We’ve lived in our current home for 20 years and have kept up with maintenance but haven’t done much else – how much remodeling do we really have to do before putting it on the market?
You’ve lived in your home long enough that you have probably “used up” a lot of the value that you bought with your home and will need to restore some of that value if you hope to protect your original investment.
Carpeting is a really good example. I’m sure you are aware that colored carpeting must be replaced with neutrals, but even the most neutral of carpets should be replaced if they are 20 years old. After 20 years your carpets will have had more than a lifetime of use and the value that might have been there when you bought the home is long gone. In fact, the old carpets might even have a negative impact on price, even if there are not visible stains. The buyers will assume that they need to be replaced and will deduct their view of what that will cost from what they are willing to pay you for the home. Several of the “big box” stores have affordable neutral carpets in stock for quick delivery and installation, making this aspect of prepping a home for market reasonably straightforward.
You should also consider whether you have used up all of the realistic useful life that might have remained in your mechanicals. For example, if you haven’t replaced the water heater in 12 or more years, you have used up all of its value – it has outlived its expected useful life. It would probably be a good idea to replace it with a new water heater. The same can be said for furnaces – while their useful life is longer than a hot water heater, if its pushing past 20 years old, buyers are not going to look favorably on it. In fact, as you can imagine, this thought process can be applied to anything with a predictable useful life, such as kitchen appliances and roofs.
How much remodeling you will need to do after living in the home for 20 years will depend on how quickly you want to sell it and how aggressive you want to be on price, but the higher the price you hope to achieve, the more “pre-listing” remodeling you will need to do, returning old systems to a full life expectancy for the new owner. Of course, if you are willing to discount the price upfront to allow for more than enough room for the needed updates, you can skip the remodeling and move straight toward listing your home!
REAL ESTATE SERVICES
401 Broad Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Office: 412-741-2200 x238