The Sellers Dilemma: Update Or Sell For Less?

Builder grade bath

Builder grade bath

Renovated bath

Renovated bath.

The sellers dilemma: Sell an outdated home for a lower price, or invest in updating to get more money for your home.

So you’re thinking that in the next few years it will be time to trade in your current home for something bigger, smaller, located closer to family…or further away from family, depending upon your circumstances. You know that parts of your home are dated, and that getting top dollar for your home will require face lifts that range from minor tweaks to major reconstruction. Should you update, or sell for less?  What’s a future home seller to do?

It helps to know what your return on investment is likely to be for various home improvement projects in order to plan more effectively. Some simple projects have a greater return on investment than major undertakings. For instance, replacing a front entry door provides as much as a 91% ROI, whereas renovating a bathroom brings an approximately 66% return. Stone veneer accents on the exterior of the home can bring a 75% return on the cost of the project, whereas a family room addition averages 68% ROI. Renovating a kitchen typically brings a high return at approximately 83%, and buyers often seem obsessed with how updated the counters, cabinets and appliances are.

Of course there are other factors to consider in determining where to spend your home improvement dollars. Are there functional aspects of your home that are likely to need attention in the next few years? A failing roof could mean major delays in selling your home when you’re ready to make your move. Why not repair or replace while you’re still using it? It will still likely be under warranty when you sell, an attractive feature that could help you reap some of the value back out of that update. Are your a/c units over 20 years old? You may be looking at replacing one or more between now and the time you sell. Make sure you have a good home warranty plan in place, and that you keep some money in reserves in the event that replacement becomes necessary.

The last few times we put a home up for sale and spent weeks fixing, updating and improving, I promised myself that I would never again put all the work in for the NEXT owners to enjoy. Another variable in determining what updates to make must include what types of improvements YOU would enjoy using between now and the time you sell. A beautiful extra large walk in shower could make those last few years in the home quite a bit more enjoyable. Or, if you love to cook, why not invest in those kitchen updates while you can still enjoy them? You’ll not only get a return on your investment in terms of the sale price of your home, but you’ll also get the return every time you LOVE the home that you’re in. Click here for more information about selling your home.

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