What Should I Upgrade or Update?

1I just had a client ask me about what they should do to their house to make it more sell-able.  I thought it was a great question, and one that many of you might be interested in as well.

First off, all of these suggestions are going to assume that everything that should be working, is.  If you have leaky pipes, faulty wiring, a leak in your roof, or a busted furnace, those should always be dealt with first and foremost.  When a buyer looks at a house, they expect those things to work (unless they are an investor, then they hope that they don’t).

The other caveat to this list is that no matter how much money you put into a house, if you are going to sell it within 5 years, you should not expect to get your money back.  In fact expecting to get 50% of it back is pushing it.  All of that is explained in my past post: Should I Rehab or Move?

If you want your house to sell faster, and for as close to (or potentially over) listing price as possible, than this is where I recommend starting:

1. The Kitchen – Nothing sells a house faster, or stops it from being sold more easily, than the kitchen.  In general, people like more open, more storage space, and new appliances.  Don’t fret if this is not your kitchen.  There are plenty of people out there that want tiny kitchens, white cabinets, dark cabinets, medium sized kitchens, etc.

2. Bathroom(s) – Again, more space is generally better.  People like tile, generally. Double vanity is good. Accents are nice.  Aesthetic is important.

3. Finished Basements – Many times I have seen the “murder basement” be the reason that a house does not sell.  Even if you just clean it up and paint it, you are multiple times better off than you would be if you do nothing.

4. Carpet – Specifically, having 4 different types of carpet in your house can be a turnoff.  Or having it be very stained or just really worn.  Carpet can be a very cheep upgrade that can help your home sell much faster.

5. Paint – A fresh coat of paint can make a WORLD of difference.  I know many rehabbers who have the same story:  “I bought this house.  All I did was repaint everything, and I made X amount of dollars!!!”  New paint can be huge.

Those are the things that you can do to your house that will help it sell much faster and for more money.  They are also a great list if you are thinking about getting into investing in properties to flip.  But that is a post for another day.

As always, if you know anyone looking to buy a home, sell a home, or invest in real estate: I am your guy.  You can reach me at 515.724.3163 or RyanLynch@KW.com.

~Ryan Lynch

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