Should I List My House With New Appliances or Offer An Allowance?

By
Home Stager with Sharon Tara Transformations

Should I List My House With New Appliances or Offer An Allowance?

 

old stove

 

As a New Hampshire Home Stager I've been asked this question many times.  Every situation is different, but in most cases, it's best to buy new rather than offer an allowance. This is true whether you are talking appliances, flooring, or any other needed improvement.

Offer your home with new appliances and you have control over selection and cost....and you increase the perceived value of your home.

However, offer an allowance and your home appears not to have been well maintained and you end up in a negotiation situation, basically giving control to the buyers.

 

 

Here's what other real estate professionals have said on the subject:

"Leave the choice up to buyers and cost will be a biggy!  Buy new appliances and buyers can see how nice they look and meanwhile you can enjoy them!  Why wait?"  Janis Borqueta

"Replace appliances and buyers won't feel like they have to immediately update the whole kitchen.  It gives the kitchen a fresh feel."  Kathy Streib

"Buyers can't unsee the negative."  Karen Otto

"Putting in new appliances is always the best return for the seller."  Bruce Hicks

"Most folks don't know how much materials and labor cost so they over estimate.  If the seller doesn't spend perhaps $2000  for appliances, buyers may drop their offer by $10,000."  Julia Maher

"First impression is everything.  Buying new appliances is cheaper than offering an allowance and helps sell the house!"  Anna Dovger

"I always suggest my sellers buy new appliances prior to listing if theirs are very old."  Tatyana Makarov

"I suggest buying new as well.  No need to give buyers a reason to turn away, especially if the rest of the kitchen is fine.  Donate the old to Habitat For Humanity and make someone else happy!"  Peg Barcelo

"The value it creates is worth the investment.  Updates are important to sell a home and kitchens sell homes."  Karen Gray

"If the listing needs new appliances, buyers will add more wants onto their need-before-buying list.  They may be more critical of other parts of the home and assume nothings been updated."  Carol Faaland-Kronmaier

 

If your appliances are going to make a bad impression, and suggest a lack of maintenance, an allowance is not the answer.

 New appliances is the answer!

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Matt Kombrink 09/20/2013 03:13 AM
  2. Women of Westchester Working Together 09/20/2013 08:40 PM
  3. Lenn Harley 09/20/2013 09:40 PM
Topic:
Home Selling
Groups:
Realtors®
Stage It Forward...
New Hampshire - Real Estate and Life in The Granite State!
Advice for Sellers
Bananatude
Tags:
home staging
advice for sellers
replacing appliances
home staging kitchen

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Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Maureen:  Well that's good....at least we all agree, LOL!

Michael:  I wrote a post on this subject last year and the comments were made on that post.  I thought it would be a good way to reuse the post....glad you agree!

Sharon:  Having more impressive appliances could help sell faster...obviously price still has to be right.

Kristi:  The vintage look and style is great, however I don't think actual vintage (as in very old) is something potential buyers are looking for.

Lou:  Thank you!

JodiAnn:  If the rest of the kitchen is going to need an overhaul, I'm not sure that spending money on new appliances would be a good idea....in that situation maybe having no appliances would be best.  It depends on just how "dated" the kitchen is.

Beverly:  I agree....next best thing to replacing bad appliances is having NO appliances.

Tom:  Well worth the small investment.

Lauren:  Once a seller puts themself in that position they risk having to give in to buyers' demands.

Lloyd:  Thank you!

Debbie:  The same is true for flooring!  Don't let bad flooring ruin your chances for a sale, when there are affordable options available!

Richard:  I'm sure the intentions are good, and maybe it worked in the past, but today it's a bad idea!

Gita:  Hopefully we have educated some sellers with this conversation!

Geri:  Once they see nasty appliances they start looking for other problem areas in the home.

Kathy S:  Thank you!  I also believe allowances are a thing of the past.

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 21, 2013 09:36 AM #62
Rainmaker
256,401
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Well a lot of folks have said it and i agree BUY NEW do not offer an allowance. This stands double true for flooring. You cannout erase the bad impression ratty dirty carpet makes or beat up dated appliances. 

Sep 21, 2013 10:00 AM #63
Rainer
213,593
Dinah Stallworth
Priority Real Estate LLC - 800.978.4847 - Natchitoches, LA
NATCHITOCHES, LA HOMES FOR SALE

I agree with the majority who have posted.  It is best to buy new appliances over offering an allowance.  And I agree with Dana Basiliere the same is true for floors.  Homes that are move in ready sell quicker. 

