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Love It or List It

Home improvements done today could benefit you if you sell

Everyday thousands of homeowners across the country ask themselves, should we stay, or should we go? A recent survey commissioned by Discover Home Loans found that 79% of homeowners would rather renovate their current home than move to a different one. With mortgage rates topping 7% for the first time in 20 years, homeowners are incentivized to stay put and update their home to meet their current needs.

Because renovations today can boost the future resale value of a property, Mercer Island residents who may have been thinking about listing their home could instead make some improvements now and love their house for a while longer. When considering making home improvements it’s best to focus on the rooms most used – typically the kitchen, bathrooms and the primary bedroom. It’s not necessary to do a full gut renovation – it could be enough to paint cabinets and install new countertops, appliances, lighting or flooring.  

Most homeowners make strategic minor improvements, as the return on investment is quite favorable. Simple changes can go a long way. Plush new carpet or refinishing hardwood floors underneath old carpet, upgrading outdated vinyl flooring and fresh new paint can all refresh a home tremendously. When the time comes to sell, minor improvements combined with professional staging can attract more buyers and help the home compete more favorably with other homes on the market.

However, if homeowners need to make more extensive changes in order to love their home for a while longer, they should consider the pros and cons of doing so. Although buyers prefer updated move-in ready homes, some sellers find that after they remodel the kitchen or baths the rest of the house looks even more dated. With the cost of labor and materials up significantly in the past few years, doing a whole house remodel could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that may not be fully recouped when the property sells. Furthermore, some design decisions will not appeal to all potential buyers.

The good news is that the Mercer Island market has historically performed above average throughout ups and downs. An experienced real estate professional is able to help determine what upgrades today will pay off tomorrow.

A free house preparation checklist at can be downloaded at: www.maryleehouseprepchecklist.com.

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"Most homeowners make strategic minor improvements, as the return on investment is quite favorable."

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