Home Selling in Cumming>Question Details

Arthur Harris, Real Estate Pro in Cumming, GA

Should I upgrade my kitchen and bathrooms in order to get the price I need when I list my house? A neighbor did not get any visitors, had no upgades.

Asked by Arthur Harris, Cumming, GA Wed Dec 1, 2010

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Cumming is slammed with inventory so you need to attract attention but not go overboard. You're an agent and should have an idea of what is needed, get your fellow agents in as well. I wouldn't go gang busters, keep it neat, well maintained and as current as possible. If it's a desireable home in an appealing area that is priced aggressively, it will get looks.

I know you'll price it right!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
It may not bring you the price you "need," but it may help sell it. If you have a price you "need" then you may not be in the running for a sale unless what you "need" is at or below competitive pricing. Lesson no. 1 in establishing a list price - the seller's need is irrelevant. You should know this, if your an agent. Lots of good stuff below so I won't wast the time to repeat any of it. Good luck selling in Cumming. It's a crazy mess everywhere right now!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
Hi Arthur

Buyers want a move in condition home otherwise they pass your home after viewing pictures on the MLS.
The trick is to get the upgrades done at a low cost but show well.

Also list your home after the holidays, preferably after January 15th.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://ruthandperry.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
If you can make some inexpensive upgrades which help modernize...it could help. But I think large renovation or upgrades will likely not return the investment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Was just out with a Buyer today. She would walk in and walk right back out if there were dated appliances or no upgrades....especially in kitchen. Not sure what you currently have in kitchen and baths or what your price range is but I would think you need to update/upgrade just to get Buyers in the door. Granite counters, tile backsplash, hardwood floors and newer SS appliances are popular in kitchens and tile floors/ showers & newer fixtures/lighting are your best bet in baths. You may not get the price you need but it may be the difference between selling or not selling in this market. Good Luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Kitchens and bathrooms sell a house! Of all the things I hear buyers complaining about, outdated kitchens and baths are numbers 1 and 2.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
I would have a local real estate agent to come over and speak with you. The agent can recommend what to do in the home to sell it for the price you want. Best of Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2015
Kitchen and bathroom renovations add the highest residual value to homes in this area. Do not go overboard though; refinish cabinetry and add low priced granite counter tops. Stainless appliances are a must, and a new shower curtain always does the trick when staging a home! Best wishes.

Sammy Thieme
RE/MAX All Properties
Cumming, GA 30041
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 25, 2015
There are so many things that you can upgrade in your home, but only a few of them will help you actually sell your home. The top two areas are kitchens and bathrooms, and the return on investment is typically north of 70%. Don't go to crazy with colors and styles, keep it simple and elegant; this will save you money but still be eye catching to potential buyers. http://www.atlantacommunities.com/forsyth
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2014
Ask your agent to do a CMA on your home to see where it stands as is.
Don't over improve your home for your neighborhood.
If possible, do small upgrades, ie, paint, paint cabinets, change hardware, clean appliances till they sparkle.
Also, an easy way to change the look of your kitchen from "old & dated" to fresh and sellable is to change your countertop and flooring. You can install new counters relatively inexpensively or try "painting" them (kits avail at Lowes).
Visit your local upscale kitchen showroom and ask if they have retired displays available for sale, sometimes they even have apppliances.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 15, 2010
As other agents have said, kitchens and baths can sell a house. What that means is that homes with upgraded kitchens and baths most often sell quicker and for more money. It doesn't mean that you will make the money back that you spent on your renovations. What products you use for your renovations depends a lot on your local market and your location, so discuss with an agent what level of products is right for your home (granite vs laminate, refacing cabinets vs replacing, etc).

It sounds like your local market is tough and if a home isn't upgraded it won't sell (at least not at the price they are asking). Best advice I can give is to get your home in the best possible condition, without overextending yourself, before listing it. Good luck to you!

-Sunny Fellman, Realtor
Cape Cod, MA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 6, 2010
Simple repairs to help your home show better and sell faster

When a buyer comes into your home, they can be very fussy about small things. If you want to help your home show better and sell faster, follow these simple repairs.

Kitchen – Replace kitchen faucets. Replace hardware on cabinets and drawers. Put new caulk around backsplash.

Bathroom – Install new towel racks, lighting fixtures, and faucets. Repair leaky faucets or running toilets. Put fresh caulk around tub/shower.

Curb Appeal – Make sure you have fresh landscaping with no weeds. Keep your lawn mowed and replace dead grass with new sod. Planting a few fresh flowers will add to the appeal.

Doorways – Make sure they are working well. Check for squeaks. Fix any ripped screens on screed doors or lanais. Replace old door knobs and locks. Caulk windows and doors.

Flooring – Replace or repair cracked tile. Clean or replace the grout. Shampoo or replace carpeting.

Exterior – Replace any missing shingles on the roof. Clear gutters from leaves or other debris. Replace mailbox and house numbers. Caulk and paint over small hairline cracks in foundation.

