I wish there was an easy, definitive answer to these questions. HGTV makes it look so simple! But the answers are often based on many variables and each home is different, so it takes realtors doing the research and doing the math to find the answer regarding renovation payoff. As an example, I work with someone who flips homes for a living, and we evaluate and reject about 5-10 homes that are dated and in need of refurbishing for every one that we find would actually be worth taking on to turn a profit.
But here is the good news - there are updates and things you can do to impact the future sale of your home positively. And the even better news is that a lot of these things are not expensive and relatively simple, however they can make your home stand out so it sells quickly and well.
One is to keep it well maintained and clean. Buyers at every price point much prefer a home they can move right into without needing to anticipate starting off homeownership with a slew of repair projects. Homes in good condition sell faster and for more. Having a home in pristinely cleaned condition when listing it for sale is also important. Besides giving a good first impression, it also tells buyers a home has been well cared for.
A second is to pay attention to the exterior. Mulch is a fantastic and affordable way to give your garden polish. Keeping bushes and trees neatly trimmed, adding shrubs if your yard looks bare, and placing a bright potted plant and fresh doormat at your entry go a long way in giving a home good curb appeal.
A third is to refresh your interior in simple ways like painting walls with the latest trending neutral shades or switching out dated drawer pulls with newer styles. Updated light fixtures and plumbing fixtures can also renew an older home. All these strategies communicate to buyers that a home is cared for and make it easy for buyers to imagine themselves living there.
Larger renovations certainly can add value to your home. And if making a change to your home will allow you to enjoy it more, that is an important enough reason to just do it. Chances are if you would prefer a renovation to your home, others would too. But determining if those renovations will pay you back beyond your investment takes some analysis and are great questions to ask your realtor.
Tundi Brady is the Iowa Medical Partner Realtor Sponsor and a Medical Partner Alum. She is always happy to help IMP members with their real estate needs.