Home Upgrades To Make Before You Sell It

The Savvy Synopsis

Ever wonder what kind of updates are worth making before putting your house on the market? Or what is better to just skip and save your time and money on? Let’s discuss that topic and help you maximize your return.

A home improvement website recently did a survey on what upgrades home owners felt they should do before selling their home. Angie has a few other opinions on what is most important. While the survey says a bathroom or kitchen remodel is key, Angie says to start with interior painting. Freshening up the interior paint can make a big difference when it comes to selling a house.

Other items on the list included new floors, landscaping, new roof, electrical work, and plumbing. While the money invested into the bathroom or kitchen helps it sell, this may not recoup the costs of what you put into the home. Painting, flooring, and landscaping may provide a bit more bang for your buck before you sell your home.

When you are thinking about selling your home, make sure to meet with a realtor before you make the home improvements. That way you can get advice on what improvements will make the most impact. Instead of sinking too much money in a home you don’t plan to live in, find out where you can invest wisely and help set your home apart to potential buyers.

In another study, the cost of proximity or walkability is close to 23 percent more than a home that does not have as much walkability. People are willing to pay for that convenience, not only in downtown, but in any area where you can be close to restaurants or shops. Are you willing to pay more to be able to walk to places nearby?

Finally, is it common to spend more than three months to find a home to buy? Angie says many buyers are taking their time right now.

Listen to the full episode or click on the timestamps below to hear a specific segment.

0:38 - Ten upgrades home owners think are necessary before selling.

1:14 - Over 30 percent said a bathroom or kitchen remodel was needed.

4:05 - Making upgrades to your home when you aren’t selling the home may be different than when you want to sell right away.

7:26 - A study revealed that you will pay close to 23 percent more to have a home walkable to amenities.

10:23 - Sixty percent of active buyers spent more than three months searching for a home.

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The Host:

Angie Cole - Contact - Call: 919-538-6477

Show Transcription:

Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...

Speaker 1: (00:02)
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter [inaudible] alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a Cole Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs when it comes to buying or selling a home. You can find the team online by going to eight Cole realty.com that's a C O L E realty.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128 and now it's time for one of the top real tours in the triangle. Angie Cole and the savvy real tour podcast. Here are a couple of the headlines that caught our eye or recently, Angie, this one was 10 upgrades that owners think are necessary before they sell their home. Now this was a survey that porch.com did and and really the sentiment here are is that these things, you know, I can't sell my home without doing it, is sort of the the mentality here.

Speaker 1: (00:59)
Right? Okay. Yup. The list, by the way, here is an order from the highest response. So the most important half to do it to the lowest, and I think the top two were listed in over 30% of the respondents. So a pretty significant portion said I have to do a bathroom remodel and number two is I have to do the kitchen remodel. And then from there it was interior painting as number three, new flooring as number four. And then the top five was exterior painting. And then I'll give you a six through 10 real quick landscaping, new roof, electrical work, bedroom remodel and plumbing work. What do you think about the order of all of those?

Speaker 2: (01:43)
Um, I do not agree with the order now. Okay. Now maybe this is what a homeowners think they can't sell without, but I would, I would, I'm here to tell you you're wrong. Okay. And actually I'm going to save you some money by telling you that you're wrong. I would say actually the thing that needs to go to the very top is interior painting. So if all else fails, paint, freshen up the interior paint of your home. Okay. Then from there I would then move up also the new flooring. Okay. So I'd say new floor and be a number two. So for example, if your carpets are dingy, it's time for, you know, a new rugs, new carpet, you need to replace it. Um, so I would say the two priorities when it comes to selling a home to get top dollar and to get it moving quickly is repainting and new flooring.

