Should You Spruce Up Your Unit Before Selling It? Does a Renovation Help Boost Your Asking Price?

When it comes to an upgrade, it depends on the seller, the buyer and the apartment (iStock).

Picture this: You’ve lived in your apartment for 15 years and now you’re ready to move.  You love the kitchen you put in when you moved in,  but now it’s a little tired.  

So what do you do?  Do you spend the money to renovate and offer your apartment with a spanking new, ready–to-use kitchen. Or do you mark down the price a little and let the buyer install their own dream kitchen?

Upgrade or Not?

It depends on the seller, the buyer and the apartment.  Dorothy Somekh, an associate broker with Halstead Property, a major New York City home broker, says, “Anything that’s old, sellers always seem to renovate to try to get a higher price.  It didn’t used to be that way.  People used to sell “as-is” [and] buyers liked to do their own renovations. But now sellers feel they will get a higher price if they renovate.”

But will they?  The Today show posted an online article on this subject and found that, “while kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of a home, you won’t get a large return on investment if you do a major renovation just before selling.  Minor renovations, on the other hand, may help you sell your home for a higher price. New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer.”

Somehk confirms these assertions made by Today.  “I think you would get about the same amount, or a little more,” she says.  “I don’t know if you would get much more because some buyers like to do their own renovations.  But, sellers feel they will get more and that’s why they do it.  They usually will get back at least what they put in.”  

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