Upgrade to SELL
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Upgrade to SELL (by PG [SC]) Oct 3, 2018 6:48 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by David [NC]) Oct 3, 2018 6:59 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by RathdrumGal [ID]) Oct 3, 2018 7:03 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Tom [FL]) Oct 3, 2018 7:06 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by AllyM [NJ]) Oct 3, 2018 7:11 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Deanna [TX]) Oct 3, 2018 7:14 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by S i d [MO]) Oct 3, 2018 7:18 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Richard [MI]) Oct 3, 2018 7:27 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by S i d [MO]) Oct 3, 2018 7:31 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Richard [MI]) Oct 3, 2018 7:33 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by myob [GA]) Oct 3, 2018 7:40 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Dave [MO]) Oct 3, 2018 8:19 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Nicole [PA]) Oct 3, 2018 8:28 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by fred [CA]) Oct 3, 2018 8:36 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by JB [OR]) Oct 3, 2018 8:43 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by JB [OR]) Oct 3, 2018 8:45 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Nicole [PA]) Oct 3, 2018 9:05 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Robert J [CA]) Oct 3, 2018 9:27 AM
       Upgrade to SELL (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Oct 3, 2018 1:33 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by plenty [MO]) Oct 3, 2018 1:37 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by gevans [SC]) Oct 3, 2018 7:16 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by LiveTheDream [AZ]) Oct 3, 2018 10:39 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by PG [SC]) Oct 3, 2018 11:53 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Oct 4, 2018 9:39 PM
       Upgrade to SELL (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Oct 5, 2018 12:13 AM

Upgrade to SELL (by PG [SC]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 6:48 AM

I am selling one of my older 3x2 SFH. Neighborhood so so. A bunch of older homes. Value flat. Appreciation potential zero.

Need a little pop to sell. Refinishing wood floors. Some Painting. Adding a dish washer

Master bed room shower stall is a fiberglass 3x3. It is clean. Looks ok.

Should I change to a 60x32 tiled shower stall.


spend the money on INSULATION. Power bills are high. --184.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by David [NC]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 6:59 AM

make it look new and shiny. Insulation isn't shiny --71.217.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by RathdrumGal [ID]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:03 AM

I would do neither. Instead I would do lipstick upgrades and offer a cash concession to buyers for either a tile shower or insulation. Use it as a marketing ploy ;; "Buy this house and get cash back!". --98.146.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:06 AM

Yes it's hard when the market is flat to spend a dollar on the unit.

However, so there are no surprises for you when a buyer does sign a purchase agreement during the home inspection period to check out the property. Consider getting a pre-inspection this will help you to determine if there are any hidden issues that many not be a concern to you at this point but will be a concern to a buyer. The pre inspection will give you a list of things to do on the property.

Refresh the ceiling and walls, trim and doors with fresh paint. Any dated floor covering especially worn carpet replace it. Not so sure spending $300 to $500 on a dishwasher will get you more money compared to painting or replacing worn flooring such as worn lino or dated lino. --99.56.xx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:11 AM

New fridge and stove if they look seedy. What kind of heat? How's the kitchen floor? Cabinets? --73.178.xxx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by Deanna [TX]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:14 AM

Why not take a couple hundred or so and do fall flowers out front in some nice pots, if your weather will stay above freezing. Everyone likes plants, even if hardly anyone can keep them alive and maintained themselves. :P

I'd also look at the light fixtures. Switching out a few boring light fixtures for something with character but not too taste-specific is always useful. Ceiling fans are always appreciated here, if you don't have them already. --166.137.xxx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:18 AM

REALTOR stats don't lie.... the most cost effective selling upgrades are:

1) Paint - neutral color. Light grey is #1 popular now.

2) Minimal landscaping - lawn cut, bushes & trees trimmed

3) Fresh smell - no one likes a stinky house

Pretty much everything else will be a money LOSER, even if the house sells for more. Example, you'll spend $10,000 in upgrades and the house sells for $7,000 more. Net loss of $3,000.

You'll never be able to guess what Buyers want accurately enough. There are some general rules to follow (i.e. keep all rooms light and bright, hard surfaces favored over carpet), but often even those are hard to nail down cost-effectively. What shade of stain for hardwoods? How wide of a plank? Do all rooms hardwood or just family/kitchen/dining? Any place where tile would be better?

It's very hard to get it all "right" and get your money back. If it's not going to boost your profits at least 10%, why bother with extra time before listing and hassle?

