Renovations before selling a home in Lake Mohawk

Many owners of lake homes, particularly lake homes in Lake Mohawk, struggle with figuring out the best way to make the most amount of money when selling their house.

Though many factors such as market conditions, location of your property, and curb appeal can impact the value of your property, the condition of your home is the most important. Undoubtedly, a home with older kitchens and bathrooms will sell for less than a house that has been recently upgraded.

The big questions is whether or not it’s financially worthwhile to put money into the home just you you can sell it quicker, or for more money. There is no definite answer, this is always a case by case situation. There are a few tips that can be used as guiding principles when deciding how much, if any money you’ll put into a home that you’re considering listing for sale.

It’s in the details.

Imagine yourself as a prospective buyer (you bought this house once, right?) If your house is in decent shape, meaning everything is well kept and looking good – the minor problems might suddenly stick out like a sore thumb. Particularly with lake homes – when many are looking into the property as a second home – it’s nearly always worthwhile for those looking to sell a home to pay for a new paint job. Also, it’s definitely necessary to fix any broker tiles, doors, and light fixtures that are attached to the walls.

It’s incredible how much of a difference a fresh coat of paint and a couple new light fixture covers will make. All of the sudden cracks in walls are gone, and everything looks fresh. (Make sure to choose covers and paint colors that are universally acceptable – no lime green or firehouse red here.)

Remember that details like a cracked mirror, leaky faucets and cracked tiles may not have bothered you during your tenure at the home, but they will all be a turn off to potential home buyers when they come to visit. In these cases, spending money on things that are broker is always worth it – you’re improving the first impression of your home for a relatively low cost. (and these items almost always come back on the inspection report requiring repair anyway.)

The Decision to invest a little more, if needed

Do you have old carpet with wood floors underneath? That’s a case where it may be worth it to rip up the carpet, and pay someone to come in and clean up the hardwood a little bit. If your bathroom still has a gold veined mirror and counter tops that resemble linoleum flooring – also a good investment to bring it up to date in an affordable manner. Don’t go crazy, but unless you’re selling to a disco dance instructor or raving fan of that 70’s show – you’ll be excluding a lot of buyers.

Other quick fixes that bring a lot of bang for the buck are cabinet door changes/refinishes and appliance updates (look for sales during holidays at the big box stores).

Avoid major renovations when possible!

You’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment in most cases if you decide to do a total overhaul. You’ll probably get back 50% of the investment you put in – and could possibly alienate buyers who don’t enjoy the same taste in granite colors, fixtures, etc. It’s best to keep renovations modest – you should talk to an agent to see what’s typical in the area, and how any changes will impact your potential sale.

If you’re unsure of where your home falls in the market(does it need upgrades? What will it sell for? How soon can we move?) Contact us at 973-271-3151, we’ll be happy to help you figure out what the next steps are.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.