Speaker 2: (02:35)
I'm also definitely moved back up. Landscaping, landscaping is actually a very inexpensive, easy way to just add that pop that wow, that first impression. So we're going to add interior painting, new flooring and landscaping I would say are our top three. Um, the others fall below that. And so, you know, they always say invest money into the, and the kitchen. And so I think that's why homeowners feel like, you know, doing a remodel is definitely a must when it comes to selling a home. But you also have to be careful because I oftentimes see where homeowners will start to invest a lot of money into a home. And yes, you've made it fabulous, you've helped it to probably sell quicker, but you're not going to get your money back out. So be very, very careful on doing overhauls, big remodels right before you sell. Because most of the time it's not a dollar for dollar, you're not going to get the full amount of money back out of the home. So there are small fixes and changes that we can do. Like I said, that painting the interior painting, you know, maybe if we need some new flooring and then also the landscaping, those are definitely going to be things that you can't or that you need to do or otherwise. You know, you're not gonna be able to sell your home without it.

Speaker 1: (03:50)
That's a great point Angie, and interesting that you kind of take this in a different direction, but the way you explain it makes a lot of sense. So we all think we are up here and a bathroom and kitchen, that's where you put your money into. And maybe that's true if you're not planning to sell, right? Like if you're just like, Hey, let's make some upgrades to our home. What positions is best for the long term. Yeah. Bathroom and kitchen remodels are, you know, going to add value probably greater over time. But if you're just looking to sell right away, then you're not gonna get the money back out as fast as those improvements most likely.

Speaker 2: (04:21)
Um, it, you know, in, you're exactly right, but there is also changes that we can make to our bathrooms and to our kitchens that are not a complete remodel. Um, maybe adding in granite countertops, you know, to our kitchen because that's what everyone else in the neighborhood has already done. And you want to be, you know, up to date, um, you know, kind of of what's happening in your neighborhood. Uh, maybe painting your cabinets. So, um, there are easy fixes, you know, uh, replacing the hardware. That's a simple one that can just really change up. You know, how a kitchen looks, but we can give you that feedback. They are on what we'd suggest you do, what we suggest you don't do. And I would say meet with us before you start making any changes or improvements. Um, a lot of times I speak with potential sellers and they say, well, before you come out for a listing presentation, you know, I, I definitely, I want to get the home perfect, blah, blah blah. We want to do this, this and this and I'm so quick to say, stop what you're doing right now. Because many times the seller will start to over improve or do more than what's needed. And once again, you're not going to get your money back out of it.

Speaker 1: (05:25)
That's a great point, Angie. And I'm sitting over here chuckling because of when you're talking about the, the kitchen, you know, improvements that you just made. I was going to that. Yup. We did that. Yep. That's what we did. Yep. We did that. Uh, when we sold our home, uh, with your team, uh, I guess about two years ago now though, less than two years ago. Uh, that's exactly we did in our kitchen. We just, all we did was add granite counter tops to make in. It really just made a big difference going from kind of that old school, you know, kind of beige colored countertops. It just wasn't, wasn't very attractive and pretty worn at that point. So we did new granite. Uh, we had no hardware on the cabinets and so we just added some very basic knobs and repainted them, just give them a fresh coat of paint and boom, that was all we had to do in the kitchen and it was look right, you know, nothing else that we needed to improve.

Speaker 1: (06:10)
So, uh, instead of having a sink, a whole bunch of money into it, just a couple of little things really made it pop. And it was also a board cause it was the side entrance where you use it most frequently, so it's kind of your first impression into the home. And so that really helped kind of that very first pop and sizzle, uh, when you walk through the side door. So it was good advice then. And it sounds like good advice now as well. So really good reminder. If you're thinking about selling, don't just assume you've got to make all these changes to your home. Go ahead and meet with Angie and her team first and they can tell you and help you prioritize the things that you might want to change or improve. If you want to get in touch with Angie and talk about that, you can call or text (919) 538-6477 that's (919) 538-6477 if you're a home seller, you can also find out the potential value of your home currently before you go and make any improvements by texting the word listing to the number of five five five eight eight eight.

Speaker 1: (07:06)
We'll text you right back with a link that you click on, put in your home's information and you can find out that potential home value right now. So if you wanna find out the potential value of your home, if you were to sell in today's market, get an initial estimate of that by texting the word listing to the number five five five eight eight eight. Great place to start for a lot of sellers. All right, another headline here, Angie. This one, uh, it was about proximity and I thought this was really interesting. A study reveal that the actual premium you pay nationally for a home with what they would call great proximity to various amenities. So I guess you just, you know, you're close to be able to walk to the grocery store. It kind of comes down to that a bit nebulous term. Walkability is what they kind of describe this as a, on average you're going to pay 23 and a half percent. So almost a quarter, you know, almost a quarter more or 25% more for a home if it's considered walkable compared to one that's deemed to be, you know, dependent on a vehicle, uh, that equates to in the number, uh, you know, physical numbers is $77,000 more for a walkable home compared to one that isn't. That seemed really high to me, but I don't know. Do those numbers surprise you? What is, what do you think the premium looks like in, in the different areas where we are?