Saw someone sell a house recently where the put brand new carpet in all the bedrooms. Sellers bought it and immediately tore out the carpet and put in hardwoods. The $3000 spend on carpet not only received no extra value, but no doubt the buyers knew they'd have to spend $500-$1000 ripping it all out and lowered their offer accordingly. It could just as easily have gone the opposite direction, though.

Don't try to second guess buyers. Go with what the data says works. --173.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:27 AM

Agree with Sid. A lower price will make it sell faster than expensive upgrades.

Unless a buyer just loves what you've done, you're wasting money on improvements.

Most buyers will pound you on your upgrades. You put in carpet, they want wood. You put in white appliances, they want black. It's a negotiation technique. They may love what you did but will say differently to get a discount. --23.121.xx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:31 AM

One more idea that's cheap, quick, and adds some "pop"...

Light switches and electric outlet covers. Choose a color that will compliment and slightly contrast the walls. If you do light gray walls, a nice white cover looks great. No chipped, broken, stained, or "old" looking electric covers. They only cost about $0.50 each and take a minute to install. Do the whole house for less than $20 and an hour's time.

If the existing hardwoods are in terrible condition, go ahead and refinish the entry area. Most Buyers make up their mind if something is a "NO GO" within 7 seconds of entering the house. They'll forgive a bed room floor in the back of the house that isn't quite right ("it's okay honey, we can just throw a rug over it for now"), but the entry way will need to be looking good. So maybe refinish 200-300 sq ft vs. 1500? --173.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:33 AM

The only way to make big money on major improvements is to buy a place for 50 percent or more off, fix and flip it. Then you might make a profit on improvements. Otherwise you generally break even at best.

One other possible way is if you are a contractor and can buy materials at wholesale and do the work at wholesale cost.

Very seldom can you go into a deal and pay retail contractors prices for all upgrades and repairs and make out well. --23.121.xx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:40 AM

In 01 I brought a fairly new house that had "structure" damage. A delivery truck backed down the driveway and the roof of the truck cracked the wall in the upstairs front bedroom. They called that structure damage?? -- Sheetrock was broken. Pulled out and put up new Sheetrock- painted wall- yanked out dishwasher and stove and put in new ones. Brought for 120K sold in 6 weeks (closed) for 160K. Went out and brought my first new car with that profit. 2001 Chrysler Prowler-- still have the car.

First and only spec house ever purchased but with a purpose in mind. --99.103.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by Dave [MO]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 8:19 AM

PG, if the home is in an older neighborhood. Here's what I would do; paint, I like Worldly gray (SW) and know for a fact this has sold houses for me, the husband told me. Wife wanted house :) work with the shower you have, clean and make shine. my painter takes a can of white spay paint and hits the old receipts and we replace covers, cheap but looks new. Focus on the kitchen and bath. I wouldn't insulate yet, bills could be high because some people adjust the thermostat to high or to low. Insulation will not get you a big return on the money. --108.243.xxx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 8:28 AM

I like Sid's ideas (although I hate the phrase "make it pop" (smiley face inserted) used on so many of the tv flipping shows.

I am actually fighting with a family member right now who thinks putting a $30,000 kitchen and a $20,000 new heating system in the house will bring him more $$$. This is a spotless house what is 15 years old. NOTHING wrong with what is there except no granite, stainless steel appliances, etc. --72.70.xxx.x

Upgrade to SELL (by fred [CA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 8:36 AM

Let's face it: no matter what you put in, it will not be recognized and appreciated by buyers looking for bargains in a soft market.

Instead of a dishwasher, spruce up your house's curb appeal: exterior power wash to remove dust, spider webs, etc, wash windows in and out, then a fresh coat of paint. Add some flowers in pots, which you can remove after escrow opens.

Give "drive by" realtors a reason to stop, park and look.

Inside, make it look easy to walk into, fresh paint, odor free, clean.

And the most important: I don't believe in "cash back", rebates and allowances, but I do believe in pricing the house correctly and competitively. Market price or a few hundreds less will draw more attention than a new shower. --99.59.x.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 8:43 AM

Focus on curb appeal. It might be worthwhile to get the opinion of a trusted RE agent to walk through and give his/her opinion.

I say trusted because some of them will tell you to spend thousands and the return is terrible. The only one who comes out good is the agent who's commission is based on the somewhat better selling price.