Sep 21, 2013 10:12 AM #64
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Michael S. :  If they don't see an updated kitchen they will question the maintenance throughout!

Cindy:  I agree...they don't have to be stainless....they should fit in with the rest of the kitchen.

Chuck:  Good point...the savings to the seller for replacing the appliances at a price they can afford will allow them more money to put towards their new home!

Linda:  Short and sweet...I like it!

Bill & Maryann:  True...the new appliances will take center stage and some other less appealing features may not be so obvious.

Janis:  Agreed!  I've found with builders that the allowance barely covers the cost of decent appliances...they are usually very unrealistic, causing frustration for the homeowner.  If the appliances are already there, the perception is of more value.

Ed & Tracy:  Thank you!

Bob:  It's the best way to go!

Graziella:  Good point...if the buyers can barely afford the home, nevermind buying appliances, they will choose another home that has appliances because it feels like a better deal.

Rosalind:  Perception is everything!

Julia:  I'm glad you enjoyed my little surprise!

Suzanne:  So you are our shining example of just how buyers can take advantage of this situation!  Thanks for commenting!

Jimmy:  Well said...thanks for adding to the discussion!  I appreciate it!

Marie:  I completely agree with you....lipstick on a pig!  If the kitchen needs to be gutted, new appliances would just look silly.

Jeanne:  Pretty bad!  Glad I took it's picture though so I had it too illustrate my point, LOL!

Myrl:  I've worked with many flippers and they have all included appliances....makes sense cents!

Margaret:  I think most agents are having this discussion.

 

 

Sep 21, 2013 10:24 AM #66
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Linda:  I would have loved to have seen that home!  It sounds like a trip through a time machine.  Cool picture, thanks for sharing it!

Sep 21, 2013 10:25 AM #67
Rainmaker
667,885
Ed & Tracy Oliva
West USA Realty - Arizona - Fountain Hills, AZ
The Oliva Team Arizona Agents

Good Morning:  Yes ,  this is some good advice:  Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Sep 22, 2013 12:35 AM #68
Rainer
332,752
Frank Castaldini
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

You said it all in the first sentence.  New appliances always make a kitchen look better.  And with the already in place the buyer doesn't have to think about the time they'll need to select, order and have appliances delivered and installed and anything else that can be a hastle or problem.  Put the new ones in.

Sep 22, 2013 12:41 AM #69
Rainer
40,876
Frank Nolan
Nolan Realty Team / Pacific home Brokers - Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Jump and the net will appear
I agree that the seller is better off putting the new appliances in themselves. The house will show much better. HOWEVER, as the listing agent you would need to be very careful about your choice of words when describing said appliances if the seller wants to enjoy the use of those appliances prior to selling the house. If you say "brand new appliances" then you could be opening up a can of worms should the seller "use" those appliances prior to the house selling. The appliances would no longer be "brand new" or even "new" for that matter, they are now "used" appliances. Should the new owner move in and find food spillage on the bottom of the oven or stove top, then they would have a pretty good case for a false or misleading advertising claim. Guess who would end up having to settle that?
Sep 22, 2013 02:01 AM #70
Rainmaker
3,183,374
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Sharon,

What a great post and a great idea to mention the comments. (Like I always say, you a wonderful creative genius)  In commercial real estate, we would offer a set $$ allowance.  If the buyer wanted to go beyond that, they could at their discretion... A

Sep 22, 2013 04:01 AM #71
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Tammie:  Impressive looking appliances can be had very affordably...considerably less than a buyer (or even your seller) would guess.  Of course, the buyer won't want affordable appliances, they will want expensive appliances and that's when the negotiating nightmare begins.

Elizabeth:  If you leave yourself open by offering an allowance, the buyers will push for even more money and may still try to justify a lower offering price.

Kathy:  The one pictured was not replaced and the house was on the market a very long time.

Paul:  It may be tough for some to afford the new appliances, and in that case removing the old would be my suggestion.  They should understand though that not having appliances may cost them more than if they bought new ones.

Jay & Michelle:  New appliances in a dated old kitchen won't fool or win over anyone.  It's the kitchen that isn't that bad that we are talking about here.  Sometimes a good cleaning and new hardware is enough to bring new life to old cabinets.  If the kitchen is in half way decent condition, adding the appliances could be enough to appeal to buyers.

Rose Mary:  All improvements should be complete PRIOR to listing....otherwise you make a poor impression during the crucial first few weeks of listing.

