Prepping a home to sell

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I agree with ED. My neighbors keep their houses pretty nice and anytime anyone moves just before the new owner comes in you find all the carpet and flooring out on the curb with perfectly good appliances and sometimes even cabinets. It seems like with cheap mortgage rates people have no problem adding another 10 - 50 thousand on to get exactly what they want.
All the ROI for remodels is hype in my opinion propagated by those that can profit from such. I have a perfectly fine kitchen with oak cabinets but everything is not the latest or greatest. If I spent 40 thousand on a kitchen remodel it "might" add 10 thousand to the value of my house. Where you can get great ROI is when you can do the labor mostly yourself for areas of the house that really need it such as an outdated master bath. One of our neighbors bought every conceivable upgrade/option to their house when the neighborhood just started believing the salesperson that they would recover all the costs at resale and to their living experience. They took a huge beating when they sold a few years later getting just a little more than the same model without all the upgrades.
Of course when you sell a house it should be neat, clean, and uncluttered and most everything in good working order. I am not saying that you should not put any money into getting a house ready for sale. Light fixtures are one way to really spruce things up for not much. Fresh paint is well worth while if you can do it yourself if any rooms need it as are some plants/flowers. If you have too much stuff [like me] consider renting some storage space to get the junk out before putting it on the market. Good luck. --- Steve

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You dont want to over improve, but if the kitchen cabinets are shabby nice low cost ones might be in order.
I suggest the original poster go look at a few homes in their existing neighborhood that are for sale, lie and say your checking for a out of state friend:) Check condition price etc, see what others are up to.
You can be checking out realtors while your at it, if your going to use one to sell your home
the more educated you are + better sales!!
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

On the stuff you asked about
1) The attic
Prime w/ Zinsser Cover Stain & then top coat white or off white
http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductId 
2) Kitchen.
Clean & repaint MAYBE new pulls.............keep it simple
3) Wallpaper.
Remove it or leave.
DO NOT PAINT OVER! Gives the impression that you cut corners & brings up the question where else?
This stuff works like magic.....almost fun to use (in a sick sorta way) http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID  http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID  http://www.zinsser.com/product_detail.asp?ProductID
cheers Bob
cheers Bob
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Sure, an expensive kitchen is a poor upgrade, but a few hundred bucks to freshen a house is a sure winner. That has been proven many times.
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Sure, prime it twice. "Ugly is a turn off."

Cleaning. Get rid of clutter. Nothing on the countertop for showings. Make sure everything works. Going further than this will bring ever diminishing returns.

Get it off and repaint. Or, leave it.
If the market truly is hot, any house in a desireable neighbourhood will sell, provided it's priced into the market.
Ours is a hot market right now ... even less desireable homes are drawing six and seven bids and sales are generally for 110 to 120 percent of asking price within a couple of days.
Ken
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For whatever its worth I watched flip this house tonight, as part of the flip renovations they installed a entire new kitchen cost 10 grand. said it would return 20 grand in added value.
flip this house always installs new kitchens because they say they get back more than they spend.
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wrote:

Master baths are next.... IMHO.
Oren "My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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wrote:

If it's on television, it must be true. And universally applicable.
Ken
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If it's on television, it must be true. And universally applicable.
Ken
Theres also flip that house, househunters and a bunch of other shows, ALL indicate you get back more than you spend for a kitchen makeover. so do realtors and friends that have sold homes. Heck I sold one and redid the kitchen with lowes cabinets and new appliances. Nice but not expensive:)
I had a couple realtors look at the home before i remodeled it. then after I was done.Did most of the work myself and some friends. The realtors had ZIP profit potential for whatever advice they offered. What I mean is their buddies werent getting the remodeling job and they knew that from the get go!
It was a LOT of work, spent $12,000 grossed about $30,000 more total. So my 12 grand netted me a 18 grand profit.
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And do those sources of information have any interests involved in the question? Who advertises on those shows? And if it was generally believed that renovation didn't pay off, how many people would watch them? Do the realtors who advise owners to renovate before selling get commissions based only on the pre-renovation value of the house?
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And do those sources of information have any interests involved in the question? Who advertises on those shows? And if it was generally believed that renovation didn't pay off, how many people would watch them? Do the realtors who advise owners to renovate before selling get commissions based only on the pre-renovation value of the house?
Amazing the divergence of opinions on thisa subject. my situation invested 12 grand made a extra 18 grand and the house sold faster.
I suggest anyone considering selling check their local library. its free and see what the sell house books say.
I have a question for the dis believers....
Why is house flipping became so popular today if upgrading doesnt result in more profit:)
Go right ahead sell your house cheap if you want, a hard worker will buy it, fix it up and make a nice profit.... by selling it to someone else for a lot more
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You made a profit. Mazel tov. Not everybody does.

