Should I Update My Bathroom or Kitchen Before I List?

It was your first home. You raised a family in it. Celebrated holidays in it. And now, after years of comfort and care, it’s time to move on. During the walk through with your Real Estate agent you sit to talk over a cup of coffee in the Kitchen.

“Can I be honest?” She asks.

You swallow hard. “Sure.”

“Your kitchen, it’s a wonderful size, but… It’s a little dated don’t you think?”

As you look around you begin to notice the cracked vinyl flooring you put down 15 years ago. Your eye catches the missing door knob on the dark wood cabinets that came with the house. And then there’s the wallpaper. Your wife put that up right after you moved in. Yeah, it’s been there a little while. Dollar signs start to pop up before your eyes as you think about the cost of a new kitchen.

Take a breath and relax. A new expensive kitchen may not be necessary. Let’s face it, the cost of a decent new kitchen begins at $20,000. And as your Realtor can explain, you might not get all of that back when you sell. So what’s the solution?

There are many projects you can hire someone to do inexpensively or do yourself if you’re handy. Let’s start with the old wallpaper. Removing it and repainting will take a little time and sweat, but can make a huge difference. Speaking of paint, how about those dingy old cabinets. Painting can make a huge impact without breaking the bank. And don’t forget new door and draw knobs while you’re at it.

The next level up is counters and floors. Both will require more experience and more money. How much depends on the choices you make and what you currently have in your home. Your neighborhood and projected listing price will be a big factor in your decision, along with your available budget. Upgrading to wood floors and granite counters may make sense, and like paint, can make a big impact on potential buyers. If you’re looking for the best results for your money, talk to your agent and a professional interior designer before you begin.

While you have them, you should also get their opinion on your bathrooms. Like your kitchen, a full blown remodel can be expensive, and may or may not be a good investment if you’re doing it simply for resale. But, fresh paint and maybe a new vanity will go a long way without breaking the bank. Again, how much you should spend will depend on your homes overall value and current local market conditions. Your Real Estate agent will be your best resource for help.

The bottom line is that a complete remodel of your bath or kitchen for the sole purpose of increasing value truly depends on your location and current market conditions. However, some well thought out cheaper upgrades can significantly increase the speed in which you sell your home and bring you closer to your asking price. Talk to your Licensed Realtor today.