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Old 10-11-2016, 09:08 AM   #21
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$0 if it is just to sell it -- with RE commissions, state real estate transfer fee and other fees proportional to sales price just let the buyers spend the money and not enrich the agents/the state unnecessarily -- but you probably won't get this advice from your well compensated RE agent.

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Old 10-11-2016, 09:36 AM   #22
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The carpeting with pets is hard. You have to have someone really honest walk into your house and see what it smells like. Too many people with allergies these days. So if it smells like pets, you'll have lost a lot of people that wont' even look, they will walk in and right back out again. Pergo would then likely be your best option. People may not like it but then it becomes a "personal choice" vs. a necessary repair.

The kitchen, you can usually do minimal changes and make it look way more updated. I swapped out the gold handles with cheap 50 cent pewter ones. My black and white dishwasher I figured out you could swap it to all black. I had a nasty backsplash so just took it off.. swapped out one of those 70s light boxes for a normal light fixture... found a clearance faucet, all for under $100. It doesn't have to be updated, it just has to not scream 1960/1970.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:08 PM   #23
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We, self included, should probably mention where we are. I'm in flyover country. There are some cities/regions where demand is very strong (and no reno is required), others where homes are very hard to sell at any price/condition, and everything in between...
Yes- definitely a wide variation. I sold two houses in Bergen County, NJ, in 1997 and 2003, with very few upgrades- heck, it cost enough just to keep the place maintained. I suppose, though, that replacing the nasty pink tile in the shower off the MBR was a good investment on the second one! Both had multiple bids above the asking price.

DH and I are now in flyover country and they're VERY picky here. We did more than we ever did back in NJ but there was still a lot of whiny feedback about light fixtures and other superficial features being "dated".

I agree with getting the advice of realtors familiar with the market. Keep in mind, though, that the primary benefit of making the changes they recommend is likely to be a reduction in the time it takes them to sell it rather than a good dollar return on what you spend.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:14 AM   #24
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Last year, I "updated" by repainting, putting in new carpet, and minimally renovating the bath, knowing I would be selling in 5 years. I did so because I wanted to enjoy the place (work done was badly needed) while not spending too much due to selling in the near future. In this part of Lost Angeles, the hipster roaches will do and pay anything just to live here. I'm pleased I did only enough to enjoy and help sell it while keeping within a fairly tight budget.
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:09 PM   #25
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The carpeting with pets is hard. You have to have someone really honest walk into your house and see what it smells like. Too many people with allergies these days. So if it smells like pets, you'll have lost a lot of people that wont' even look, they will walk in and right back out again. ...............
+1

Sounds like carpet is the one big open item here. I sold a 30 yo home 2+ years ago in pretty much the same condition (everything pretty much redone/replaced in the previous 5 or so years)...except the carpet which was older (I also had pets most of the 15 years I was there). All three realtors recommended replacing the carpet especially since I was selling the house empty (minor staging only, I was told my mix and match bachelor pad stuff just didn't cut-it ). It wasn't that expensive given the I already had installed tile in the kitchen and bathrooms (previously linoleum) , and had put H/W in the LR & DR (previously carpet) 5 years before I sold (less sq. ft. to re-carpet).

Many realtors often know professional carpet installers that either offer a good discount on the whole job, or just someone that "moonlights" will install the carpet a reasonable price, if you can pick it up yourself (carpet and padding are really cheap from discount warehouses if I remember correctly) and have it sitting in your garage.

Off course if your selling while still living there with pets, the "carpet allowance" in your back pocket for a counter offer option may be the way to go (after a "Stanley Steamer" cleaning).

Just my 2 cents,

Sounds like a nice house. Either way it should sell fairly quickly given data points in the OP.
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:57 PM   #26
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OP - I'm actually in the process of remodeling our house which is in the same price range as yours. The house was built in the mid-50s and has never been updated. My DW and I are doing alot of the work ourselves so far but will hire out sheetrock (basement was gutted) and finish work. We're good at demolition. We've had pets the whole time we've lived here (14 yrs) and will replace the carpet after the remodeling is complete. We've chosen to update the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room mostly because the competition and recently sold houses have been updated and we figured we need to do something to be competitive. Some buyers don't want to mess with doing their own remodeling and I didn't want to lose anymore prospective buyers than necessary. As to your question of "How much"? I'm budgeting about 10% of asking price.

