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Is It Worth Renovating a House Before Selling?

Estimated reading time 8 minutes

Selling your house can be a long, drawn-out affair, and it can be made even more laborious if the home isn’t in its best condition. People, as we know, shop with their eyes before their wallets. How something is seen is often a determining factor in whether a purchase should be made.

With a house sale perhaps it’s even more evident. But, in some cases, it isn’t. Cash house buyers, for example, will often buy a house ‘as is’, knowing that regardless of the work involved in getting it up to scratch, they will be able to flip the property for a profit at a later date.

For those not selling to a cash house buyer, a degree of renovation could help gain that fast house sale and perhaps see an increase in the value of your home. However, the costs of specific renovations could set you back more than you can afford whilst not altering the value of the home much at all.

Should I renovate my home before selling it?

There is no set answer for this. As we mentioned above, if you opt to sell to a cash house buyer and require an urgent sale, they won’t require you to have installed a brand-new bathroom or given the kitchen a refurb. Of course, they may offer you less than the asking price for the home, but the sale will be guaranteed. If you opt for the more traditional route, you will need to weigh up what the costs of the renovation are, against the potential sales value of the home. Furthermore, you will also need to look at what might happen if you choose to ignore the renovation projects. How much would your house valuation drop, and how much could the potential buyers look to shave off the price knowing they have some costly jobs ahead of them?

With some renovation jobs being high in demand too, there are many building works being priced much higher than normal. This can put you in a tricky situation where you may have to gamble. Pay over the odds but get the sale, or leave it, secure a sale but potentially at a much lower price.

It all comes down to your specific circumstances, your desire to sell and the overall condition of the house. If, for example, the entire house is in poor condition, but you spend £15,000 on a new bathroom, there is likely not going to be a massive improvement in the house value. If you have one room in a bad way but the rest is looking good with some signs of recent improvement, you should be able to absorb any losses with the gains the other rooms have helped make.

There are some quick fixes though.

What renovations could you do before selling a house?

There are always quick wins in home renovation, and some can vastly improve your chances of a house sale. The main ones and the easiest to fix include:

  • Fixing leaks
  • Replacing loose or missing tiles
  • Repainting walls showing signs of chips or cracked paint
  • Repairing loose floorboards
  • General deep cleaning of all rooms
  • Refitting loose doors
  • Replacing holey carpet
  • Replacing cracked windows

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other home renovation projects you can undertake to help you sell it. In our opinion though, these may be the quickest and most beneficial to fix without breaking the bank.

What home renovation should I consider before selling?

The list provided above gives a selection of the basic renovation projects that won’t take long to fix or change much aesthetically. It’s quite possible that they won't even increase the value. However, other renovations can change things quite dramatically.

We have picked some of the more common renovation projects you may want to consider before selling. Along with how much they may cost you.

  • Bathroom: Potential cost, up to £20,000 with an estimated increase in value of up to 10%.
  • Kitchen: Potential cost, up to £20,000 with an estimated increase in house value of up to 10%.
  • Conservatory: Potential cost up to £35,000 with an estimated increase in house value of up to 5%.

Other renovation projects such as the garden, the loft, and upgrading your home to utilise smart tech can also see high costs but an ROI that could negate the expense.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of renovating a property before selling?

Renovating your home can put you in a great position to sell the house, but it can also, perhaps surprisingly, make it harder.

Advantages of renovating your house before selling it

Choosing to spend money on renovating your house before selling it should be carefully thought through.  Do it right, and you could see a great opportunity arise for a fast sale and one delivering a good price.

  • Alleviate potential buyer concern
  • The damaged or poorly maintained aspects of your property could see buyers hold off from making an offer or viewing it. Buyers want to see it as their home, and if they can see themselves living there, or see there is a lot of work to do, they may look elsewhere for their dream home. Rectifying the problems allows you to sidestep the potential for buyers to lose interest.
  • Increase value
  • In most cases, renovation is done for two reasons. To give us a better place to live and to help drive the value of the house up. If you can get the relevant renovation work booked and not find it financially draining, you could stand to see a great return on investment when you come to sell.
  • Give your property another chance
  • If you have attempted to sell before but found it impossible, the renovation could be the thing that changes that. The newly refurbished kitchen, the new flooring in the bathroom, or simply a tidied and organised garden could all be elements that drive your sales potential forward.
  • Be better than the rest
  • Your home is in a competitive market, and you need something that makes it stand out. The renovation work could be all you need to be the most desired house in the area and sell before anyone else.

Disadvantages of renovating your house before selling

As with anything, advantages are met with disadvantages and renovating your home before you sell it comes with them too.

  • Expense
  • Whilst not all renovations will set you back vast sums of money, many do. Furthermore, some projects start cheap, but more issues become apparent as you work through the project. This can add more cost than you had anticipated and potentially leave you with unfinished, rather than not started jobs.
  • Delays in sales
  • You might have been hoping to sell the house fast but found it hard. Renovation may have been your plan to help you speed up the sale, but if the job takes a long time to complete, you could be waiting months or years to sell, and you may miss out on market changes that could have been beneficial.
  • Never a guarantee
  • As we touched upon earlier, there is no cast-iron guarantee that your home will sell any faster or for a higher price if you complete renovations on it.  While it certainly helps, the property market is fickle, and demand, prices and tastes can all change very fast.
  • Your tastes don’t suit
  • You may have had some grandiose plan for your home, and renovating it in that vision could see you finally have the home you had hoped for. When it comes to selling though, have you alienated 90% of the market? Think about the renovations you want, the renovations you need and how people may embrace your interpretation of them.

What issues must I fix before selling my house?

Some renovations would be essential to even give your home a chance of selling. Opting not to go ahead with them could see you limit your buyer's market to just cash house buyers. Mortgages won’t be granted on homes exhibiting such issues.

If your home has any of the following issues, you should seek professional advice before looking at your selling options:

  • Rising damp
  • Cracks in the structure
  • Subsidence - find out more via our How to Sell a House with Subsidence guide
  • Infestations of Japanese Knotweed or certain bugs
  • Leaking roofs

The jobs you can take on to renovate your home can be wide-ranging. From the simple to the complex, they can all take time, and cost money but deliver results. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of these things. If you are unsure why your house is struggling to sell, or you’ve had to hold off from renovations due to the cost yet still need to sell, speak to Bettermove. Our team of property experts can help with the sale of any home. From selling an unsellable house to helping those who are looking to stop repossession, our route to sale is guaranteed, and fast. With the option for us to buy your home for cash directly or present it to our team of pre-approved buyers, you can get the sale you want, when you want it. The whole process completed in as little as 30 days. Why not contact us today to find out more?