If you don't feel like involving an agent right now, ask a couple of women to give you their honest opinions of what they would do if they were selling to make it more desirable. --24.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 8:45 AM

LOL. I see while I was typing Fred beat me to it. --24.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 9:05 AM

if you are using a realtor, bump their commission up 1% .... that will get them to push traffic towards your house --72.70.xxx.x

Upgrade to SELL (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 9:27 AM

When I sold a single family house at the end of last year, I got the help from several Realtors. Some were men and many were women. Everything the men suggested was over priced and unnecessary. But one lady Realtor who was expert in my area gave me dead on advice. I followed most of her advice and gave her my listing. It sold in less than 30 days, escrow closed within 2 months.

Most everyone said I needed to upgrade the kitchen and install A granite counter top. My lady realtor said don't waste my money, new appliances and hardware with a nice paint job will do. But instead remove the cottage cheese ceiling, smooth it out and a nice interior paint job is a better use for the funds.

This is only one example.

Also I went into 30 homes for sale near to my rental and saw what others had done to liven up their properties. It was easy to see the results. Out of the 30 homes, only 10 sold and those were the ones with a lower price and simple upgrades, not the total redone homes at rocket high prices.

Good luck. --47.156.xx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 1:33 PM

Make it neat, make it show nicely, and make it the cheapest house in it's class on the market in your neighborhood. That's all there is to it. A lower price speaks louder than a granite countertop. Also make sure the front door opens and shuts effortlessly and that the hardware works easily and flawlessly.

Mow it, raise canopies on bushes and trees, powerwash house, sidewalk and driveway. Plant sign in yard. --108.69.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 1:37 PM

I would renember the first thing they touch is the front screen door and front door handle. Make it brass and sparkly clean and tighty! Curb appeal goes along long way! --99.203.xx.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by gevans [SC]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 7:16 PM

Great suggestions! I will add: update all your drawer pulls and knobs to brushed nickel. I did the same for the light fixtures. Remove all the bright brass in particular... it really dates the place.

Cheap and effective. Get your pulls from Amazon. Much cheaper than local. --98.122.x.xx

Upgrade to SELL (by LiveTheDream [AZ]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 10:39 PM

Everything depends on price point. Most buyers want a turn key, move in ready property. If it's a fixer they want to give you 10 cents on the dollar. Remember the old adage, buy the worst house on the best block. Then make it "almost" the best house on the best block - but don't over do it.

Don't bother with insulation - let the buyer do that. A stall shower in a master is pretty low end. I have one at my office and that's a good place for it. The buyer, instead of thinking what a great place, is thinking, "How much can I low ball for having to redo the bath?"

When they drive up I want a buyer to say, "Wow! What a nice house, let's look inside." That means fresh plantings, no dead grass, pressure wash as needed. Fresh flowers. New exterior paint, depending on price and need. How does the roof look from the street?

When they reach the front door dazzle them with the entry. "Wow! What a nice door." Fresh painted, NEW entry handle, not just a knob and deadbolt. Make sure everything in the entry is clean, bright, spotless or freshly painted. No grime in the corners, new "welcome mat." Make sure the door jambs are fresh and spotless - no paint on the striker plates, hinges, etc. I usually replace all hinges, door handles (with lever type) elect sockets and covers, etc. New digital thermostat.

I like "feng-shui." I think it helps with the overall feel of a property. I use "fire and ice" a lot. I love fire and water features. I also use mirrors quite a bit. I have a couple of big leaning mirrors that can really open up a room. Little staging things can make a huge difference.

Give the back yard a "vacation retreat" feel. Fresh plants. Stage with a nice BBQ maybe a plug in water fountain or fire table. I once inherited a dog house on a property. Kind of for fun we renovated it with scrap and expanded it into a "dog resort" with a little porch, some fake flowers and a set of stainless food bowls built into the porch. It got more interest than the actual house, and of course a "dog family" bought it.

Flooring - The trend out west (in every open house I go to) is to tile throughout or carpet only the bedrooms. My own house is engineered walnut flooring with runners and rugs and tile in the baths and kitchen. Carpet in bedrooms is OK but throughout these days may be a negative.

Kitchens and master baths sell houses. Again per price point. Granite or quartz counters are almost a requirement in many areas regardless of the price point. Updating a bath can run anywhere from $500 to sky's the limit. A new cabinet, sink, and "cool" looking faucet can make a big difference. One of the first things I do in nearly every house is replace the ugly corroded standard chrome faucet with a commercial spring type in stainless.

