I’ve been flooded with questions lately by both Buyers and Sellers, and I love questions, because it means you are thinking. I would like to take a minute to share what some of my clients have been thinking about, since you might have the same questions racing through your head as well.
For Sellers, the questions I am getting are more like, “do I put on a deck?”, “do I power wash the house?”, “do I install a new kitchen?”. My universal response to most of these questions is, don’t. Don’t do anything you would not have done, if you weren’t moving. The reason is more about the cost of time, because time can cost more than you will ever get back. We are entering the selling season.
A deck is not going to necessarily bring you more money. If the deck takes twice as long as it was intended, you have not only spent money on something that wasn’t necessary, but you have missed the Spring buying season as well.
Power washing your home, could result in your house needing a new paint job. Do you have time for that? Do you have the money? Using a garden hose, might easily do the trick, without creating a problem you didn’t have.
Installing a new kitchen? Out of all the questions I have received this week, this is the one that would add the most appeal to your home, and will bring you the most return on the cost, but kitchens take time. If the kitchen costs $25,000, and isn’t going to be done for 9 weeks, we have lost the Spring buying season. That $25,000 remodel, may only net you $15,000 in the fall. When interest rates go up, house prices generally go down because people have less buying power.
The #1 thing I want people to do when I list a house is clean. When Buyers see a 1970’s kitchen that is spotless, they comment on how clean it is. It’s a blank canvas that can updated someday and is considered usable the way it is. When the same Buyers see a modern kitchen, that is dirty, it is a turn off. It’s funny how the brain works, it doesn’t say “I can clean this”, like you would think; instead it says “I could never cook in here”. If you don’t like to clean, hire someone. It’s money well spent and I guarantee you will get 100% return on your cost, instead of a remodel that will cost you to miss the Spring season. Do those remodeling projects in the fall, six months before you are planning to sell.