When you raise the question ‘what is the most important room to renovate before selling?’ as a subject with family, friends, and even potential sellers, invariably the kitchen and bathroom become the first point of call for discussion around renovations. We know that kitchens and bathrooms can represent a big ‘wow factor’, but in trying to get renovations done in these areas can be very costly or in some cases if done poorly and cheaply, can damage the chances of a best price, quick sale scenario.
The other issue is that you may end up spending loads of money on the kitchen and bathroom and not even get this returned in the sale price. Not only this, but how do you know to match your tastes with any potential buyer’s taste? I have seen some seriously bad renovations with colours that would light up a parade and have had sellers who have renovated before listing with me for sale, with renovations that I knew would impact negatively on the sale price.
We can agree that if you are able to improve these rooms, rather than a full renovation, it may be worthwhile but if not, let’s focus on other areas of the home that can be renovated at a lot less cost and improve your potential sale price. When I was a practicing real estate agent, I recall that buyers were always looking for certain items that they wanted to be part of a home they desired to move into. In more cases than not, they were looking for basic things such as a separate entry, or a separate toilet (even if the toilet was in the laundry) – basic but they were huge selling points.
With new homes, builders focused on presenting great kitchens and bathrooms but if you are presenting a home for sale, then I personally would be inclined to spend time on the living areas, new doors, new windows, and the main bedroom. You have a far better chance of making a property more appealing in these areas at a low cost and people are always looking for a nice living area and strangely, an appealing main bedroom.
Styling your living areas and main bedroom will go a long way towards better presenting a property for sale without major costs and stylists will make sure the presentation is both neutral and exciting at the same time. I also mentioned above changing windows and doors. These are also an inexpensive way of ‘updating’ the age of a property and giving it a new look ‘skin’. You can even do this to bathroom and kitchen doors again at low expense and at the same time improving the look of ‘important’ rooms. Seek advice before you act!
The final point I would like to make is to ensure that you consult a stylist and or a real estate agent before you do anything. A stylist can help you change the look of a home without spending too much beforehand and a real estate agent will most definitely have several people in their database who may very well be prepared to pay the price you want now, without any major changes being made to the property. In any case, both the stylist and real estate agent can at worst can give you free advice and at the same time potentially save you a significant amount of time, money, and angst.