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Should You Improve Your House or Sell it “As Is”?

This is one question that can make a huge difference. Can you sell a house as is? The short answer is, “Yes!” Although, always disclose to prospective buyers if major improvements are needed and then consider making some minor improvements in order to sell your home as quickly as possible and obtain the highest possible price. After all, many major improvements can cost thousands of dollars and it is easy to run the risk of over-improving on a home. Over improving happens when a seller makes repairs to a home, the cost of which, will not be recovered in the sale price of the home. Remember, any improvement is an unnecessary investment if it does not help to increase the sale price of a home or help to sell a property that would otherwise be difficult to sell. For example, if a home is in dire need of a specific costly repair (such as a roof that is falling apart), it might be difficult to avoid performing the repair, especially in a down market where there is a significant number of competing properties on the market. However, there is power in combining minor repairs with simple staging techniques and believe me, these minor home improvements can make the world of difference when it comes to making the sale.

To Improve or Not to Improve?
Many times Sellers ask how they can know whether or not it is a good idea to make major improvements to sell a home. In general in a market in which real estate values are down and there is a large inventory of homes on the market, approach major improvements judiciously and avoid them if possible. Why? because the chances that you will benefit from making these improvements are slim. For instance if a property is upside down and a home owner is selling due to financial distress, it does not make sense for the person to attempt to raise thousands of dollars to replace the back yard deck. Too many times, I have seen a homeowner take measures to create a beautiful home for prospective Buyers by investing in replacing the carpet or cabinetry only to have the new buyer move in and have the carpet removed and replaced with hardwood floors or have the kitchen completely remodeled to suit their taste. Remember, what looks good to you may or may not be the look that the person buying your home has in mind. Just, do your best to present a beautiful home to prospective Buyers that is in good condition.

How You Can Use Staging to Sell a House As Is
Instead of making major improvements, consider investing your time and a little bit of money in minor repairs and staging. The following minor improvements can make a big difference:

  • Repainting: This is one of the most cost efficient improvements that you can make. A freshly painted home looks fresh, clean and inviting.
  • Improve Outside Lighting:
  • Remove carpeting if it is covering hardwood floors. Do you have hardwood floors that are in great shape but covered by carpet? Pull up the carpet and have the floors polished. Hardwood floors are always more desirable than carpeted floors. If a home buyer would like to have carpet, chances are they would like carpet that is new and that they can select to suit their taste.
  • Tiling: If you have broken or cracked tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, replace them.
  • Remove Clutter: Try to keep furniture pieces to a minimum. If you are living in the home while it is being sold, try to place as many items as possible in storage
  • Accents: use colorful vases, flowers, a fruit bowl, or art to accentuate areas of the home

In summary, Can you sell your house as is? Yes. As long as you are upfront with potential buyers about what work needs to be done and take measures to help buyers see the potential your home has. You can often do this by making minor repairs and staging.

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