Author Topic: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?  (Read 830 times)

pnw_guy

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What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« on: August 11, 2021, 08:39:12 PM »
In a recent thread I got some solid advice that we should sell our home in Seattle (rather than rent it) when we move to a lower cost of living area in 2022. Actually, we need to wait until at least April of 2022 to avoid having to pay taxes on the gains of our home. Better for our family too.

So my question now is how do I decide what renovations and repairs to do to maximize resale? I guess maximizing resale isn't quite right - I actually want to know what renovations that I can do to maximize return on investment. I also realize that a project that costs, say, $10,000 and increases the value of our home by $10,000 is actually a loss because we'll pay transaction costs (e.g., realtor commission) on that increase in home value when we sell.

So, does anyone have recommendations on how I can figure out what will have the greatest ROI? Blogs? Podcasts? Books? The place needs paint so we'll do that of course, but beyond that, how do I figure out what I can do in the next 8+ months to squeeze as much out of the house as possible? Lots of updating could be done (kitchen, bathrooms, floors) but I don't want to do work that isn't going to pay off later!

LadyMaWhiskers

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2021, 09:32:36 PM »
A local realtor would be a good resource for you. They can tell you what buyers in your market really pay more for.

PMJL34

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2021, 09:40:52 PM »
If you want real answers, you would have to post pics of your home. but chances are, do nothing.

Best bang for your buck are all exterior work/curb appeal.
next best bang is paint.

Keep it clean and presentable. Keep it simple and it will sell just fine.

draco44

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2021, 09:56:23 PM »
I agree with the suggestion to keep updates fairly minimal and ask for local advice. You don't know what the new owner's style will be, so some renovations may be a waste of your time and money and just be replaced again once you sell.

I do think it can be useful to make tweaks to remove elements of the current decor that might seem overly bold and turn off a high percentage of perspective buyers. So for example, maybe it's not worth putting in new kitchen cabinets to switch from dark to light wood, but it could be worth it to repaint the kitchen walls if they are currently lime green. Clean and simple sells.

former player

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2021, 10:49:24 PM »
Sparkling clean everywhere, especially carpets and windows.  Fresh paint where it is damaged. Anything broken mended.  Garden neat.  Empty or staged furniture.   Good pictures.  Done.

Paper Chaser

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2021, 03:36:48 AM »
In the current market I'm not sure it really matters. Just make sure things are clean and in good repair both inside and outside the home. In general, paint is cheap and very easy to DIY. So if you've got some really bold wall colors, or solid but otherwise dated looking cabinets, changing the color can really update a space, and/or make it appeal to a wider market.
I'd be very wary of full kitchen or bathroom remodels, but small things like changing out a faucet or light fixture, replacing cabinet or door hardware, etc can really transform a room for minimal outlay. If you're really trying to increase the value of your home, then doing things like adding sqft, or increasing the number of beds/baths is a great way to do that. But that's rarely cheap and easy. It just depends on the home.

theoverlook

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2021, 07:40:07 AM »
Sparkling clean everywhere, especially carpets and windows.  Fresh paint where it is damaged. Anything broken mended.  Garden neat.  Empty or staged furniture.   Good pictures.  Done.

Exactly this. Anything beyond refreshing existing stuff is lost money. As long as what's there functions and looks decent you're golden.

nereo

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2021, 11:28:17 AM »
First: Take a close look at the condition of other units in your very specific area.  How does yours compare?  If yours is already in better condition, there's little sense in spending much (beyond cleaning) to improve.

If you are working with an experienced realtor, s/he should give you input on which aspects of your home could improve offers.  Curb appeal (mostly just yard work, pruning and removing debris) will always help get more people to tour your home. 

Dicey

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2021, 12:31:46 PM »
We look at houses all the time and in several locations. Clean, decluttered and well staged are the trump card key. Here are two properties I noticed today. They are totally outdated, but look how clean they are. Both will sell for over asking, no doubt.

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/1116-Conejo-Way-94597/home/845349 (Note the PINK in the kitchen, lol!)

https://www.redfin.com/CA/Walnut-Creek/1061-Hacienda-Dr-94598/home/869496

Sandi_k

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2021, 01:43:17 PM »
Do you have a realtor yet whom you trust? Ours was very helpful with suggestions; some we took, others we did not. Things I think made a difference:

- Declutter. Get an offsite storage spot if necessary. Move ALL books except decorative accents. ALL media - DVDs or CDs as well. Pictures. Art. Tools.

