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Listing a home for sale is a big decision for most homeowners. There is always the worry about whether the property will sell for the listed price and how soon a qualified buyer will write an offer. The homeowner may wonder if making some basic updates could attract the right buyer, and the answer to the question lies in the current condition of the property.


Curb appeal is very important in that prospective buyers should be favorably impressed when they first see the house and surrounding landscape. First impressions are very important, so addressing the exterior condition of the home and updating the trees, shrubs, and flowers is essential.


When listing a home for sale the seller should take into consideration the current condition of the interior as well as the exterior. When a prospective buyer comes through the door they want to feel the home is move-in ready. Everything should be cleaned thoroughly so the interior smells clean as well as looking spic and span. Any carpet should be shampooed and the walls were given a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors. Attention to these details costs very little and can make a difference in how a prospective buyer sees the home.


Property listings that obviously need updating are likely to get little interest except for buyers who are looking for a lower-cost home they can update and gain some “sweat equity”. This class of buyers may include people who flip properties or those unable to purchase a higher-priced home that is totally updated.


Although there are prospective buyers who prefer to buy a home at a lower cost and update according to their own preference, most people would rather just move in without worrying about renovations. These people want to be able to visualize living in the property without needing to change anything other than the furniture.


The wise seller will update in areas most important to buyers such as kitchens and bathrooms while making sure the entire property looks nearly new. Renovations can be expensive and inconvenient so buyers generally want to avoid them. The final answer to the question of whether to renovate before selling comes down to whether updating is needed and how important it is to sell at a good price.