I expect to break even with what we invest into the house (not counting our labor) but if it helps to sell the house quicker then it is worth it to us. (Plus it's a good way to burn up the OMY syndrome but don't tell DW that ). Once it is sold we'll be looking at picking a definite retirement date.
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Old 10-13-2016, 06:14 PM   #27
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Thank you everyone for the excellent feedback. We are going to delay major upgrades for now, and will surely scale back any future enhancements. With all the houses being flipped, it is hard to not keep up with the Jones's. Most flips seem to be totally cosmetic, not including new windows etc.
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Old 10-13-2016, 08:35 PM   #28
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One thing I did was to provide a written estimate for a name brand carpet from a well known vendor and I added about 20% to figure the decorating allowance.


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Old 10-14-2016, 05:58 AM   #29
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Carpet is really a serious issue, friends told me several unpleasant stories when all the fuss was about the damned carpet. I guess it’s better to have a new one or none at all – let the new tenants choose it. And you’ve already improved all the essentials so the most you can add now is some touches of design and stuff to make it feel like home  having lots of open space is also a good idea because it’s trendy now and allows buyers arrange furniture the way they want. There are some more tips of the kind in this article, may be they will be useful too https://tranio.com/traniopedia/tips/...house-quicker/ though again you seem to have made all the most important things, so good luck to you with selling the house!
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:59 AM   #30
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We will downsize at some point, but it's probably in the 5-10 year range, possibly longer. So we're still making improvements that we intend to enjoy ourselves for many years before we sell. But we're doing it in a way that we think will favorably impact the selling price down the road. Mainly focused on kitchen, bathrooms, curb appeal, neutral paint, light fixtures, and replacing sliding glass doors with french doors.
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Old 10-18-2016, 06:01 AM   #31
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We will downsize at some point, but it's probably in the 5-10 year range, possibly longer. So we're still making improvements that we intend to enjoy ourselves for many years before we sell. But we're doing it in a way that we think will favorably impact the selling price down the road. Mainly focused on kitchen, bathrooms, curb appeal, neutral paint, light fixtures, and replacing sliding glass doors with french doors.
well way to go!
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Old 10-18-2016, 02:41 PM   #32
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I live in a mid-scale suburb of Boston. It's a very good school district. Many of the houses, including mine, are still the stock houses built by developers in the 1960s. After they sell I'd say a good 50% of them are immediately torn down to foundation and replaced with McMansions that go as close to the lot borders as possible. Yuck.

I'll paint and do cosmetic things, but reno seems like a waste.
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Old 10-19-2016, 12:16 PM   #33
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We spoke to a realtor two years ago about selling and posed it that we were willing to do any work and updates if it improved the value of our home equal to or greater than the money we would spend. Her response was in this market you do not need to do anything but declutter and just a couple cosmetics as the buyer of our home would remodel to their own taste and our home should sell quickly at close to full asking price and we would not see a return on any addition upgrades including a near end of life furnace and A/C.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:44 PM   #34
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Our realtor advises nothing beyond cleaning and de-cluttering, de-personalizing.

People buy what they can afford where they want to live. IF there is nobody out there that can afford to live there...it sits until a buyer is matched.

I did obvious things like painted the rust spot on the basketball hoop, repainted the chipped paint on the railings and garage door trim, replaced some failed insulated glass units, and made sure all the doors were oiled so no squeaks. Cleaned the carpets.

It still sits on the market, waiting for someone who can afford to live here. Anyone want to buy a home, only $433k and it only snows sometimes.
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Old 10-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #35
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We sold our home of 30 years in June (built in 1958). It was in a desirable area with good school district and close to transportation and within walking distance of "old town" on the waterfront. We focused on the curb appeal and fixing anything that may have caused a problem during inspection. We just cleaned, de-personalized and removed clutter from the inside. Realtor did some minor staging. The house sold the first week with multiple offers. It was a simple home, nothing fancy. But, there was not a lot of inventory in our area for the price point of our home.
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