go in preparing our home for sale. Should we remodel the kitchen and bath before we list?

Planning Ahead

Dear Planning Ahead,

The real estate market is cyclical and constantly changing. There are a lot of variables to your question. What is the price range of your home? What’s your competition? What will the market conditions be next year when you list? It’s ideal that you are planning ahead. Without seeing your home I can only offer some generic advice:

Simply painting the oak cabinets white and adding new hardware in your powder bath and kitchen will likely give you the highest return on your investment. I have seen many home sellers put too much money into preparing their home for sale. Sometimes improvements are made which a buyer won’t notice or pay extra for. Often minor changes such as paint, re-caulking, new hardware and light fixtures can make a big impact for a minimal investment.

It’s terrific that you have already addressed curb appeal. Keep in mind that your first showings are online with the professional real estate photos. Before you do anything further, meet with a Realtor® to discuss which repairs will provide the highest return on your investment.

Please make sure the real estate agent you hire has enough experience to provide answers on which you can rely. A good rule of thumb is that each dollar spent preparing your home for sale should net you three.

Best of luck on your move!

Related Post: When is the right time to sell 

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