Should One Renovate or Not Before Selling?


It’s a question that plagues most people looking to put their homes on the market: should they renovate or remodel them before putting them up for sale?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer. While there are undoubtedly certain benefits to sprucing the place up and making meaningful improvements here and there, renovating a home is still a huge commitment, and a risky one, at that. Making any physical changes to a home will require a significant investment of time, effort, and money, but it’s impossible to say whether those modifications really will raise the value of the property and yield a profit once sold. There’s also the issue of determining exactly which areas of the house to improve in order to maximise the desired results.

Magazines and websites tend to push the narrative that there simply can be no downside to choosing to renovate your home before selling it, but the truth can be a little more complicated. When it comes to preparing your home for sale, renovating it is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That said, here are a few insights that can help you make a more informed choice on whether or not you should push through with it:


You Should Renovate Your Home If…

It Needs a Lot of General Repairs

Don’t believe everything you hear—or at least, interpret it correctly. When potential buyers say that they “want a fixer-upper,” they usually mean homes that they can add their own personal touch to. Very few people will want to buy a house that is has a leaky roof, broken windows, and rattling screen doors.

You’ll want to have any major repairs taken care of before you have your home listed on real estate listings. Making sure that everything is in order can help attract more interested buyers. It can also increase the chances of you being able to sell the property at your asking price.

Repairs that are especially worth investing in include any problems with the house’s roof or foundation, plumbing issues, and faulty electrical wiring.

Its Interiors Are Significantly Outdated

When you’ve lived someplace long enough, you can—quite literally—lose sight of it. You get so used to the interiors that you become blind to their faults and idiosyncrasies. Before you know it, the place has become a time capsule of sorts, evoking a long-past era of design and function that most potential buyers will notice the second they step through the door.

Little things—such as heavily scratched vinyl flooring, popcorn ceilings, old wallpaper, and faded carpeting—can make a home look incredibly dated. It’s in your best interests as a seller to get rid of these telltale signs of age and present a neutral space. This can make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living there.

You’re Looking to Sell to a Specific Market

One of the most effective strategies to employ when it comes to selling your home is defining your target demographic. Oftentimes, the property’s location dictates this. For example, a home in a quiet neighbourhood would be best suited for families with young children, while one closer to an urban area with easy access to train or bus stations would be more attractive to newlywed couples and young professionals.

Once you’ve determined your audience, so to speak, you can then begin to modify the property to make it more appealing to them. This helps widen your pool of potential buyers and improves your chances of seeing a good return on your investment.


You Shouldn’t Renovate Your Home If…

You Don’t Have the Budget

As previously mentioned, renovations can be costly, especially if you don’t have the time or skills to source the necessary materials and perform the work yourself. In cases like these, there’s not much of a point in pushing through with such a major undertaking.

Since you’ll be selling the property as-is, you might not be able to command as high a price for it. As a result, you’ll have to lower your expectations early on.

You’re Looking to Sell Quickly

Most sellers who choose to renovate do so because they want to maximise the amount of money they can get out of the property. However, not all sellers have the luxury of time to put into taking on such a daunting project.

If you are selling your house because you’ve been offered a job elsewhere, or for any reason that requires you to move away within a limited timeframe, you’re probably better off abandoning any renovation or remodelling plans altogether and simply sell the house in whatever condition it’s already in. Again, you may have to lower your expectations and you may not be able to sell the property at a profit, but at least once sold you’ll be free to pursue other opportunities promptly.

Also, there are some properties that are in such disrepair that it perhaps would be better to bulldoze them and start anew. By selling the property as-is, you then give the buyer the choice to renovate or build their own dream home.

When it comes to whether you should renovate your home or not before putting it on the market, the answer depends on a few different factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It can make a lot of sense to renovate some properties while a total waste of time and resources for others. So make sure to consider all the factors carefully.

Do you need advice on your home renovations to prepare to sell your house? Get in touch with our expert realtors, Gerard Partners today!

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