Should I Fix Up My Home or Sell As-Is? The Renovation Dilemma Every San Diego Homeowner Encounters

by | Jun 22, 2017

What are the chances that you will buy a home and not want to make ANY changes or upgrades? We’d say, very slim. When you finally have a piece of property that is yours to do with what you please, the thought of making it your own is so exciting. But, it’s also easy to get carried away in upgrades that make your home “you,” but don’t necessarily add value. A friend had recently listed her home in Carlsbad for about $75,000 more than all of the other homes in the area. Don’t get me wrong, her house was unique and definitely a lot nicer than other homes nearby. She had added a pool, and a complete outdoor dining area and the finishes inside the home were all custom and top-notch. She had thought that with all of these luxurious upgrades, she would absolutely get that much more for her home (plus, she wanted to recoup some of the funds she had put into the house). But, that’s not always how real estate works. It IS possible to put money into your house that ultimately won’t translate into a higher value. With that, we thought it would be a good idea to discuss whether it’s a good idea to fix the house up before selling and if you choose to, which items yield the greatest ROI.

Considering Investing in Repairs or Selling As-Is?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is never “one size fits all.” In many cases, upgrades, before you sell, can absolutely mean higher returns. After all, we’re in business because of doing this exactly. When we purchase homes in disrepair, we fix any damaged areas of the home and make necessary updates to bring the home currently with market demands. Sometimes this means stainless steel appliances and quartz counters, but sometimes it means leaving the existing counters and just painting the cabinets and replacing flooring. The remodeling projects we tend to take on as an investor always depends on the condition of the market, and the characteristics of the home and of the future buyer. Knowing the ins and outs of the market you’re in is half the battle. If you’re in a cold or neutral market, you may not recoup any investment made into fixing or updating your home…you have to be cautious.

In our experience, many sellers put way too much money into fixing their homes up to sell. Sometimes this is a result of opinions offered by agents, or they didn’t intend to sell anytime soon and wanted to make the house completely their own (we wouldn’t blame you there). But, knowing the right fixes and upgrades to make and doing them at a price that doesn’t break your bank can be a great challenge. Here are some questions we’d recommend asking yourself before taking on repairs before selling.

Do I have the money to invest in fixing my house to sell?

If yes, great. At this point, we’d recommend speaking to a local real estate agent about the comparable homes in your area and learning about what’s selling (and what upgrades those homes have). This can serve as a great guide in selecting which renovation projects to take on. Smart sellers will be certain that improvement costs don’t outweigh the market value of the home. Step number two would be finding a reputable contractor who will do the work right, and for a good price. This can be the most difficult aspect of any renovation project. We recommend interviewing multiple contractors and requiring firm commitments to your budget and timeline.

If you don’t have the funds to support fixing your house to sell, then you still have a couple of options. You could opt for taking out another loan to do the work OR you could avoid making the repairs altogether and decide on selling the home as-is. If you assume a new loan, you will need to be certain that the reward outweighs the risk associated. If you sell the home as-is, just understand that your home may not sell as high as some of the other properties in your area that have been recently remodeled. At the end of the day, that may not mean much of a difference.

What repairs are most important in making before selling?

Again, this is something that largely depends on your market and the area your home is in. When speaking to an agent or real estate professional about comparable properties, be sure to note which upgrades current homes on the market have made. For example, if all of the homes in your neighborhood listed their homes with fully remodeled kitchens, you will likely want to focus on improvements in your kitchen. Here is a list of some of the minimum improvements buyers in your area may be looking for:

  • Fix your HVAC systems and broken appliances
  • Repair plumbing leaks
  • Replace old carpeting
  • Repaint walls with a light or neutral color
  • Replace windows
  • Repair any existing roof damage
  • Change dated fixtures and fans
  • Update kitchen hardware (at a minimum)
  • Fix any code violations

In our personal experience, operating a full real estate investment and construction firm, bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. With this, if you are going to make any major remodel to your home…consider what your current amenities look like and who they appeal to.

I Don’t Have the Money or Time to Invest in Fixing My House to Sell

If your financial resources won’t allow you to fix the home, you will have the option of selling the home exactly as it is. The “pros” of going this route include: not having to fork out cash that you aren’t guaranteed to get back in the sale, not having to coordinate and live in a construction zone, and ultimately not having to worry about making the right upgrades that will yield a return on your investment. By selling direct to a cash buyer like Sell Your House Direct, you don’t have to lift a finger (or hammer) to repair anything that needs fixing or updating. We have a full in-house construction team that is trained in making quality repairs to homes. You can avoid all of the hassle and financial strain of a renovation project, but also rest easy knowing we’ll do a great job fixing your property for the next person who will call it home. Sound like your best option? Fill out one of our simple Sell Direct forms and we’ll get back to you with an offer today!

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