- Everything off the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen. Add a colorful potted plant or bowl of fruit, but no or minimal appliances - such as a coffeepot and microwave. Toaster, toaster oven, stove utensil caddy, paper towel dispenser, dish rack - in a cabinet.

- Replace your towels in the bathroom - make it spa-like with a basket and rolled towels. Take your 15 shampoo bottles, slivers of soap, hanging caddy, etc. and get rid of them. Same with bedding in the bedrooms - update it so it looks fresh and new and attractive.

- Clean ruthlessly - ESPECIALLY light fixtures and light switches. Hire a cleaning service if necessary.

- Scale down things to make rooms larger. Big coffee tables should be smaller.  Instead of a long sofa and loveseat, keep the loveseat and add two small chairs to make the conversation pit. Remove the TV. Have only 4 chairs at the DRm table, instead of a crowded 6.

- Clear the closets. Take away all of your extraneous clothing - make the closets half-empty, so that buyers won't look and think "not enough storage." This is true for your kitchen closet, your hall closet, your bedroom closets, and any entryway closet.

- Remove any draperies that are light-blocking. Add Roman shades in white or ivory.

- Repaint any weird colors/wall treatments. In one of @Dicey's examples, the bathroom is a dark orange. I would have painted that bathroom. We had paneling in the basement - all four walls. It made for a very dark space. We removed the paneling on the two long walls, and sheetrocked them - and then painted them a caffe-au-lait color. We also added lights in the ceiling so that the space was brightened up, It cost less than $1k in sheetrock work, and made a HUGE difference in the space.

- Create storage to make a room look less cluttered. For our laundry room, we bought an Ikea table with cabinets underneath, so we could store detergent, bleach, etc. Cost $100 plus assembly time.

- Remove all family pictures, and most of your art. Replace the art over the fireplace with a mirror to make the space look bigger.

Exterior:

- Make sure any paint in the entryway is patched and updated.

- Add street numbers to the house.

- Plant some colorful plants, and trim the lawn if you have one. We also added a raised garden plant in the backyard. We trimmed back the trees, too, to make the overhang less obvious, and to make the backyard more sunny.

Random add-ons:

- If you have pets, find another place for them (and the litterboxes!). Perhaps into the garage, with a note on the door?

- We also went through and replaced ALL outlets and ALL light switches and covers, to a bright white Decora style. DH was capable of doing it (he has electrical experience), so the only cost was in the switch or cover or outlet itself. It made a huge difference in making the entire house look cared for and unified in style, instead of the more common hodgepodge seen in an 80 year old house.

ETA: Here is a link to see our house, 10+ years ago:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3154-Monticello-Ave-Oakland-CA-94619/24782790_zpid/
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 01:46:26 PM by Sandi_k »

Dicey

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2021, 01:45:34 PM »
What @Sandi_k said.

srad

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2021, 02:02:33 PM »

ETA: Here is a link to see our house, 10+ years ago:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3154-Monticello-Ave-Oakland-CA-94619/24782790_zpid/

Yep, Just how its done, looks very clean.  Now 10 years later, those room colors should be White and Revere Pewter.

MoseyingAlong

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2021, 02:10:06 PM »

ETA: Here is a link to see our house, 10+ years ago:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3154-Monticello-Ave-Oakland-CA-94619/24782790_zpid/

@Sandi_k Small world. You lived within a quarter mile of my brother and his family. They left Maxwell Park earlier this year.

SunnyDays

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2021, 04:57:24 PM »
How on earth did people ever buy or sell a house before HGTV, with it's unrealistic expectations, came along?  I shudder to think of the day I have to sell mine!

Sandi_k

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2021, 11:31:08 PM »

ETA: Here is a link to see our house, 10+ years ago:

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3154-Monticello-Ave-Oakland-CA-94619/24782790_zpid/

@Sandi_k Small world. You lived within a quarter mile of my brother and his family. They left Maxwell Park earlier this year.

So cool! Where did they go?

ender

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2021, 06:54:39 AM »
If you talk with a realtor make sure you take their advice with a grain of salt too.

They aren't paying for anything you put into the house.


Sandi_k

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Re: What repairs/renovations should I do to maximize resale?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2021, 05:11:07 PM »
If you talk with a realtor make sure you take their advice with a grain of salt too.

They aren't paying for anything you put into the house.

And that's why almost all of my suggestions are low/no-cost.