Which will bring the most overall gain, updating, decorating then listing or selling to a tear down contractor

Asked by Dan Withers, Wilmette, IL Mon Oct 1, 2007

How do I go about finding an answer to that question. My house would require updating the kitchen and one bath as well as overall decorating and minor landscaping to net the best price. Perhaps $40 - 70K to get market ready. I'd probably list at about $1.2M. My lot has around 120' of frontage although not a double lot (nor dividable). Most lots in area are 50' - 80' frontage with a couple 100' lots. Code would permit approx 5,000 sq ft home. Tear down/new construction in immediate area selling mostly in mid $1M range for 4k to 4.5k sq ft homes on smaller lots, 5K plus sq ft home about $2M to high $2M. I'm afraid that realtors might over state price to get listing and contractors would low ball. Any suggestion appreciated.

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Lydia DeLeo’s answer
Lydia DeLeo, Agent, Wilmette, IL
Wed Jun 25, 2014
Think your always better off getting your home in as salable condition as possible before putting it on the market, as you will more then likely get more for your home.....unless it is in complete disrepair. That being said, I would not consider remodeling the kitchen or bath rooms however do think de-cluttering, painting and getting the yard in order with some pretty flower pots outside (assuming the weather permits) is always worth the effort. It's no surprise that staging has become all the rage, as a few accent pillows, pictures and rearranging of furniture go along way!
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Jeff Nobleza, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Mar 10, 2014
The answer to your question is "it depends" as everyone's situation is different. In response to your concern that a realtor might over state price, ask a realtor how they came up with their opinion on the value of your home and ask to review their information. Also, talk to more than one realtor. If three realtors all have the same or similar opinion then you can pretty much rely on that opinion.
In response to your concern about contractors low balling- the contract you sign with them is to protect both parties, the contract should state the scope of work to be done and the amount you will be charged with a cap on additional expenses for contingencies.

I'm at the Baird & Warner office on Central Street in Evanston, you should stop by and we can talk. I will be happy to gather facts for you and review them with you to help you make an informed decision.

Jeff Nobleza
Baird & Warner
2926 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201
773 677 5340
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Mon Apr 15, 2013
A GOOD Listing agent can break down the costs and return by showing you comparble sales for both ways. Then you can see what the best route to take is. Tear downs usually sell for less because they are to cash buyers looking for deals unless you are on a body pf water.
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Michele Wils…, Agent, Lake Forest, IL
Mon Apr 15, 2013
This is a very old question. Dan, if you're still out there, what did you eventually do??
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Nancy Kenlon, Agent, Orchard Park, NY
Tue Oct 2, 2007
Any recent vacant land sales in the area or properties purchased for teardown?? Based on your figures of $40k-70K in improvements for a resale of $1.2 million, a 3-6% investment isn't over the top. Ask family and friends for the name of a professional Realtor they've used. I'm sure you can find one that will be able to guide you in estimating a value both ways!
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Laury Macaul…, , Lafayette, CA
Tue Oct 2, 2007
This is a classic case where a real estate professional's advice is needed to guide you to an answer. You would need to find out what the home's likely value is if sold in its present condition (presumably to a contractor is it needs so much work) and what it might fetch after the proposed work. As the previous answer indicated, if you won't net much above the cost of the renovation, why incur the heartache of doing it? As to real estate agents lowballing, you just need to make sure that you get a referral for a good agent whose advice you can trust.
Web Reference:  http://www.laurymacauley.com
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Brett Dunne -…, Agent, Upland, CA
Mon Oct 1, 2007

My first question is IF you update for a cost of 70K, then how much would that increase the value of your home? 100K? 130K? The Return of Investment is key to any improvement. Also, timelines for the need to sell would need to be addressed.

So many other questions need addressing before you can make your final decision.

Remember dirt over time increases in value and homes depreciate. So if you have a bigger lot in a desirable area make sure to do all your due diligent.
Web Reference:  http://www.DayBreakGroup.com
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