We want to sell our Manhattan 1bdrm co-op, but we don't know whether to sell as-is (bathroom and kitchen are dated) or renovate before selling.

Asked by Todd_farley, New York, NY Sat May 19, 2012

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David Randolph’s answer
David Randol…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
There are small things you can do to Stage the place make look good without investing or renovating, believe it or not some people like the outdated look or they would renovate it the way they want anyway. After you invested in renovation. I would have to take a look to really have an idea.
3 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun May 20, 2012
Oftentimes simply doing cosmetic work may make the unit more appealing; fresh paint if necessary, remove/replace any old carpeting; remove/rearrange any bulky furniture, no clutter, sparkling clean bathroom and kitchen, neat and orderly closets, be aware of any odors, etc.
1 vote
Jon-eric Aben, , New York, NY
Sun May 20, 2012
There two reasons not to renovate before selling:
1. You rarely recoup any profit from gut renovations in your selling price.
2. Most people want to build their own kitchens and bathrooms to reflect their own tastes and will take that into account when seeing your outdated kitchen.

The majority of the time comps for your apartment rely on the most recent price per square foot in your building and surrounding buildings. The level of renovations may move the final sale price a few thousand dollars up or down but certainly not the $30k-$50k a renovation would cost you for a kitchen & bath.

Fresh paint and a good clean up of your home (clutter free homes are easier on the eyes) goes very far towards making it more attractive to buyers.

Feel free to contact me for more tips.

Jon-Eric Aben
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
City Sites Real Estate Group
3 West 57th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019

"A referral is the sincerest compliment"
1 vote
Mitchell Hall, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Hi Todd,

Since you didn't renovate the kitchen and bath for you to enjoy while living there why do it for total strangers? Kitchen and baths can easily be replaced. Minor repairs can be fixed, an apartment can be painted, de-cluttered and scrubbed clean. Floors and appliances can be replaced.

In fact, I have sold many apartments in Manhattan with "renovated" or "updated" kitchens and baths including brand new construction with the latest finishes and more times than not the first thing the buyer does is rip out the previous renovation and updates and changes it to their liking.

Savvy buyers know the most important attributes of a Manhattan apartment are things that can't be "updated" renovated" or changed. The size of the apartment, square footage, room count, layout, location, location, location, view, ceiling height, floor and building desirability and amenities.

A seller and their broker in Manhattan can control how the property shows, how it is priced, negotiated, de-personalized, staged and marketed. The price you get is a function of the marketing you choose.

Feel free to contact me to help you sell your coop. I'm happy to provide you with expertise and seasoned insight.


Mitchell Hal, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
1 vote
Alex Aberle, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Mar 25, 2014
Hi Todd,

This is a tricky question that has several answers. The short answer is to sell as-is. You most likely won't recoup the money you spend to renovate the kitchen and the bathroom. Additionally, you're moving out, and your design taste is no longer relevant. I have had clients spend a fortune updating the bathroom before selling, only to have the new owner come in and completely renovate the bathroom again! Definitely heed some suggestions from below, including making sure everything is sparkling clean.

Any minor updates you may be able to make, while not spending a lot of money, may help the apartment to show better. Common tactics include removing all clutter from counters, repainting, rearranging (or temporarily removing) furniture if it could help make a space look larger. A seasoned real estate professional can walk you through the process of helping make the best of an outdated kitchen/bathroom. Overall, it definitely won't be a hindrance when trying to sell.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any other questions about selling/buying/renovating!


Alex Aberle
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Citi Habitats
114 Perry Street
New York, NY 10014

C. 917.691.9093
O. 212.400.2500
E. aaberle@citihabitats.com
0 votes
Elena Ravich,…, Agent, New York City, NY
Mon Jul 8, 2013
Most people ave very visual - it is better to do some at least some cosmetic renovation, to make the apartment look more clean and homier-looking and presentable. An experienced agent would be able to give you good suggestions on what would be the most appropriate level of renovation and what increase in price it would yield. Would be glad to help.

Elena Ravich
Rakita Realty
646 593 7207
0 votes
Kristine DeV…, Agent, NY,
Fri Apr 5, 2013
It all depends, most buyers want a turn key buy, however, some would like to renovate themselves.

But the $ you put in is also a reflection of what you get out.


0 votes
Aadel Mohamed, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Apr 4, 2013
I would recommend leaving it as is, due I the fact tat most buyers end up remodeling homes to their liking.

Thank you.
Thanks for joining the winning team!

