(Before photos from a few of our past projects)
We get asked this question a lot:
"Should we remodel to get the home ready for sale?"
Being in San Francisco, we do have a lot of older & historical homes that are Victorians (1840-1900), Edwardians (1905-1914) and Doelger Homes (1920s-1940s), just to name a few. If you want to learn more about San Francisco architecture, Paragon Real Estate Group has published this great guide to bay area architecture. We also love this great illustrated guide of San Francisco Architecture by the Bold Italics.
Most of the time, the answer I give to sellers is often no.
There are a few reasons behind it:
1. You are selling the home, which means it will have a new owner soon. You should minimize putting more money into the house. Instead, prioritize what are the must-fixes and focus on what can receive the most ROI for your sale.
2. You are selling to someone you don't know, so you can't really predict if your remodeling projects will be suitable for the future owner's needs or aesthetics. This is why we normally recommend sellers who do their own staging to think of it as how most hotels design their interiors: appeal to as many as you possibly can. Sure, it can be a little boring, but hey, it's about selling your house, not the stuff in it.
3. Once you start on the remodeling project, you may find it difficult to stop. Where do you draw the line on what to remodel or not? There are a lot of quick, easy fixes that we advise our sellers to do before they go on market. For most of the projects that we do, (unless it is a flip project) most cosmetic fixes are exterior painting and minor landscaping, removing outdated carpeting, refinishing hardwood floors, install new carpets, and repaints. Here is an example from one of our recently staged & sold projects that sold $300k over-asking. For quick kitchen fixes, here is a recent blog post that talks about quick & affordable kitchen updates. Here is another example for quick and easy fixes for your yard.
4. In real estate, timing is of the essence, it even says so in the purchasing agreement. Remodeling project can often cause delays, which can delay your timeline for being on market. Busy season passes by very quickly. You want to make sure you are on market during the right time.
If you have an area in your home that you feel that may need some TLC, consult with your realtor and a local stager. Your local agent & stager generally know your market the best and can advise you on what's needed to be done.
Illustrations courtesy of the Bold Italics