Elizabeth:  "Why didn't we do this sooner" is something we stagers here quite often!

Michelle:  Deciding NOT to make the improvements is a decision that will come back to haunt you!

Gary:  Buyers cannot unsee the negative...once the impression and perceived value are formed, there is no going back!

Kat:  The home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it....based on their PERCEIVED value of it.

Liz:  If the price doesn't reflect the condition, then the offer (if you are lucky enough to get one) will.

Edward:  Agreed!  Each situation is different and a judgment call must be made.  Hopefully, the seller isn't the one making the call.

Joe:  Exactly!  90% of buyers are incapable of visualizing the home any other way than how it is presented.  A poor presentation will send them off to the next listing.

Charles:  Raising questions is not a good thing.  Once there is doubt as to the level of maintenance, you lose all hope of selling at your asking price.

Jenn:  You can't sell if you don't get 'em in the door!

Mary Ann:  Yes...it used to be that buyers would prefer choosing upgrades and paint colors and flooring...they liked having control over selection.  Not today's buyers.  They don't have time for selection, waiting for delivery and installation, and dealing with contractors.  They want move-in ready.  They tend to keep looking until they see something they like, rather than try to imagine how they could change it to meet their taste and needs.

Laura:  I'm glad the post got you thinking....it's something you should know if you decide to sell!

Dana:  An old, dated, stained, and worn carpet will chase more buyers away from the door than most sellers realize.  

 

 

Sep 22, 2013 06:43 AM #72
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Dinah:  Perceived value, based on condition, is not something to be ignored.  Move-in ready is what buyers are looking for!

Ed & Tracy:  Thank you.

Frank C:  Thank you!  Buyers don't want hassle....they want it all done for them!

Frank N:  The terminology used is not something I have given any thought to.  Thanks for sharing that!

Alexandra:  Thank you!  I was very lucky when I built my home that the builder was realistic with the appliance allowance.  I was able to get all the kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer for just $500 more than the allowance.  The salesman told me that most builders' allowances are far from realistic and the homeowners get very frustrated and even angry.

 

 

 

Sep 22, 2013 06:54 AM #73
Rainmaker
210,744
Michelle Finnamore
Vaughan and Toronto GTA - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

HI Sharon, I always recommend that the sellers purchase new appliances from whichever store has the best no payment for so many months sale going on. That way, they can install new appliances and pay out the bill on closing.  Works every time, nothing like shiny new appliances to make even a dated kitchen look more appealing. 

Really important post that you have written.

Sep 22, 2013 07:29 AM #74
Rainmaker
1,027,974
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Sharon, this is important advice for sellers. The photo of the range is a good visual to make your point.

Sep 22, 2013 12:37 PM #75
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Michelle:  That's a great tip for an affordable way to get the new appliances!  Thanks!

Sharon:  Thank you!  I'm so glad I took the pic of that nasty stove!

Sep 23, 2013 05:51 AM #76
Rainer
284,413
Edward Gilmartin
Boston Homes - Boston, MA

Just make sure you pick the best appliances for the money...not just ones the seller happens to like.

Jul 16, 2015 03:00 AM #77
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Edward Gilmartin  True.  And plenty of deals are to be had on appliances that look really nice and will appeal to potential buyers.

Jul 16, 2015 03:39 AM #78
Rainmaker
342,309
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Good topic and lots of good answers! I don't think there can be a hard and fast rule! Way too many variables for me to say one way or another without a specific property! Age of the house, age of the appliances, selling range of the house, and on and on! Sometimes it can payoff to replace them, and sometimes it is throwing good money after bad. Never an easy call

Sep 09, 2016 07:48 AM #79
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Tom Bailey each home and situation is different. I agree there are times when it wouldn't be a wise investment, but in most cases I believe it's in the best interest of sellers to replace

Sep 10, 2016 12:26 AM #80
Rainmaker
342,309
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Tara, you may have noticed I commented on this when you first posted it. I was fairly new then,and had a different response. The longer I am at this the more I have come to the conclusion there are very few hard and fast rules. I think this issue has to be confronted on a case by case basis. Just my thought!

Sep 10, 2016 02:49 AM #81
Rainmaker
1,802,600
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Tom Bailey  I hadn't noticed that you had commented previously. It's ok to change your mind....that comes with experience!

Sep 12, 2016 01:47 AM #82
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Rainmaker
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Sharon Tara

New Hampshire Home Stager
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