Should You Make Home Improvements Before Selling a Home?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Top Reasons to Invest in Home Improvements Before Selling a Home

Raise the Price of Your Property

Make it More Desirable for Prospective Buyers

Encourage a Bidding War

Avoid Lengthy Inspections and Negotiations

When to Avoid Home Improvements

Get Help Selling Your Home with Unbiased Options

Depending on where you live, selling your home can be a piece of cake or a challenge. In some areas, demand is high enough that you can sell your home “as-is” without needing to do repairs or home improvements. However, in a buyer’s market, it makes sense to invest some money into making the property as move-in ready as possible.

Overall, it’s hard to say whether you should make home improvements before selling your house without knowing all the variables involved. However, let’s break down some of the top reasons you should and a few situations when it doesn’t really make sense.

Top Reasons to Invest in Home Improvements Before Selling a Home

Home improvements can run the gamut from simple DIY repairs to major renovations of various rooms. Before deciding on any projects, consider your budget, the materials needed, and whether the investment will yield substantial returns. So, with that in mind, here are some compelling arguments regarding why investing in home improvements before selling your property makes sense.

Raise the Price of Your Property

Your home’s sale price depends on various factors, some of which are beyond your control. Some examples include:

  • Neighborhood – Is the neighborhood safe, family-friendly, and accommodating, with different shops and outlets available?
  • Similar Houses – If you’re unsure where to start calculating your home’s value, you can look at similar properties within the neighborhood. Pay attention to homes with nearly identical features, including the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, date built, and more.
  • Age and Condition – Older homes cost less because they often need more repairs and upgrades. Newer houses likely have original construction, so they’re in better condition.
  • Home Size and Usable Space – As a rule, larger homes are worth more than smaller homes, but a big house could limit the pool of prospective buyers.

Overall, making home improvements can help increase your home’s size and usable space, as well as ensure that most of the core elements (electrical, flooring, etc.) are newer than the rest of the house. So, while you can’t control external factors, you should be able to increase the price of your property commensurate with the renovations you do.

Make it More Desirable for Prospective Buyers

Typically, fixer-uppers are less desirable than homes that are “move-in ready.” Depending on the market, most buyers want to be able to purchase a house and not have to sink money into repairs and upgrades immediately.

So, by doing these projects before putting the property on the market, you can increase your pool of prospective buyers. With more people interested in the home, you shouldn’t have to wait long to get a good offer and close the deal.

Also, home improvements can help modernize older homes with outdated decor or interior elements. For example, installing brand-new fixtures or floors can make the house seem much more comfortable and livable than if you kept the original pieces.

Encourage a Bidding War

One positive side effect of creating demand for your home is that it could trigger a bidding war between buyers. When this happens, you can ride the wave and wait until you get a juicy offer you can’t refuse. While this doesn’t happen every time you make home improvements, it’s more likely when you make the house as desirable as possible.

In an ideal case, a bidding war could net you enough money to offset the entire cost of these repairs so you can put more money back in your pocket for your next investment (i.e., a bigger and better house).

Avoid Lengthy Inspections and Negotiations

One fundamental aspect of selling a home is working with inspectors and real estate agents to verify the property’s condition. A four-point inspection is common, but buyers may also request inspections of other sections of the house, like the foundation, windows, landscaping, and more.

When you’ve invested in high-quality home improvement projects, these inspections will be much easier to pass, putting you in a better position to negotiate a higher price. Otherwise, an inspector could find a potential red flag that may force you to pay for expensive repairs before you can finalize a deal.

When to Avoid Home Improvements

Although improving and renovating your home makes financial sense, there are several situations where investing in these projects is not feasible or practical.

  • You Need to Sell the House Immediately – Sometimes, you might come into a property suddenly, such as when a relative or parent dies. When that happens, you might have to sell immediately to offset the costs of probate and property taxes or to help you move on from the death of a loved one. There are other reasons you need to sell as quickly as possible, meaning there’s no time to invest in lengthy home improvement projects.
  • You Can’t Afford to Invest in Home Improvements – While you can sometimes leverage the equity you’ve built into the home to pay for repairs, you’ll still have to pay out-of-pocket for most renovations. Yes, you can likely recoup these expenses once the home sells, but if you’re strapped for cash right now, you can’t always wait for a windfall after the fact.
  • The Home is Already in Excellent Condition – Home improvements typically only add value to the home when needed. So, don’t throw money into fancy upgrades or renovations unless they entice new buyers. Otherwise, you’re just eating into your earnings.

Get Help Selling Your Home with Unbiased Options

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by selling your home, let Unbiased Options help. Regardless of your situation and no matter how fast you’re trying to sell, our team can guide you through the process step by step. Contact us today to find out more.

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