Aadel Mohamed

Licensed Real Estate Professional

1674 Broadway
New York, New York 10019
212-380-8879 (Office)
718-415-1115 (Mobile)
646-998-8021 (Fax)
The BEST of the West - Think BLU
0 votes
Emery kessler, Agent, NEW YORK, NJ
Tue Dec 18, 2012
First of all i would find out how much would cost you to renovate your the bathroom and your kitchen, then it is very easy to make a decision. If you can sell your co-op for more money including your renovation than yes, otherwise just stage your place as best you can and sell it.
Best of luck, Emery
0 votes
Elena Ravich,…, Agent, New York City, NY
Thu Oct 11, 2012
You have to ask yourself if you prefer to get less money now (or faster) or put some work and money upfront, deal with contractors, board approvals, and wait longer but get more money. Also, what kind of buyers you think your apartment would appeal to more, the ones that are looking to buy an apartment in a move in condition or those that prefer to do their own renovation. If you decide to do the work, it has to be done really nicely in order to capitalize on it in the future.
0 votes
Brian Moore, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Jul 16, 2012
It really depends on how fast you are looking to have it sold & how much you are willing to invest towards the modernization of the unit. By the time you get permits, REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR, materials, etc...it still may not suit the prospective buyers taste & you will find all the additional costs & time are sometimes quite substantial.
You can sell as-is and this allows you to get the attention it needs as well as giving the prospective buyers a chance to "design their own" apartment after purchase. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance in any regards.

Good luck!
Brian Moore
Kian Realty NYC
0 votes
, ,
Mon May 21, 2012
You have lots of answers here, but what you may want to think about is how quickly you want to sell. If you want to move more quickly so that you can buy before rates start to creep up again, I would sell as-is. You have to take into account the time that it will take to renovate, between ordering cabinets and getting them installed, plus the bathroom, also the cost that might be involved in you moving out of your apartment while the bathroom is being replace.
The other thing to think about is whether you need the money that you will spend on these renovations to put a deposit on contract to buy something else? I have seen buyers of mine going both ways on selling their existing home, probably more often on co-ops than anything else. All you need is the right buyer, at the right price. Take everything else that was already said about getting your apartment into the best shape you can, and keep your fingers crossed.
0 votes
John Peitler, Agent, NY,
Mon May 21, 2012
Make sure that everything is neat and clean before selling. If you need any assistance in selling, please contact me at 212-714-1027 ext 11. My name is John. Thank you and good luck.
0 votes
Ella Chavers, Agent, New York, NY
Mon May 21, 2012
You should paint if the floors are in really bad shap have them done. Clean the windows, remove all clutter, family photos, deep clean the the kitchen and appliances, grout the tiles in the bath and sell as is.
0 votes
Dom Pascual, , New York County, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
It's the fundamental question facing anyone who has ever embarked on a home renovation: How likely am I to get the money back when I sell my house?

There's no easy answer, because what a buyer might be willing to pay depends on many factors — everything from the choice of project to the materials you use to the value of other homes in your neighborhood. But it's important to have some idea of what your improvements might be worth.

Thank you!

Demsker Realty
"Your Experts in NYC Luxury Apartments & Lofts"
304 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
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0 votes
Kristine DeV…, Agent, NY,
Sat May 19, 2012
Totally depends on the buyers. I sold a one bedroom in your zip code first open house that was basically original. I think your area is so sought after that being able to make it your own as a buyer it's a plus. However, some buyrs want a turn key. Making your apartmnt show ready is what is most important. There is no reason to stage an apartment you live in. enless yiu have bought somewhere else and taking your things. There are easy ways to freshen the look and make show ready. I can send you a few examples if you wish. I can even give you a consultation of you space as well as a price point compaired to comps in the area. Tha way I can present where you stand in the market.
Ir would be my pleasure to meet wih you and fo over a game plan.
Kristine DeVine
Web Reference:  http://www.bellmarc.com/dev
0 votes
Janet Nation,…, Agent, Garden City, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
If you were not in the position or had the desire to renovate the bathroom and kitchen prior, doing so now, just before you sell, will be a useless exercise in my opinion. Sure your unit will look nicer, it may even sell quicker but you're not going to make your money back in full and the renovation will be a financial loss. So do other things to make the apartment as marketable as possible by cleaning, decluttering, and a little staging as mentioned below.
0 votes
Tapu, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
I am often asked this question and if there was a diffinitive answer that would be great but there isn't without viewing your apartment. I have had clients that have varried from parents looking for a utilitarian space for their kids to billioniars that no matter how much the seller had spent on the kitchen it was going to get ripped out anyway...I strongly urge you to work with an experienced Agent (like myself - 10 years!) to help guide you through the cost / value of what your options may be...dont wait tho, its a hot market right now but it wont last forever...What ever you decide, good luck on geting the most money for your property; I know I would!

Tapu Naik

Metropolitan Property Group
0 votes
Klara Madlin, Agent, NY,
Sat May 19, 2012
The best thing you can do is clean and declutter. The apartment should be immaculate and inviting. If possible paint (in a neutral color) clean windows. If you have wood floors buff and shine. Repair any little things that need doing. For kitchen and baths you might want to chane lighting. In the bathroom fresh towels and a new shower curtain go a long way. in the kitchen you may want to get a new countertop or appliances.

