Should You Renovate Your Home Before Selling?

Should You Renovate Your Home Before Selling?

Residential News » Q & A with Dottie Herman | By Dottie Herman | November 21, 2014 9:55 AM ET

Q & A with Dottie Herman
Question: I have lived in my home for 20+ years and we are now ready to sell. We love our home, but feel others may feel it is outdated. Should we invest in some renovations, or list it first and see what the response is?
A: While today's Buyers generally prefer to buy homes that have renovated Kitchens and Baths, doing a renovation may be costly. Some helpful steps in  your decision making process would be to obtain estimates of what the actual costs will be, review the prices of homes currently for sale in your area to ascertain their condition, and most importantly, speak to a real estate professional specializing in your neighborhood.
Question: I am looking to rent an apartment for my daughter in NYC- she recently got her masters and now has a job near Manhattan. She can't afford the apartment herself, so my husband and I are going to help her with the payments. They are saying we also have to submit our own application and both be approved separately. Is that standard?
A: First time renters have little or no Credit History and Landlords who permit Guarantors do tend to require financial disclosure so that they have the comfort level of knowing that in the event of a default, the Guarantor(s) are financially able to cover the rent.
Question: Is there an ideal month to list your home? Some of my friends say that it should go around the school calendar, because if they have young children they want to be in before school begins. Others say it should be warm out, that homes sell better in warm weather. Is there any truth to these theories?
A: Selling homes in today's market environment generally has no real season, especially in regions where inventory levels are low. In the case of families with school age children, they generally do start their search with school start dates on their time line. The sooner you bring your home to market, generally the better, as strict lending standards can take time, and if your prospects are applying for a mortgage, getting the buyers in as soon as you can will move you closer to the Closing Table.
Question: We are going to put our home on the market and decided to meet a few realtors before listing with one of them. They had two very different list prices. They were about 100K apart and I find that very strange. Of course we want the most money for our home, however, we are wondering if overpricing is a strategy this agent is using to get our listing and then ultimately we will have to take a lower price. What do you recommend we do?
A: To ascertain pricing in real time, do some research on-line. In this way you will have an opportunity to see the homes comparable to yours, in size, condition and location. Pricing is key, and properties that are over-priced in today's market environment take longer to sell.
Question: Is it a good or bad idea to look for another home before my current home is sold?
A: It's a good idea to be moving forward and getting out there to see your options. If you are lucky enough to find something you like quickly, and need the proceeds of the sale of your current home to buy the new one, you may be able to arrange a delayed Closing (consult with a real estate attorney). As market conditions are favorable, pricing your current home correctly and working with a real estate professional should expedite the selling process.

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