Do I need to update my house to sell it?

Real Estate Agent with Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas!

Often times people ask me, "Do I need to update my house to sell it?"

It's a good question to ask.  You want to sell your home -- and you don't want to spend a lot of time with your house on the market.  Updating your house will make your home more desirable.  It will motivate buyers to move from the shopping stage into the action of making an offer.  Homes that are updated and in pristine condition generate excitement from buyers.  There is a feeling of urgency to act quickly before anyone else finds this great home.  Additionally, it's no surprise that homes that are updated and move-in ready command a higher sales price than an average home that may need some fixing up.

Of course, there is always the option to sell your home as is, without investing any money into updates.  In that scenario, a seller will need to take a very hard look at his competition and price his home accordingly.  It can be incredibly difficult for a seller to see his unimproved home in a realistic light.  When buyers see homes that need work, they start deducting dollars from the offering price and they usually round down by thousands!  Stains on the carpet?  That's not $300 for steam cleaning, that's a thousand or two off the offer.  Funky colors in the kids bedrooms?  Two gallons of paint cost under $100, but a buyer sees another $1000 off the offer price.  You get the idea.

I am very protective where my client's money is concerned.  When it comes to spending money on home improvements to sell your house there are specific improvements that give you the most bang for the buck without draining your bank account. 

Give me a call or email me if you'd like some advice on how to make your home stand out from the rest -- I will be happy to help you in any way.


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Comments (6)

Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I agree that you need to give a lot of thought to the updates that will be the most beneficial to your seller's ultimate goal.  Whether it is to sell for the most money or in the quickest time, they need to be model perfect with neutral paint and decluttering, priced at or just below market, and sparkling clean.  Great post!

May 06, 2011 04:07 PM
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Melanie, I'm getting ready to list 2 homes for a client.  One if fairly new and the other one is old with out of date wallpaper, carpet etc. They don't want to do anything to update house number 2 so realize they are going to take a hit on the price.

May 06, 2011 04:09 PM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I always suggest that older homes get a cosmetic update but nothing more.  The return on a full remodel is low compared to the time and effort invested.  It's not always true but the stress alone is enough to make people shy away.  Especially if they have to live in the house while the work is happening.

May 06, 2011 04:27 PM
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Karen:  That's true! Thanks for commenting!

Marchel:  Congratulations on your new listings -- good luck!  Will you be coming to the Rain Camp here in Dallas this month?

Bryan:  On older homes it's hard to find a place where you can ever stop when doing updates.  Of course, that's part of the charm on some of the truly vintage homes!

May 06, 2011 04:50 PM
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

Nicely stated. Sellers can get more if they spend a little money and a little effort in getting their house ready for market.

May 06, 2011 10:46 PM
Melanie Hedrick
Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas! - McKinney, TX

Colleen:  Thanks -- I agree --   Of course, it depends on what things people spend the money on! :)

May 09, 2011 05:23 AM