Not all "flipping" involves renovation. In some markets, new properties get flipped even before construction is complete. The flipping mania is (was?) more a product of low interest rates and hot real estate markets than the profitability of renovation.
(BTW, please use proper quoting in your posts.)
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There are 2 issues:
Making a profit
Making a quick sale:
A home needing work is more likely to remain on the market longer, sadly many see their neighbor sell for $X and figure their home is worth that much
Meanwhile the first home is turnkey perfect
Their home needs tons of work.
Then they wonder why its not selling and price cutting begins
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Made an extra 18 compared to what? For you to know that you made an extra 18 you would have to have your house on the market and get several solid offers and use those to assess the highest amount you would get without renovating the kitchen, turn all of those offers down, do the renovation, and then receive an offer from one of those same buyers for 18,000 dollars more AND have that buyer tell you that the reason he offered the extra 18 was because of the renovation.
My theory is that you have absolutely no idea whether the renovation returned one cent more than if you had not done it. The above scenario being so implausible that there would be no way to know one way or the other.
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Made an extra 18 compared to what? For you to know that you made an extra 18 you would have to have your house on the market and get several solid offers and use those to assess the highest amount you would get without renovating the kitchen, turn all of those offers down, do the renovation, and then receive an offer from one of those same buyers for 18,000 dollars more AND have that buyer tell you that the reason he offered the extra 18 was because of the renovation.
My theory is that you have absolutely no idea whether the renovation returned one cent more than if you had not done it. The above scenario being so
implausible that there would be no way to know one way or the other.
---------------------------------------------
Got estimates of sales price from realtor selling as it was. Took their suggestions, general fix up paint new kitchen W/appliances and carpeting small 2 bedroom home, added GFCIs and other minor buyers issues
Had realtors return and put on market at 32 grand more than initial estimate, final sale price 30 grand more than initial estimate.
With my cost of 12 grand my profit was 18 grand:) Plus house sold fast.
Pittsburgh is a slow market that hasnt seen the housing bubble of most of the country, many nice homes sell foir 150 grand, the home I sold was less, so percentage of sales price remodeling really effected the final profit.
It really doesnt matter what anyone makes on their home but I hate to see people lose potential big profit to save a few bucks:(
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Now I see why you put in a 12K kitchen -- seems about right for a 150K house.
It sounds like you're leaving some costs out. You can correct these assumptions, of course, but let's say one were interested in "flipping" a house like the one you describe. Costs you didn't mention are settlement costs -- agent fees to begin with average about 5%, and that's when you buy it and when you sell it; if we adopt the convention that you bear half these costs, that's $7500; add other fees and taxes and you're at least up to $10K between the two transactions. Now let's assume it took you three months to "flip" the house. You're paying the mortgage for three months -- that's another $3000, say. So now we've hit $13,000. What else is missing? What about all the time you put into the house? You probably put a couple hours a week in, between shopping for the kitchen, talking to agents, cleaning, painting, and doing other odd jobs around the house. What about the value of your time? How much do you make an hour? $20? $30? 13 weeks x 2 hours x $25 = $650. Prorated property taxes, utilities for three months, etc. What are we up to? $14K?
Sounds like you made $4K. Not bad, but not the slam-dunk you're portraying. It's probably true that there are some arbitrage between the turn-key crowd and the bottom feeder crowd in general. (From the buyer's side, you can exploit this by buying a fixer-upper.)
Congratulations on your success, but I don't think it's as obvious as you say that the OP should follow your example.
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Now I see why you put in a 12K kitchen -- seems about right for a 150K house.
It sounds like you're leaving some costs out. You can correct these assumptions, of course, but let's say one were interested in "flipping"
a house like the one you describe. Costs you didn't mention are settlement costs -- agent fees to begin with average about 5%, and that's when you buy it and when you sell it; if we adopt the convention
that you bear half these costs, that's $7500; add other fees and taxes and you're at least up to $10K between the two transactions. Now let's
assume it took you three months to "flip" the house. You're paying the
mortgage for three months -- that's another $3000, say. So now we've hit $13,000. What else is missing? What about all the time you put into the house? You probably put a couple hours a week in, between shopping for the kitchen, talking to agents, cleaning, painting, and doing other odd jobs around the house. What about the value of your time? How much do you make an hour? $20? $30? 13 weeks x 2 hours x $25 = $650. Prorated property taxes, utilities for three months, etc. What are we up to? $14K?
Sounds like you made $4K. Not bad, but not the slam-dunk you're portraying. It's probably true that there are some arbitrage between the turn-key crowd and the bottom feeder crowd in general. (From the buyer's side, you can exploit this by buying a fixer-upper.)
Congratulations on your success, but I don't think it's as obvious as you say that the OP should follow your example. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It wasnt a flip, it was my moms who had died. Completely paid for solid home, but needed work. I put a LOT of hours in, but got them all out at the time of sale. I think its closer to what a regular homeowner goes thru. buy house, live in house, use house, abuse house.
now when the time to sell comes what to do?
On another thing the $150K house here would be FAR more in other parts of the country.The pittsburgh areas lost about 1/3 of its population in the last 25 years, so theres little demand for housing, the entire area is depressed. very sad. nice friendly people though, with affordable housing.
My in laws are trying to sell a home in fredrick MD. house just 6 years old, pristine condition, brother in law got job with navy NCIS, like the tv show. Its been on the market since october, price dropped 3 times. housing market has collapsed there, open houses have zero shoppers. they will end up giving away house just to moive on:(
Nearly EVERYONE HERE is a DIY person! So we probably enjoy remodeling and putting our mark on homes.
But 90% of house shoppers want a turnkey home!
By avoiding fixing up a house you are cutting the percentage of shoppers by 90%:(
Hey if you want less $$$ go right ahead, its yours to waste and doesnt effect me in the least!
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com says...