Painting – Check for any cracks or holes and repair. Paint walls, ceilings, and trim in neutral colors. If you don’t have time to paint all the walls, at least do touch up painting.

Mechanical – Make sure major mechanical systems are working such as air conditioning/heating and plumbing as well as electrical systems. All appliances should be in good working order.

Any repairs that you do to your home will help improve the value of your home. Home buyers will feel safer in purchasing a home when they do not see a lot of repairs that need to be made. If you are willing to spend a little money on completing necessary repairs, it could result in a higher selling price and a quicker sale.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL tammyhayesre@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 6, 2010
Hello Mr. Harris,

This is a great question. It sounds like you want to know the secret to getting more showings. Remember that it is still a buyers market. The buyer will buy what they want, not what they need. So if you are a buyer you may want a home with granite, tile, or stone - especially if it is for the same price as a home with laminate and vinyl.

As far as getting the price you need, I wouldn't expect a dollar for dollar increase. For every dollar you spend, you can expect a lower percentage return on the investment. Think of it this way: the first $1,000 you spend, you may get the full $1,000. If you spend $2,000, you may only get $1800 more. If you spend, $5,000, you may only get $4,000 more. You will have to walk a fine line to decide how much to spend just so you have some showings.

Good luck!

Mark Laycock
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 6, 2010
As an Agent why not post your question, discussion issues in the blog section of trulia!
As an Agent you should know what is necessary to sell your home or your clients....
It is the financial situation of the seller, that will determine, how much of improvements they are
willing to do to compete.... Large improvements may sell the house faster, but may not bring
the net return the seller is looking for....

I never recommend high end improvements $$$$ if a home is to go on the market shortly! But I recommend a lot of small ones, like paint, declutter, repairs and staging.... either moving furniture around to show a larger home, or removing some items.... and if hardwood under carpeting, have the carpeting removed unless it is brand new and similar smaller less pricier projects.
Good luck
Edith YourRealtor4Life and Chicago Connection
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
The previous answers are all correct - people buy kitchens and baths. I'm also getting more requests for walk-in closets or closets with internal lighting. Just keep in mind that these upgrades, although the highest performing of all improvments, are unlikely to get a better than 75% - 80% return on investment. In other words, do you want to spend $100,000 to get a $75,000 improvement in price? I'd say no if you are looking for bottom line dollars in your pocket, I'd say yes if you need to sell and that's the only way you will get an offer.
Also - you've got to be realistic about your location. Even if you tear down the house and re-build a completely new structure, the price potential will be capped based upon the neighborhood.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010

This question resembles the proverbial, "which came first, the chicken or the egg...."

There are no guarantees.....but our recommendation is always do what can be done with the minimal expense prior to listing. Cleaning, sorting, organizing, painting, planting and repairing can often make a big difference in a homes appeal.

Since the buyers first objective is price, making an investment in updates may not be taking you in the direction you need to go to identify a buyer. By pricing it lower, without the upgrades but making the property "shine" both inside and out may create more activity without the added expense.

Good luck with your sale.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
In this very challenging market, the homes that sell are the ones that are priced below the competition and that show like a model. I would recommend bringing in a professional stager for an initial consultation. A stager will tell you exactly where you should and should not spend your money. Full upgrades may not be necessary. Fresh paint, new carpet & lighting go a long way. Your neighbor's home may not have gotten any showings becasue it was priced to high. I rpomise you that a house upgraded to the max will also not get showings if agents and buyers perceive that it is priced above market. All the upgrades in the world will not get a house sold if the house is over-priced! While new kitchens and baths are very appealing to buyers, upgrading is not always an option. I have a seller that simply does not have the cash for upgrades so we have priced $80,000 less than its competitors and are offering a $10k buyer allowance. I am marketing the house with the tag line "Why pay for someone else's upgrades?" We are getting good showings, but no offers yet. Today, buyers are in the driver's seat and have a lot to choose from. You must be realistic about what you house will sell for, with or without upgrades. At the end of the day, the market dictates the value of your house, and, thus, what you will be able to get out of it. The "price you need" is irrelevant. Hopefully, what you would like to get for your home and what the market will bear are similar numbers! Best success with your sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Two Recent Articles on Remodeling that may help with your Decision:

CNN Money - It Doesn't Pay to Remodel Your Home http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/16/real_estate/home_remodeling_…

Housing Watch - Remodeling: When It's Worth The Cost http://www.housingwatch.com/2010/11/22/remodel-if-youve-got-…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
The important aspect of your question is "in order to get the price you need". In this environment, upgrades to a house increase marketability, not necessarily value. Example if there are two houses on a street identical but yours has the kitchen and bathroom upgraded you are more likely to get the buyer at the fair market value supported by the comparables. You are not necessarily going to realize a higher price or the price you need. When I hear a client use the word "need" when we discuss price, it sometimes is important to drill down and discover their true motivation as there may be another option that doesn't involve selling their home. Every situation is different of course. As for the neighbor with no visitors, how well was the home priced compared to other homes sold in the last 3 months in that area that were similar?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
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