Should I update (cheaply) an older home before placing it on the market or leave it as it?

Asked by Stephanie Bjonnes, Hanover, PA Wed May 23, 2012

We have an out dated kitchen and old flooring. Including unfinished hard wood floors. And we are unsure what to do about this. Sell the home as a fixer upper or replace the old with low price new stuff? Any Ideas/suggestions?!

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Anne L Test, Agent, Hanover, PA
Thu May 24, 2012
Stephanie there are two things you need to worry about salability and added value. Salability is about overcoming peoples objections to buy your property for example a beige colored room with a scuff or two I wouldn't worry about however, a bright purple room even with perfect paint I would repaint. No one would walk away from your home because of a scuff or two however the bright purple would make alot of people walk away....that is salability overcoming objections. Added value I personally would not do before I could redo your kitchen and spend $20000 to do it but it may only raise the value of your home $5000. I would strongly suggest you have the Realtor that you are thinking of listing your home with come out and look at it before you do anything and get their input. If you have no one you work with I would gladly come out and take a look and give you my opinion. Good luck!
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Wed May 23, 2012
hm, this question comes up often when we first connect with a homes seller.

Here is some input I can give you, besides the location of your home, age of your home, size,
neighborhood amenities, basement, garage etc. etc. etc. all will make the suggestions different.

But assuming that you have a medium size home like similar homes in your area and now you
realize it is not updated, are the competing homes on the market or those recently sold updated?

Usually without knowing all the details, simple changes and improvements before putting a home
on the market is recommended for a variety of reasons

it will show better on the photos
more people will come to see it in person

Paint is usually a good method to upgrade your home, use en vogue colors, do not just paint it
all white, a Realtor can make some interesting suggestions

Floors that are not finished, everybody knows that hardwood flooring can be finished before moving in, that way the new owner can decide lighter, darker etc.

The kitchen though needs to be upgraded somewhat, new cab fronts or just have them professionally painted and new hardware, new appliances and new kitchen flooring and
counter top, clean and neat and not the most expensive ones.

Get the help an suggestions of a good area Realtor I do it alllll the time.

Good luck to you...
Edith YourRealtor4Life! Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients - Buyers, Sellers and Investors Alike. I cover the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs and the fine homes on
the North Shore and cover for clients US States and acquisitions worldwide with partner agents.
@Properties North Shore
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Angela Niven, Agent, Chadds Ford, PA
Wed May 23, 2012
I hate to say it, but it depends. It depends on overall condition, location, price range, etc. Have a knowledgeable realtor come out and give you an idea once they walk through it. Good Realtors see so many properties they can compare yours to others and give you an idea of what needs to be done to get it sold. Feel free to contact me with questions (
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Marc White, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Wed May 23, 2012
Interview a few Realtors and find one that seems to be the best at selling homes in your area, they will have the best answers.
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Yosh Heba, Agent, York, PA
Wed May 23, 2012

When it comes to unfinished hardwood floors, it is fairly inexpensive to sand it down and put a coat of polyurethane on it. This will bring out the shine on an old floor, giving it a new look. Most people that purchase a home with origian hardwood will appreciate that, as it is unusual for a buyer to cover original hardwood with carpet or laminate flooring.

When it comes to the kitchen, that would really depend on just how outdated it is. How old the appliances are, condition of the cabinets, etc.

The best thing to do would be to have a couple of Realtors take a look for you and give you their input. It would give you a better answer as to spending X amount of dollars in update, will raise your home value by X amount of dollars.

If I can be of further assistance, feel free to email me ( or call me directly at 717-887-4511.


Yosh Heba
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Donna Troupe, Agent, Dallastown, PA
Wed May 23, 2012
That depends on your real estate and financial goals. There are two methods of approach, with the sale of your home. With the amount of competition in the market that your home would be competing with there are two practices you can follow. Either have your property stand out through condition and pricing or pricing alone. But let's not forget location, location and the importance that plays in the sale. If you don't have the funds to place into the property to get it in the best showing condition then if you are in a position to price the home aggressively to get it sold that may be the best approach for you. I always like to have the best face forward and I like to present a combination of modest improvements with competitive pricing. It sounds like you need someone to take a look at the property and provide you some guidance to the direction you need to take. An agent will know your area and the values of homes and if what improvements would be best for the sale of the home. You may also advertise the home with the assistance of a 203 K Rehab loan and price it effectively to sell. With that program you do not make the repairs, the 203 K Rehab loan will allow for the buyer to finance those repairs into the purchase. I hope that helps answer your question. Good Luck with the sale.
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