Appliances - when I was a kid only stupid people bought houses with appliances included. Now they want everything bundled in their loan - not realizing they will pay for their refrigerator for the next 30 years. In every flip I've done we included new appliances per the price point. In SoCal flips we used Viking or Sub-Zero. It's a status symbol. When I flipped some trailers a few years back I went to the used appliance place and bought nice, white Kenmore sets for about $100 each piece.

It all depends on what you can get out of the property. Sometimes it's better to just unload and move on. --47.216.xx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by PG [SC]) Posted on: Oct 3, 2018 11:53 PM

THANKS for all the GREAT COMMENTS. Sorry I did not respond sooner I had a nasty eviction I had to do. --184.20.xxx.xxx

Upgrade to SELL (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Oct 4, 2018 9:39 PM


97% of buyers START online with PHOTOS, so your house MUST look great online.

Even in a flat market you will have to invest to sell or it will simply sit there.

Buyers want PERFECTION and have NO IMAGINATION. If it's worn or outdated freshen it. No repairs such as cracked window or loose anything.

Buyers buy with their EYES. Cannot see insulation but CAN see grey walls, white trim, Stainless appliances (used is OK and stainless is getting cheaper).

Curb appeal MUST be perfect AND inviting both for the online photos and real life drive bys.

Brushed silver lights, cabinet handles, and a Jump Back Loretta ceiling fan in the front room.

ALl this for a few hundred bucks.

Tiny tip: we provide a range but not the fridge. Helps the kitchen look bigger. Will supply one if they ask.

Another: EVERY home we have sold in the past XX years has required $3000 from the seller to pay the buyer's pre-paid closing costs. Plan on it.

Good luck!



Upgrade to SELL (by NC INVESTOR [NC]) Posted on: Oct 5, 2018 12:13 AM

Most of the comments here are spot on. But before you decide which upgrades, if any, you need to research your market.

Go to Zillow and put in your property address and select buy. Use the drop down option for recently sold and current listings. Look at the interior pictures to see what is selling and what upgrades they did. Also look at how many days it took to sell and the percentage of the sold to list price. Also look at the current listings and see how long they've been on the market and are not under contract. Stay within .5 to 1 mile of your location. This is your competition and will tell you what you need to do and how to price the property.

Figure out what it would cost for you to upgrade to the highest priced sold property vs the lowest priced sold. Decide if the time, effort and cost to upgrade beyond the lowest priced sold property will provide a greater ROI and by what amount vs cost. That will tell you what you need to do and will establish your renovation budget.

The most important things for selling are: curb appeal - power wash the exterior including the roof, downspouts and gutters, front door painted and shutters if you have them, lawn mowed and edged, well kept flower beds and prune/trim bushes and trees. Kitchens followed by baths are the two most critical rooms in a house. Put in new bath hardware accessories and light fixtures and faucets and shower heads. They update the look and make it feel really clean and it is very inexpensive. Buyers love stark white bathrooms including the vanity.

Fresh paint is a must. That includes closets, trim, ceilings... everything. Good lighting. Remove anything that looks worn or needs to be repaired. If you're not changing the flooring have it professionally cleaned. If you have an HVAC system have it professionally tuned up and cleaned. HVAC returns and vents either scrub and paint or replace them. Replace dated receptacles and replace all light switch covers. Window coverings are optional. Personally I remove all of them. Just make sure the windows are spotless and remove the screens unless they are perfect. New hardware on all cabinets. This is your very bare minimum.

Depending on the competition the kitchen should be where you spend the most money. Most places today include all appliances. Brad is right about used SS. Depending on the cabinets you should consider painting them and an inexpensive but effective update is refinishing countertops with high gloss epoxy. If the kitchen is small stark white makes it look larger and has become very popular again.

Based on your description you are looking for first time buyers which means FHA mtg. Home inspections can be a killer since FHA has stricter requirements than other mortgages. You don't want a long list of needed repairs so go over your mechanical items to be sure they are in proper working condition and FHA is especially fanatical about windows, siding, HW heaters and roofs.

Hire a professional RE photographer. You can get 10 to 15 pictures for about $125. That will be one of the best investments you can make.

Price the property realistically. Over priced will just sit and too many price reductions becomes a red flag for buyers.

Good luck! --98.121.xxx.xxx

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