Should You Renovate Your Atlanta Home Prior to Selling?

Posted by on Friday, August 3rd, 2012 at 3:36pm.


We recently listed a home for sale in Buckhead for a repeat customer who was buying a larger home in their same neighborhood. They purchased the home they were selling through us several years earlier and had made some nice changes, but they were wondering if they should do more renovations prior to selling?

The right answer depends on a number of variables. The right renovations made to a home could increase its value and lead to a quicker sale. If you overdo it, on the other hand, you may actually cut into your profit.

Most often, the kitchen and baths are the dealmakers or breakers for buyers. Renovating these spaces is a good idea, but unless you're going to be there long enough to enjoy the changes yourself, it's wise to resist going overboard. Moving walls to make a kitchen or bath more spacious may make your home more saleable, but changes like these may cut heavily into your profit. It might be tempting to add fancy finishes and extras like a built-in towel warmer, stainless steel appliances, or a whirlpool tub, but again, these are high-cost additions.

Simpler changes might be more profitable

Flip through the photos of a few high end Atlanta luxury homes for sale or visit your local home building centerd for ideas of what's current. Simple upgrades might include repainting with a modern-toned paint color or changing a light fixture, but if your vanity or plumbing fixtures are outdated or worn looking, there are fairly economical models on the market you might want to replace them with.

Basement Spaces

Finishing a basement or adding another bedroom is always a good idea if your family will make use of it, but don't finish your basement just for the sake of selling your home. A basement renovation is a high-cost item. If you do finish it, take the gamble of hiring a professional. A do-it-yourself job often looks like one unless you're a skilled craftsman. Most modern families expect to see a nicely finished and appealing media room that will house their big screen television. You'll make a quicker sale and earn a better profit if your renovation is on par with current trends.

The Outdoors

You can take years off your home by sprucing up the outside walls, doors or trim with fresh paint or even new siding, but again, re-siding a house will bring your spending into the double-digits. Updated front or garage doors will also add instant curb appeal if well-chosen. Any changes should complement the style of the house. Again, if your current outdoor finishes are in reasonably good shape, don't splurge just to try to make more on your sale. You probably won't come out any farther ahead.

A few hundred dollars invested into your lawn or garden will usually reap a good return. Hire a professional lawn service to turn a weedy lawn into a lush one. Colorful flowerbeds will entice buyers, but don't overdo it. Some buyers may be put off by a high maintenance garden they won't have time to keep up. A nicely shaped garden bed with a few well-appointed shrubs and colorful flowers and lots of bark mulch in between to prevent weeds will give your yard a cared-for and low-maintenance look.

If you have a deck, ensure it has been revitalized. A private outdoor living space is highly desirable by most buyers, and can be the icing on the cake of an already desirable home. Even some well-placed lawn furniture you can later take with you can add pizzazz to a mundane-looking yard.

Buyers appreciate the extra care sellers put into preparing their homes for sale. Fresh paint, clean carpets, and simple upgrades will present buyers with a clean slate to build their own dreams on. If you're going to renovate, choose your upgrades wisely so you can break even or turn a profit.

9 Responses to "Should You Renovate Your Atlanta Home Prior to Selling?"

Josh Malone wrote: This is such a tough question cause if you do it wrong you could actually end up worse. Big jobs should be really though though and weighed out. Paint, cosmetics, and cheap jobs are a no-brainer. One thing you might want to consider is revamping a design flaw in your home such as a poorly laid out kitchen which I have seen kill a sellers net as many buyers that really like your home just cannot get past it.

Posted on Saturday, August 4th, 2012 at 1:39pm.

Avi Moyal wrote: This is a great article Tina. We find that sellers are looking to make some upgrades before they put their Atlanta/East Cobb/Buckhead or Marietta home on the market too. If you get some really gorgeous upgrades it really can be the key to getting a home to sell faster. A custom deck with a beautiful stain can get a buyer thinking of all the entertaining they could do:) Also an updated entryway can turn lukewarm into inviting.

Keep up the good work!
Atlanta Curb Appeal

Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2012 at 9:57am.

Debbie Gartner - The Flooring Girl wrote: Great article. I so agree...every situation is different. A lot of it depends on room/condition and how that compares vs. the neighborhood. In my experience and in reading the returns on investment, usually smaller priced items will get you the return and ensure your home sold (e.g. refinishing hardwood floors if they are beat up or painting) vs. remodeling a kitchen.

Historically, and even in this market, you usually get 70% ROI for kitchens, so I agree that it makes sense if you are going to stay in the home for several yrs. If you are about to sell, a whole kitchen remodel is not a good investments. But, sometimes, there are simple things you can do that are less expensive, esp if you have eyesores (e.g. change hardware on cabinets/paint cabinets, replace floor and/or add granite. It's important for any of these items that they are neutral and not taste specific.

Posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 1:09pm.

Chris Adams wrote: I agree with Avi! Today's buyers are very strict when it comes to the upgrades that they want. A marble counter top, full basement, etc. Sellers should really sit and analyze what will make their renovation worth it for both sides. A renovation not thought about could lead to a big financial disaster. Great article Tina!

Posted on Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 9:32pm.

Realhomesestate wrote: I agree with you Tina. Simple renovation can even bring greater chances for your home to be sold quickly in the market. Renovating your property can even increase its value.

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 4:59am.

Nick wrote: Great points Tina! Sellers may be hesitant to spend money on a home they're selling, but often times it can make a huge difference. Professional landscaping greatly enhances curb appeal. As Debbie mentioned, kitchen upgrades normally do well. I've even seen sellers that simply upgrade the kitchen faucet have a positive impact!

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 3:53pm.

Ivan wrote: Hello Tina,

If you want to make your home for sale be competitive in the market then you should need to make some nice renovations that will attract serious buyers and sell your home at the price you want.

Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 2:40am.

Finlay wrote: Wow, fantastic blog format! How long have you been running a blog for?
you made blogging glance easy. The entire look of your website
is magnificent, as well as the content material!

Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012 at 9:39pm.

Ben Koshkin wrote: Yes renovation means a good price for your home, Investing a few dollars can provide you a big profit , great post and all points are considerable.
Ben Koshkin  Managing Partner Texas First Residential Houston LLC

Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 3:19am.

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