Helping Buyers and Sellers with North Texas Real-Estate

Must an Owner Upgrade his Home in Order to Sell?

The home built in 1984 is very nice and in good shape. The problem is it is outdated. The ceiling has a popcorn finish, the walls in the living room consist of natural stained wood panels, the kitchen includes laminated countertops, stained wood cabinets and when you peek at the bathroom, you find carpeted flooring, old plumbing and lightp1000950ing fixtures as well as original vanities and plumbing fixtures. The walls papered with trendy 80’s style patterns and the bubbled skylights hark back to when Reagan was in office and when U2 released the album “War”. The Seller wants to sell his home however; he or she is on a limited budget. What must a Seller do to sell this listing?

With today’s economy, this is a common problem. A client with an older home who retains some equity however not enough cash for upgrades. My advice is to do the items that provide the most bang for the buck. For instance replacing carpet, removing wallpaper and painting are relatively inexpensive and can brighten up a dingy abode. Kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest attractions for Buyers. Granite countertops are a big plus, yet are expensive. There are cheaper alternatives such as ceramic tiles, quartz and recycled counter tops. Painting wood stained cabinets is also the current trend and is an inexpensive upgrade. In the bathroom, replacing old plumbing and lighting fixtures are not wallet busters. Painting wood paneling in the living room helps to brighten up a space. The more expensive upgrades include scraping the popcorn texture from the ceiling to create a smooth finish. Replacing fogged windows, removing carpet and adding tile to bathrooms help sell a home as well as renovating a shower.

All the above may help sell an abode. The problem for many Sellers is many of these upgrades will not increase the final net proceeds of the sale. The number one thing to sell any home is the price. If the Seller does not have the funds to upgrade yet the establishment is in good shape hope is not lost. The number one goal is to find market value of your home. For example, your neighbor listed his dwelling for $200,000. He has all the upgrades. Smooth ceilings, granite kitchen counter tops new plumbing fixtures yet yours is still in the 80’s. In order to compete something must differentiate your house from your competitor. When everything else is the same, square footage, year built, construction type and location what will attract the Buyer to your listing? Both priced at $200,000, why would the Buyer choose a home with no upgrades over one with upgrades. The Seller to compete must lower the price. If the Seller offers $180,000 then he or she is creating the difference and attracting Buyers who cannot afford a $200,000 but can afford a $180,000 to get into the neighborhood. Every home will sell provided the price is right. See ya down the road.


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