Jim Clark Real Estate Calabasas CA

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

Generally, there two main reasons for pursuing home improvement projects:

Life-Quality Home Improvements

You want some new features in a home to improve your family’s quality of life, but you don’t want to leave your current home.

Value-Based Home Improvements

You want to make your home more marketable to maximize return (or minimize loss) and speed up the sale process.

In the right market conditions, a project might fit into both categories. Other times, the two approaches will conflict:

Life-Quality Home Improvements

In situation A, the project is perceived as a necessary or worthwhile improvement to your family’s lifestyle. Say you have two or more children or teenagers in the family, and the morning bathroom situation is difficult to manage with just one bathroom. It doesn’t matter if an additional bath generates a 150 percent return on investment or actually decreases the value of the home. Although, the latter of these situations is more unlikely, unless the redesign was not done professionally or does not look good to other buyers. In short, to most the actual economic impact just doesn’t matter to the family that needs the extra bathroom. If you have the money for a new bath and you don’t want to move, you add the bath. It’s that simple.

Perhaps you’re a barbecue fanatic and the only key feature missing from the dream home you’ve just purchased is a spacious backyard patio with a built-in gas grill with custom-built flagstone and river rock. Again, return on investment just isn’t going to be a critical question. The improvement becomes more comparable to purchasing a depreciating asset that you feel is a necessity for your lifestyle, such as an automobile. When the barbecue aficionado adds a deluxe patio to a home that’s already the most expensive property in the neighborhood – perhaps destroying the entire backyard in the process – there’s a good chance that very little of the cost will be recouped in a subsequent sale.

An even better example might be a pool. If you’re a person who simply has to have one- fine. Put in a pool. But it’s probably worth checking with a real estate professional first, just to make sure you fully understand that adding the pool might actually lessen the property’s value and make it more difficult to sell should you later decide to move. Although this is not always the case, it is the reality in some markets.

Considering all of these situations, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid doing it, especially if you’re planning to live in the home for the rest of your life. It just means it’s worth knowing the impacts at the front end of the costs and sale– even if they’re not going to deter you from pursuing the project.

Value-Based Home Improvements

The “type-B” home improvement project is pursued primarily to increase the property’s overall sale value. In turn, these types of improvements are often designed to increase your return on investment. A good real estate agent can advise you of possible improvements that will attract more potential buyers and also pay for themselves either through increasing the overall home value or through shortening the time it takes to sell the home.

Here we’re typically talking about projects such as: painting – either because the existing paint is in bad shape or is an unusual color; replacing tile and carpets – again because of age, color or style; repairing or resurfacing a cracked driveway or sidewalk; refacing kitchen cabinets; and trimming or removing overgrown or unattractive landscaping.

While spending several thousand dollars on your home right before you sell it might not sound very appealing, it’s not uncommon for the right types of home improvements to more than pay for itself in an overall higher home selling price and shorter marketing time to sell your home.

As your professional realtor, I am here to help consult with you and to help share with you what improvements will make your home more marketable in comparison to similar properties that are now – or recently have been – on the market in your area.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to completely remodel your home before you sell, but it is good to get in contact with a real estate professional that can help understand your goals and help achieve them. I can help you navigate all the decisions and help you optimize your home’s selling value prior to listing on the market. If you’ve got a question, just give me a call.