Speaker 2: (08:23)
Sure. I mean, I would pay a 50% premium to be in walking distance to a Starbucks. Um, I, uh, you know, the, the percentage does seem high, but then you have to think about, um, think about in our area, Walter, like if you are at North Hills right, and the cost of land to be in walking distance to everything at North Hills. Same thing if you're in downtown Raleigh, just the cost of land, um, you know, finding even land to build a home in downtown Raleigh is very hard to come about. But you know, lots the exact same lot, you know, further out maybe in North North Raleigh versus in our BeltLine. I mean, you could go from the lot costing 100,000 to costing four and 500,000. So, um, I, I don't think that that's unrealistic to say that on average you'll pay 23 and a half percent more for an overall home that is considered to be in, you know, walkable distance to restaurants and shopping and all that good stuff.

Speaker 2: (09:22)
It's, um, it's all about convenience and people are willing to pay for that convenience. Yeah, that's a great point. And it's not just the downtown areas too, but there's other walkable areas. Certainly even within you know, different areas of the community and you know, anytime you're going to get closer to the kind of the, the hub or the central areas, wherever you are, I guess you are going to. Yeah, I mean, and there's so many cute, you know, areas and you know, carry apex. I mean just all over the place. Um, but you're right. And you know, I would say certain areas definitely have a higher value versus others. Um, as far as, you know, yes, you might be in walkable distance to a local target, you know, but there's a little bit different being walkable to where there's kind of a hub of all these restaurants and shops and all of that good stuff.

Speaker 2: (10:06)
That's when you really see that the value of the homes really rise. Those areas tend to be a lot more, you know, expensive, um, versus other areas that don't have those features. Interesting study and uh, sounds like it bears fruit in our area as well. Very cool. Uh, one other, uh, headline here, Angie, this one is about buyers taking their time now. So, you know, pretty low mortgage rates right now. Uh, increasing the buyer pool, the amount of folks looking for homes, but it doesn't mean they're in a hurry to buy. Uh, this is from the national association of home builders. They released a report showing that at least 60% of active buyers reported spending more than three months searching for a home through the final quarter of 2019. And that's up. This was the, maybe the surprising stat that's up more than 58% from the previous year.

Speaker 2: (10:54)
So we're seeing a lot more people on the market, but waiting a while to actually pull the trigger on buying a home. Is this similar to what you've seen and experienced locally? You know, I, I do have to agree with this and I don't know percentage wise, but even though we are still in a very strong sellers market with low inventory, um, I, I feel like the rush and the urgency on the buyer side has definitely slowed down. Two years ago, it was, you know, buyers freaking out, making an offer on anything that hits the market, then getting cold feet, you know, but we're not running into that as much. I feel like, um, even though you know it's a great time to buy because of the low interest rates, buyers are taking their time a little bit more. Like there's just not that sense of urgency.

Speaker 2: (11:40)
Like there was, you know, when there almost was a scare that there was nothing out there to buy, so I must jump on whatever comes up on the market that even, you know, checks off a couple of my boxes of requirements. So, um, yeah, I agree that we're also seeing that in a market. Now with that being said, I mean people are still buying our team in general. I mean is actively still selling. I know we closed out 20 homes in January. I think we already have 29 or 30 on the books for February to close out. So homes are still moving and selling and you know, things are shaken up. But, um, yeah, I would say that sense of urgency definitely has slowed down just a tad bit on the buy side, but now is a great time to buy because you know, the market is still appreciating, right? Um, so the smarter on on that end of it. But then with the low interest rates, I mean, money is cheap to borrow right now.

Speaker 1: (12:31)
You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store Holt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole realty.com. And you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128 

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