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The Real Estate Corner: Should You Update Your Home Prior to Selling?

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Gary Kuhatschek

I am asked all the time, “Should I update my home prior to selling?” or, “Will I get my money back from updating?” My answer is always the same, “It depends.”

When you consider updating your home, and want to see at least dollar-for-dollar return, then you need to be careful where you spend your money. For example, I think money is best spent in the kitchen and master bath.

This doesn’t mean updating other areas won’t help, but kitchen and master bath are most important.

In the kitchen, replacing the countertops, back splashes, appliances, wallpaper and possibly the flooring will help the most.

This assumes your cabinets are all in good shape. Hopefully, all they need is touch-up or repainting since they are so expensive to replace.

In the master bath, replacing countertops, plumbing fixtures, tiled areas and flooring are in order.

The rest of your home needs to be clean, fresh and well maintained. Hardwood floors are always well received along with new carpet or tile.

Builders in the past used a lot of wallpaper, particularly in the kitchen, breakfast area, formal dining room and baths. If you’ve had a chance to walk through any new homes you might have noticed that wallpaper is rarely used.

If you have a pool, updating will include resurfacing, new tile and possibly re-decking.

I’m not suggesting that any updating be done to your home in order to make it ready for sale. I think in most cases the bigger ticket items should be done at a time when you can enjoy them.

Most important make ready with the sale of your home is that it is clean, fresh and in good repair, but I usually recommend updating items which cost the least and bring the greatest return.

Gary Kuhatschek is a Broker at RE/MAX Cross Country REALTORS located at 1990 Justin Rd. in Highland Village. He can be reached at 972 317-9401 or by e-mail at garyk@rmccdfw.com

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