How Much to Invest Before Selling a Home

Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® offers tips to help sellers improve their listing

Green-Home-Value-Costs-568x432The prime home buying and selling season is in full swing and many Oklahoma homeowners may be wrestling with the question, “How much should I invest before selling my home?” Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® (OAR) is offering tips on what sellers should consider to help improve their listing.

“There are many things to consider when deciding how much to invest when selling a home,” said Chuck Harris, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® President. “For the most part, the general items to consider updating are interior and exterior paint, flooring, landscaping and blinds. Making these general investments can translate to a higher selling price.”

OAR is offering the following tips:

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Consider staging. You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression. A home stager has expertise in planning and choosing colors, fabrics and furniture, and arranging them all in a way that makes your home look its best. Staging your home can help it sell faster and get the highest price possible.

Forget the allowance. Adding an allowance into the contract to fix existing issues such as stained carpet or repainting is not recommended. Local real estate experts say that in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, buyers want a move-in ready house. If simple items are not complete, it often triggers buyers to wonder what else was not maintained.

Do general updates. Investing in general updates or fixes can heighten interest in the house or ensure your list price is attained. General items to consider include putting a fresh coat of neutral (gray or white) interior paint; updating flooring, especially if it is stained, worn or scratched; cleaning up landscaping, including adding mulch, trimming trees, etc.; and updating your home’s blinds. You do not need to renovate the entire house, but update it enough to increase its inside curb appeal.

Leave major investments for buyer. Of course, each market and house is a unique case, but in general, updates that would require a major investment are better left to the next owner. For example, replacing old windows with energy-efficient ones is a great idea, but not if you won’t be there to reap the benefits of lower energy bills. Additionally, a buyer may have very specific tastes, so it’s not worth splurging on expensive appliances that you’re not using yourself.