Changes in the Housing Market

Home Renovations No Longer Drive Sales

With the real estate market booming, home sellers hoping to get top dollar for their property may think they have to pour thousands of dollars into upgrades and renovations. But that may not be the case, depending on the location and condition of the home.

Without a doubt, staging a home is important, even in an environment with a low inventory of available houses for sale. First impressions are everything in real estate, and updated homes tend to compete better against new construction. Still, staging a home does not have to require a complete overhaul, the way it did in the past.

Location Matters

Location plays a big role in whether a home seller needs to spend money on upgrades. In some markets where inventory is available, buyers will pay a premium if a home is upgraded and move-in ready. But upgrades are not necessarily required in markets where inventory is extremely tight. In markets with very little inventory, there are typically bidding wars on any homes that go on the market—even homes which have not been upgraded recently.

For homes that will benefit from upgrades, consider choosing one of the top home improvement projects to increase a home’s value. Projects which improve curb appeal tend to be most beneficial to sellers.

Some Brokers Will Front Money for Upgrades

With homes commanding premiums in sales, some real estate brokers are willing to pay for the upgrades if it means they can list the property sooner. The brokers get paid back once the sale is complete. They typically do not charge any interest or fees on these loans. For homeowners who do not want to deal with upgrading their home, several online services will buy houses as-is. These online real estate companies resell the properties after making repairs and upgrades.

Without a doubt it is a seller’s market, but what exactly that means depends on a home’s location and other factors. Unless a property is among the only ones available, some upgrades may be in order, but generally these projects do not have to break the bank.

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ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

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