Remodel? Renovate? Update? Sell As Is?


When you decide that this is the year you may want to sell your home, you may be wondering if you should remodel, renovate, update or sell the home as is! That is a difficult question to answer and depends on a lot of different factors!


But first, what is the difference? If someone tells me that the house has been remodeled, my first thought is that the owner took the house down to the studs, ripped out all the flooring, threw out the cabinets & replaced everything in the house! This is what you may see on a lot of the renovation shows you see on places like HGTV! This may be what you would get if the house is being sold by a professional flipper! Then there is the renovated homes, which I think of as homes where let's say the kitchen was renovated with new cabinets, appliances, light fixtures, flooring! And all of it was done recently! Then there are the updated homes, which I think of as homes that have had kitchens or baths updated with new cabinets, appliances, fixtures, flooring, etc in the last few years, not just before the home was listed for sale!


But sellers can also sell their home "as is", which means that the seller does not want to do any repairs or updates and is selling the home in it's current condition! It usually means that the buyer is not going to be able to negotiate for any repairs or updates to be done by the seller, but that doesn't always stop a buyer from trying to negotiate for repairs, closing cost credits or price reductions! And it definitely doesn't always mean that the house is falling down!


So if you are thinking of selling your home and are trying to decide if you should renovate, remodel, update or sell the home as is, there are some questions you need to ask yourself first!


  1. Do you have the time? If it is January and you want to be on the market in April, and you want to do a total renovation of the kitchen and baths, there may not be enough time to have it done by April's spring market!

  2. Do you have the money? Will you need to take from savings or get a HELOC?

  3. Do you have a competent contractor? Renovations should not be necessarily be done by the cheapest guy out there. Good contractors in a busy market may be busy or may only want to handle the larger jobs. So make sure you interview several contractors - ask for references, make sure they are licensed, insured and bonded! Check them out with the Better Business Bureau as well as DPOR. Make sure they will do the work with the proper permits as dictated by the county or city.

  4. Are you prepared for the reality of remodeling? It is not the same as you see on HGTV. It may take longer and cost more because professional home flippers have dedicated teams of sub contractors working for them, and they normally can get materials for much less than you would pay!

  5. Does your home need repairs? If your home needs some major repairs, such as roof, HVAC, plumbing, mold - you are better off taking care of these things rather than renovating or remodeling! Many buyers are willing to buy a less updated home as long as they don't need to tackle critical major repairs after closing!

  6. How does your home compare to others in the neighborhood? If the other homes in the neighborhood are renovated and updated and your home isn't, you may want to either do the renovations or price the home accordingly and sell it as is!

  7. What's the real estate market doing? 2022 is definitely a very hot seller's market - and in this market almost all homes are selling, even homes that haven't been renovated or remodeled! But if the market cools down and we move into a buyer's market, then the condition of your home may impact how long it will take to sell!

  8. What is your return on investment? Keep in mind that no matter what you do in the house, you will not get a dollar for dollar return on your investment. A quick review of the Home Advisor's True Cost Guide for 2021 gives a few examples: a kitchen renovation that costs anywhere from $13,476 to $38,203 will only have a 78% return on your investment; a midrange bathroom renovation may cost around $21,377 will only have a 64% return on investment.

Deciding whether or not to invest the money and time into a total remodel, updating and renovating or selling your home as is is a big decision. You should talk to a Realtor to see what the market value of your home in it's current condition is and how much value the renovations/remodels will add. If you do have questions and would like to see how anticipated renovations/remodels will affect your sale, or for a referral to trusted contractors, don't hesitate to let me know and I would be happy to help!

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