The new Cost vs Value Report indicates that home owners considering selling “should focus mostly on exterior upgrades.” If you can’t entice the buyer to get out of the car to see the inside, you don’t have a chance. Then again, if you get them in and it smells like last night’s dinner and old garbage, you’ve got a problem too.
There are a lot of pitfalls to any project, even a small one. You can count on the cost and completion time to double. There are delays for a million reasons; and trust me, you won’t be immune.
As soon as a home owner says they’re going to remodel or add on, I ask, “How strong is your marriage?” I usually get the deer-in-the-headlights look. There are so many decisions to be made, it can be extremely stressful to even a healthy relationship. Choosing paint colors, fixtures, doors, flooring, cabinets can take you to the edge of patience. With time running behind and costs running over, the blame game begins.
One of my dearest friends started a kitchen remodel in August of last year. It was expected to take four months – that’s start to finish. This is now December of the following year, and, no, they’re not done yet. In the process the refrigerator was damaged, the microwave and faucet were defective; all had to be re-ordered. More delay. The fireplace was installed incorrectly causing smoke to billow into the house destroying the new paint.
If you’re planning to make upgrades simply for the purpose of selling, get your realtor involved early in the process. You could spend a fortune in time, money and headaches only to learn that you chose an unpopular color of cabinets; or in trying to save a buck, you purchased the cheapest cabinets you could find and they look like it.
There are a variety of low-cost projects that can be done to update without losing your sanity.
Another topic to seriously consider is if you intend to get permits for the work. That’s a whole can of worms. If you don’t, some buyers will wonder why; was the work done properly; if they decided not to get permits, did they cut corners? If you do, you’re in for more fees and delays waiting for inspections. And obtaining permits is no guarantee that the work is done properly.
This is no longer a buy and flip market. It’s a time to buy and hold. In other words, when you put your house up for sale, your ducks better be all lined up nice and pretty. You can’t be half done with a project, have weeds in the yard, or be sitting on the couch when a prospective buyer comes to take a look. You can’t use an out-of-area agent. You can’t be overpriced. The house must be easy to show and with a lock box, staged, clean, tub caulked, closets empty. And you must be patient. It’s going to take a while. Need a checklist? Let me know.
As a lifelong San Mateo County resident and local Realtor, Vicki has established herself as a respected member of the Peninsula real estate community enabling her to bring her knowledge, experience and professional associations to work for you. She has superior communication, organization and technological skills that she continually hones to provide you with world-class real estate services.
If you have questions or need assistance regarding real estate in San Mateo County, please contact Vicki via email at Vicki[@}CallVicki.com or 650.888.9268.