Any number of sources will tell you that you will typically only recover a portion of the cost of a major home renovation when the house is sold - typically around 65-75% of the cost of the renovation.
Yes, it's possible to do a renovation and make a profit on the house sale, but it's hard to figure out how much of the "profit" is a result of the renos, and how much of it is due to other factors (i.e. a rising housing market, etc.).

House flipping is popular today because the real estate market has been rising sharply over the past few years in most markets. Flipping doesn't seem too popular when housing prices are dropping.

Renovations are a pain in the ass to live through. It's one thing to renovate a place that you aren't planning on living in, but the original question in this thread dealt with the person's own home. Why somebody would live through a kitchen renovation just to make a few extra bucks on the home sale is beyond me, but I suppose it takes all kinds...
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On Mon, 27 Feb 2006 03:14:40 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

So "word of mouth" would not be applicable? It wasn't stated as true. Your market may vary.
Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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IMHO, having just bought a house in a hot market a couple years ago (DC), this could work for or against you depending on the part of the market you're in. In DC, as another poster pointed out, people who can pay, say, above the median home price in the market are usually looking for a turn-key house -- everything upgraded and ready to go. OTOH, a market like that has a lot of bottom feeders, like myself, who are desperate to get a house that fits their budget. I was specifically looking for a house with good bones, but old everything, because I wanted my money to go toward paying for the neighborhood. The renovations will come later. The house I bought has the original 1958 everything.
So, I guess I would recommend, as others have, cleaning and painting, stripping the wallpaper, and leaving the structure of the kitchen as is. If you're going to redo the kitchen, you'll have to redo it so it suits the standards of the neighborhood, not do it on the cheap, or the buyer won't value it much. Completely redoing a kitchen for $10K, as seen on TV, in a hot market sounds like a pipe dream. You'd be lucky to buy the *cabinets alone* that an upmarket buyer would expect for that amount.
One other random thought: when shopping for a house, if I saw evidence the homeowner had tried to do repairs or renovations that were beyond his abilities, I generally turned around and walked out. You never know what's hidden behind the walls that the owner tried to do himself and screwed up. If you're going to do anything really serious, hire a professional.
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