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Should I Update My House Before I Sell?

MarketPro Homebuyers Newsletter 1

If you’re wondering if you should update your house before selling: the answer is a resounding “it depends!”

Of course, if you’re going to put your house on the market, you’ll need to fix anything that’s broken or worn out. But when it comes to things that are just… dated, there’s no easy answer. As real estate experts in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, our team here at MarketPro Homebuyers would love to share some of our knowledge to help you decide.

Whether or not you should update depends on:

      1. Your timeline
      2. Your home compared to the local market
      3. What updates you’re considering

Your timeline:

Before you start any updates, think carefully about your timeline. Painting walls and updating lighting fixtures doesn’t take much time at all. Once you get into more serious updates, though, you’ll want to get an idea from a contractor on how many weeks each project might take. Make sure the updates would be done well before the time you plan to put your home on the market, so that there’s a buffer for any potential contractor or material delays. If you want to sell your house in a hurry, updating is tricky—updates make the actual sale quicker (from listing to closing), but it can take you longer to get your home on the market.

Your home and the local market:

When selling your home, you want to make sure it fits into the local market of other available homes. Even in a hot market, a home that needs updating compared to surrounding homes will take longer to sell. In a slow market, it might sit there indefinitely. So, if all the homes around you have on-trend kitchens, you might consider a kitchen update too. Make a list of what updates you think you might need to make your house competitive in your local market.

What updates you’re considering:

Once you have the list of updates you’re considering, look at the return on investment (ROI) of each individual update. For an update to be truly worthwhile, it needs to raise the home’s sale price by at least what the update cost—ideally more. A lot of sellers put too much money into updates that the buyer doesn’t notice or care about. If an update doesn’t have a decent ROI, you’re throwing time and money down the drain.

Here are some figures of the percent of cost recouped for common updates, according to NAR’s Remodeling 2021 Cost vs. Value Report:

  • Garage door replacement: 93.8%
  • Deck addition (wood): 65.8%
  • Roofing replacement (asphalt shingles): 60.7%
  • Bathroom remodel (midrange): 60.1%
  • Major kitchen remodel (midrange): 54.7%

If all you need to bring your home up to market standard and sell for a good price is a new garage door, it’s probably worth it.

But for many other common repairs, the ROI is really not great. If you’re putting in substantial time and money to get a new roof or remodel a bathroom but you’re only getting about 60% of the money back, you may not be going the best route. If your house needs these repairs but the cost/benefit analysis shows it isn’t worth it, there’s a better solution.

At MarketPro Homebuyers, we buy homes in any condition with a fair cash offer.

Skip all the time, stress, and expense of updating. We pride ourselves on providing a headache-free selling process that helps you move out quickly, without any of the hassles of fixing, staging, or selling your house.

If you’re in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, or Pennsylvania, we’d love to show you how stress-free the sales process can be. We’ll walk you through what your home would bring on the open market as-is, what it would bring with updates, and what our cash offer is. Call us today for a pressure-free quote!

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