Renovating your apartment can be a massive headache and expense, but when it comes time to sell your apartment, it could add more value than what you spent to update it. So if you have a dated part of your apartment, you could be weighing the pros and cons of spending the money and effort of overseeing renovations versus lowering your listing price when putting your home on the market.
We understand it can be as equally frustrating to have to renovate a home you plan to leave as it is not getting the selling price you want. Both scenarios have pros and cons, so we’ve done some research to help guide you in making the best decision for you.
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What sells apartments?
Before you start any renovations, it’s essential to know what sells apartments versus what buyers care less about.
The two rooms that prospective buyers inspect and criticize the most are the kitchen and master bathroom. If these two rooms are dated, have a wild color only you will like, or the room is decaying, it’s probably worth investing money in updating them, and you’ll likely earn it back at the sale price.
A sparkling, modern kitchen will not only drastically increase the value of your home, but it will likely speed up how quickly your home will sell. The average kitchen renovation can have a return on investment of nearly 54 percent!
As for your other rooms, some decluttering, staging, and a fresh coat of paint should do the trick. If you feel your bathroom and kitchen are modern, but it’s the other rooms that are lacking, you can probably get away with just lowering the price a little.
What if I don’t want to do a renovation?
If you don’t want to spend the time or money renovating your apartment, it’s essential to price your listing right the first time. Look at other properties in your area and see what they are going for with and without updated kitchens and bathrooms. Then, ask your real estate agent for advice.
Not pricing your home right the first time can cause it to sit on the market longer than you want and even selling for less. Come appraisal time, the true value of your home will come out anyway.
Even if you hate the idea of a renovation, take a look into your budget and finances. Then, see what your remaining mortgage payment is. If you need a higher sale price to help pay off the remainder of your mortgage, the renovation can be worth it in the long run.
What if I can’t afford a renovation?
If you don’t have enough cash on hand to finance a home renovation, but want to do one, you do have a few options.
You could consider a Home Equity Line of Credit. This draws against the value of your home and gives you a lump sum of cash to work with. There is a draw period and repayment period, but since you plan to sell, you should be able to repay this in time.
You could also consider a Home Equity Loan, which comes with a low-interest rate. Once you sell your home, you could pay back the loan in full.
There’s also the option of putting the renovation on a credit card. Some credit cards will give you cashback, or offer 0% interest or APR for a set amount of time, making it easier for you to finance the renovation.
How will I know if the new buyer will like the renovation?
It can be daunting to choose cabinet fixtures for someone you do not know.
Do some research into listings that are selling in your neighborhood and see what style the kitchens and bathrooms are. Try to mimic that when redoing yours, and your home should sell quickly.
But no need to overdo it. While you want to spruce up these rooms if you decide to spend tens of thousands of dollars on granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, you may be paying more than you’ll be getting back come sale time.
What can I do to spruce up the kitchen?
As the saying goes, the kitchen is the heart of the home. So you want to make buyers love yours.
If you’re on a tight renovation budget, consider painting the cabinets and adding some new hardware.
If you have a more flexible budget, consider purchasing new stainless steel appliances and changing out the countertops and flooring.
What can I do to spruce up the bathroom?
If you can’t do a total gut job of your dated bathroom, update the faucets and lighting. It will give your bathroom a much-needed facelift. Even a fancy towel rack will make it seem as if your bathroom is straight out of a Pinterest photo.
You can also make space seem brighter and larger with new mirrors. Buyers want their bathrooms to feel like a spa.
Regardless of your budget, keeping your bathroom clean is essential. Do a deep-clean of the tile and grout. Then, organize the medicine cabinets — because buyers open every cabinet and closet!
Where should I start?
This can be a lot of information, and understandably can be overwhelming.
If you decide to renovate, first talk to your real estate agent and make sure your plans and their expertise are aligned on what you need to update to increase sale value. Your agent can also give you tips on the types of fixtures and appliances to buy to help appease buyers.
If you’re going to need a loan or line of credit, talk to the bank next.
When selecting a contractor, there are sites such as Yelp or Home Advisor that can help you find contractors with good reviews. You can also ask your agent and neighbors for recommendations of trusted contractors.
If you decide not to renovate, talk to your agent about the right price and marketing to get your apartment to sell quickly.