Should I upgrade my rental property prior to sale?

Asked by RentalHomeOwner, Evans, GA Thu Oct 6, 2011

I am considering selling a rental home I own in Evans (Stratford). Tenants have moved out. The home was built 9 years ago but does not have granite/stainless steel kitchen. I am unsure whether to invest any money in upgrades at all or offer a kitchen upgrade credit to the buyer. Any advice from local realtors would be most welcome.

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Brock Hughes, Agent, Augusta, GA
Fri Oct 7, 2011

These are all really great answers/advice.

I would suggest researching costs, etc on any upgrades you would consider....before going any further. There are currently 14 available homes in Stratford, per any FSBOs. Approx half of these homes have granite countertops....some have wallpaper as well. Your home needs to offer upgrades/incentives that will beat the competition. On a good note, 10 have sold in the last 6 months & 3 are currently there is buyer traffic in your neighborhood.

Why not consider renting for another year or so...then upgrade & sell later(when the selling market may be a bit better)??

Best Wishes!

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Vilma Colon-…, Agent, Evans, GA
Thu Oct 6, 2011
A home that is 9 years old may or may not need updating or upgrading. A home that is 30 years old (such as mine) can definitely use some updating. Kitchen, bathrooms, windows and flooring need to be redone at this point. If you are going to be redoing the kitchen anyway, you may as well choose better quality and more desirable countertops and appliances, such as granite and stainless steel. Of course, that also depends on the price range of the property you are looking at. A house under $100,000, for example, does not need granite and stainless steel. Nobody is expecting those features in a house in that price range.

A home that is only 9 years old may not need a lot of updating or upgrading. Depending on care, the carpet and other flooring may not need to be replaced just yet. Windows are probably still OK. Doors are probably 6 panel doors and kitchen appliances may still be OK. Kitchen cabinets, unless damaged, should not be outdated yet. So...that leaves countertops. In a neighborhood like Stratford, where even some bank owned properties have been repainted, flooring changed and granite added in the kitchen, if the countertops needed replacing, I would definitely upgrade to granite. If the countertops are in good condition, an attractive new faucet and a contemporary color on the walls would definitely make the kitchen inviting. Wallpaper, found in some of the Stratford homes I have seen, needs to go.

Think of ways you can make your house attractive and inviting without spending a lot of money, unless you have to. If you need to replace damaged flooring or stinky carpet, for example, do so. Otherwise, put a fresh coat of paint in a neutral, contemporary color, clean floors and carpets, grout tubs anew (unless grout still looks clean), keep yard tidy and mowed (maybe even plant a few flowers). No matter how many changes and improvements you make to a house, you will always find people who don't like it. You may have a buyer come into your home who wants granite countertops but he (she) does not like the color of granite you chose.

I cannot stress enough the importance of pricing. A home that shows well and is priced right will sell. A realtor who knows your area will be able to give you invaluable feedback after looking at your home. Please call me and I will be happy to give you my opinion as to the things you need to do in order to put your property in the best selling condition. My number is 706-284-1520.
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Michelle McK…, Agent, Martinez, GA
Thu Oct 6, 2011

It really depends on your home overall. I live in Stratford and have sold several homes here. Some homes had the upgrades and some did not, but all sold at great market prices. My method of pricing a home is to know the market and what is available. Our neighborhood has a great reputation and because I live here personally and I can normally convey it to prospective buyers or their agents. I just closed on a 2800 sq ft home for 233K. Other similar or better homes have sold on the same street for under 200K a mothn early. Why, because the sellers priced the home to high to start and then they got caught in the "being on the market to long cycle". Buyers these days are very savvy and have lots of information available to them.

If you want to talk with me directly, please call me at 706-830-6539. There is a 95% chance I have been inside of your home. I make it a point to view all inventory in my neighborhood. If your home is located on Sussex, I visited it about 18 mos ago.and I sent people to see it in this July. They choose another home in the neighborhood to rent. . I will be happy to give you feedback.

Best Regards,
MIchelle McKenzie
Executive Partners of Augusta
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Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Oct 6, 2011
A home 9 years old is still fairly new. I would definitely put the granite in the kitchen. It doesn't cost much more to put it in the master bath, too, That creates an extra wow-factor. The price of granite has come way down, so I would shop around for the price. You don't need to go with the "expensive colors", ie solid black, or black flecked. You can stick with the browns with black or brown/white which are less expensive. You don't need stainless appliances. If the carpet looks bad, I'd replace it with inexpensive wood laminate in the worst areas. You'll be able to sell your home more quickly than others in your community and probably get more for it - talk to your Realtor.
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Scott Madaus, Agent, Evans, GA
Thu Oct 6, 2011
Dear RentalHomeOwner,

I would be happy to assist by providing you with a Comparative Market Analysis(CMA). Actually 2 CMA's...One "as is" and another if some repairs, updates, etc. are done to the property. I specialize in the Evans area and live minutes from your house. You can contact me any time.

Scott Madaus
Realtor, ABR, CSP
(706) 306-5494
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu Oct 6, 2011
Oh my RentalHomeOwner, so hard for us to tell, as we do not know enough about the home, no photos, no type of property, no price range, no size.....

In general you should find out with the help of a local Realtor, the sales in your type of property size age upgrades etc., I would not put a large amount of money into a property that I want to sell.....

What is most important is that the property is clean.... which may mean painting in current colors/tones
which could also mean repair any all that is broken..... and any and all that is in really bad shape which sometimes an old stove is because of how it was taken care of, then buy a new stove......

A local Realtor who has seen or will compare and potentially look at similar properties currently on the
market will be your best help in determining what to change and also what needs upgrading or what price to
list it for.....

wall paper may outdate a property, have it taken out and paint, by the way paint is the cheapest upgrade there
is, you may be able to do it yourself, and a even if in some rooms you go with a bold color it will make your
property quickly more up-to-date, like imagine a dark brown wall in the bathroom, one wall a nice deep red
on one side of the dining room, and may be a new color for the hallways, and the kitchen to bring out the

Clean and bright and uncluttered, warm up some cinnamon muffins and you should be good to go...

But consult with an area Realtor who can actually look at the property and help you out there.
Good luck to you! :)

Edith, YourChicago&NorthernIllinoisConnection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients! Sellers and Buyers alike :)
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Thu Oct 6, 2011
Why not consider inviting a few local agents from different realty offices, ask for a cma, comparative market analysis, determine worth either way, ask opinions regarding renovations, and go from there...
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Michael Hamm…, Agent, Suwanee, GA
Thu Oct 6, 2011
You will likely get almost as many different opinions as replies, Rental. I know what my advice would be if you were in metro, but would like to see answers form the local folks. I'll hang up and listen. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond
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