We’ve all heard that kitchens and bathrooms are places within a home you should zero in for upgrades. A number of fixer-upper shows on TV push the narrative that to sell a home fast, you need to spend thousands of dollars on these upgrades. Ranging from $10k to 80k depending on your square footage and taste. But there’s a problem with that, your taste in cabinetry, appliances, and sinks, may not be the taste of someone else who may be interested in buying your home.
“Homeowners selling their home, sometimes overlook the golden rule,” says AJ of AJ Homes And Construction in Sanford, Florida. “You want to wow them the moment they pull up to your home with their real estate agent.” “It’s what they see first that seals the deal.”
Landscaping Seals The Deal
“I’ve been in the remodeling business for years and people who flip homes for a living in Central Florida understand that landscaping gets home buyers to fall in love with their homes, site on scene.”
AJ has seen it from both sides, as someone who has worked with both contractors and sellers directly. “Contractors will try to get you to spend tens of thousands of dollars on projects that may not get the best return on investment.”
AJ further elaborates. “Landscaping with a bed of flowers, manicured trees, and bushes, power washed driveways and touch-up paint around windows and doors can cost a small fraction of any upgraded kitchen or bathroom.”
AJ is right. Seasoned home investors know you have to concentrate on the least expensive upgrades before you factor in more expensive ones.
Don’t Gamble With Expensive Upgrades
Diana Sumpter, a 49-year-old real estate agent in Orlando, says that “flooring is the first thing I notice when I walk into a home, but if the lawn looks as if it needs work, I find myself making excuses for the seller’s landscaping before I can even do an indoor walk through with my client.”
“Upgrading your kitchen is a big gamble.” It’s a great selling point for me but a lot of the time, my clients see potential in making changes to the cabinets and tabletops that reflect their own taste.”
AJ agrees, “If you spend $30k or more upgrading a kitchen and/or bathroom, you may be cutting your margins down to a slim profit.” The real estate market is in a flux right now. If more real estate becomes available within the housing market soon, which may happen because of the home-building frenzy we are seeing now, you may find yourself upside down on your investment.”
Upgrade The Feedback
Diane simplified it even more for us. “If you’re going to make changes to the kitchen, upgrade the appliances. A beautiful refrigerator and stove is pretty much all you need. Let the new homeowner take out a second mortgage to upgrade their new kitchen cabinets.
AJ adds one more piece of advice, “Start with the golden rule, invest from the outside in first, then put your home on the market at your asking price and get feedback.” Let real estate agents know that you’re interested in feedback from potential buyers. Only upgrade what is often mentioned. “You’ll sell your home much faster with a fatter profit margin.”