We have, for the past several years, been advocates of preparing a home for a maximum sales price.  We remodeltook a buyers view and weighed what improvements and changes were needed in order to have a quick, yet profitable sale.  These updates quite often included paint, flooring, new light fixtures, maybe a kitchen or bath update, landscaping, etc.  It was never questioned as to whether these things would gain the seller a better listing and sales price….until now.

A new fact must be added to the scale.  Time.  Yes, there are still things we should do to maximize the sales price.  Paint? Absolutely.  Replace stained or worn carpet? No doubt.  Update kitchens and baths…maybe.  In a day when sales prices are dropping by 20% and 30% or more, we need to weigh how long it will take to complete these updates against the continuing drop in sales prices.  Upgrades that take a week or two are certainly a positive move.  Upgrades that take a month or two?  Probably not.

We must no longer assume that all upgrades are a good idea when preparing a home for the market.  We are not doing our sellers any favors by continuing business as usual…because our business is not “usual” any more.  Next time your seller asks what they should do, think long and hard about the time element…it could make a significant difference.