A $21,000 Mini Makeover Before Selling — Was it Worth It?

We’ve written before about that burning real estate question: should you renovate before you sell?  I said it then and I’ll say it now—a few key updates can make a huge difference in the final sales price and the profit you end up pocketing. Let’s dive into an example—a $21,000 mini makeover on a Pacific Heights condo.

The Updates

This two-bed/one-and-a-half-bath condo in Pacific Heights measured 814 square feet. And it needed a little love. In eighteen days, this place went from dingy and lived-in to bright, cheery and updated. Here’s the breakdown:

  • New flooring: $5000
  • Patch and paint: $4500
  • Refinish tub: $1400
  • Appliance package: $2400
  • Professional staging and new light fixtures: $7000
  • Deep clean: $500
  • Simple Green and good old-fashioned elbow grease: free!

So, Was It Worth It?

The condo sold before we officially went to market the seccond time—hey, we were dealing with a global pandemic—and got a final sales price of $888,000, which was $7000 less than our $895,000 list price. A similar 2bd 1.5ba condo came on in the building the same time as ours, with an original list price of $885,000.  They chose not to paint, stage or update and went through a few cycles of on and off market rotations, eventually selling 77 days after we closed—a full two-and-a-half months longer than ours—for a final sales price of $785,000, or $110,000 below the original list price.

I’m often told by sellers some variation of: I don’t want to do any work, I want to sell my place AS IS, and I understand it will sell for less. But they rarely calculate how much less or how much longer it may take to sell.  In this case, the seller’s $21,000 returned a sales price $81,000 higher than its closest competition that did not invest in the repairs or updates. The best part is there was very little for the seller to do. We coordinated all of the vendors, quotes and helped mange the access to the property. Plus, with Compass Concierge, we paid for it up front and got reimbursed with the proceeds of the sale, so there were no out-of-pocket expenses to the seller other than her carrying costs for the home.  

If you need help determining what if anything you should do to maximize the proceeds of your largest asset or need help seeing where a few cosmetic updates can produce that diamond in the rough versus buying into a money pit, ping me! You know where to find me.

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