I have been selling real estate in manhattan for 30 years and I am an accredited home stager. If you do not have a Realtor i would be happy to help you

Klara Madlin
Klara Madlin Real Estate,Inc
0 votes
Olga Alexand…, Agent, NY,
Sat May 19, 2012
The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most important rooms and make or break a sale. Without seeing the apartment an agent can't determine what is needed in this market. Please visit http://www.realdirect.com where sellers can sell without paying 6% commissions, and I will be happy to assist you.
0 votes
Kelly Killian, Agent, Astoria, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Hi Todd:
It is true that a correctly priced renovated apartment will sell faster. But what does that really mean when it comes to renovations? Historically the return on renovations was about 80% and there is discussion now that it may be up to only 50% nationally.

Ignoring the fact that I am a real estate agent, I have been buying and selling my own property for 12 years. I can honestly say, that I don't believe that renovating is worth it unless you can get it really cheap (rarely possible with the co-op insurance and bonding requirements needed) where the discount on the cost equals the discount that buyers will pay for your renovatons. Considering the mess, the fact that you need to act as general contractor, lack of use of those facilities until they are renovated, and the risk that buyers won't like your renovations, you really need to ask if it is worth it to save yourself a couple months of mortgage and maintenance.

Considering the fact that I am a real estate agent, I have had sellers renovate prior to selling (a bath or a kitchen). Did they get the value out of their expense? Nope. They should have just provided a discount to their selling price then go through what they went through vs. not get their money out of it.

Importantly, as inventory is now low in Manhattan (almost 1/2 that of 2009), there is not as much choice as their used to be. As much as many buyers don't want to renovate as they are first time home buyers, they are slowing warming to the fact that they will have to. Particularly now as this may be the last year of low prices and low interest rates. Co-op buyers are much more understanding that they may have to renovate something. As long as your bath and kitchen are functional and in decent shape, the apartment is sellable.

Feel free to call if you would like to discuss further.

Kelly Killian
Vice President
Bond New York
Cel 954-675-9915
0 votes
Jennifer Chi…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Kitchens and baths are what appraisers use for the condition of the apartment. This is why you will see when the appraiser comes in, he/ she will take photos of the kitchen, bath and living. This is the benchmark of what condition your apartment is valued at.

I would assess when you want to sell, versus when you need to sell. I noticed that most buyers nowadays don't want to deal with the hassle of renovating and having to live around the renovations, or have to live in another place while supporting 2 mortgages. This will be an executive decsion based on you.

You will get less money for your unit, if not renovated. But if you renovate, you will be opening up your place to more interested buyers and get a higher price. On the other hand, if you are looking to sell, why put more money into a place that you know you will be selling anyway.

If you need an expert evaluation of your property, I would be more than happy to assist you. I am also a licensed, part time working appraiser in Manhattan to keep my sales skills sharp for my clients, and offer them a higher level of real estate expertise that most other brokers don't come close to.

Jennifer Chiongbian
SVP/ Associate Broker
Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes
Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Sat May 19, 2012
Renovate. Any home that needs updating will either have to be renovated or the price will have to be reduced accordingly. The problem is, if the buyer does the renovations, they are going to want to be paid for their trouble. Today's home buyers want a home in move in condition, if you have the funds it will be far less costly to do the renovations than to lower the price to a place where buyers will consider purchasing the home.
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Hi, Kitchens and baths bring the biggest return. If you decide not to renovate you should have the price reflect the necessary work. Have your agent tell you if the current state of the kitchen and baths is bad or not.

0 votes
Konstantin Z…, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012

This will really depend on the desired outcome. If you want to get as much as possible for your co-op it will make sense to invest in some renovations. If you are of selling it at a discount that as-is is always an option.

If you would like to discuss it further please let me know.

Thank you,

0 votes
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Hi, Todd.
Many of my sellers have asked this same question. The best answer, based upon lots of experience helping Manhattan co-op and condo sellers such as yourself, is that you are better off selling it as is. When you renovate, you do not know if your taste is what the buyer will want. They may have a different aesthetic than you. For example, you may put in light cabinetry, and the buyer wants dark. You may choose a counter-top that you love and they hate. When you sell it as is, the price will be market price for a unit in need of some renovation, and the buyer is then free to remodel to their own taste. It will save you lots of time, money and aggravation. I have not had a seller regret this choice.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
212 381-4268
0 votes
Angela Nelson, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Sat May 19, 2012
Well depending on the conditon of the property, it could definately affect the resale value, many new home buyers find it hard to see potential in an unfurnished space. it may sit on the market longer if it is not up to standard with comparables in the area, a small investment may give a larger return , I'd love to take a look at the apartment, and could definately assist you in listing the property and helping to decide which route would be best and most efficient and profitable for you. Angelan@nestseekers.com or you can call me at 718.791.5427 Best of Luck, look forward to hearing from you,
Licensed Real Estate Associate
Nestseekers International
0 votes
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