Remodel then Re-list in Luxury Real Estate: Yay or Nay?

For luxury homebuyers, the desire to purchase a home requiring renovations is becoming a thing of the past. Today’s affluent real estate shoppers are looking for turnkey, move-in ready properties with all of the amenities and none of the extra work.

And it looks like that’s not changing any time soon. According to a forecast from Persistence Market Research, the move-in ready luxury home market is expected to hit $920 billion by the end of 2025. That’s up from $550 billion just two years ago.

As an agent serving these ever-evolving high-end clients, it begs the question: should your affluent sellers remodel before listing their properties? Would it make their homes more marketable? More valuable? More appealing?

Here are the pros and cons The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing recommends you consider before advising sellers to implement renovations.

Advantages of renovating before listing:

  •     It typically enables a faster sales time.
  •     It makes for better listing photos.
  •     It can improve the marketability of a property.
  •     It allows you to maximize your asking price — and justify it.
  •     It gives your sellers more leverage in negotiations.

If your clients are looking to move fast (particularly relocation clients who are on tight timelines), this can be a big deal, but generally, there are very few people who truly want to sit and wait for their home to sell!

On top of this, pre-listing renovations can also increase the value of the property and justify a higher asking price. Throw in that today’s buyers simply prefer more move-in ready homes, and now you’ve got a property that doesn’t just command higher offers, but more buyer interest, too. It also means faster profits and faster commissions, so it’s a win-win all around.

The Institute’s program is dedicated to providing strategies to its members on ways that are proven to effectively help market and sell a property faster. Learn some amazing tips and tricks during our online training courses.

Disadvantages of renovating before listing:

  •     It could delay the listing and marketing of the property.
  •     The renovations may be a nuisance to the homeowner.
  •     It might require significant up-front cash.
  •     The renovations might pose a safety hazard.
  •     It may be difficult to choose the right projects, contractors, and vendors.

On the downside, renovations can be time-consuming and tedious. Though renovations might speed up a sale once they’re complete, it takes time to get there. If there are several contractors to hire, endless materials needed and multiple projects on the agenda, the renovations could actually delay the marketing of the property and, eventually, its sale and transfer, too.

Finally, renovating can be a hassle. If the homeowner is still living on the property, they might tire of the noise, foot traffic, and other nuisances that come with a remodel. The renovations could disrupt sleep, interrupt work schedules, or even pose a safety hazard for those living in the home. For these reasons, many sellers may shy away from this added work.

To Remodel or Not to Remodel

Should your client remodel before listing their home? There’s no hard-and-fast answer, but it could make the property more marketable and the sale more lucrative (for both of you.) Still, renovations aren’t without their drawbacks. Make sure your client is well aware of the nuisances that come with home remodeling and prepare them for the time and expense it may take to complete the renovations properly.

You should also caution your sellers that not all remodeling projects are created equal. Help them choose their renovations wisely by using resources like Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report and Zillow’s top home features, as well as your own knowledge of luxury real estate trends and best practices. Make sure they select projects that improve not only the aesthetics and marketability of the home but also the property’s value given the current market.

The most important tip we can offer is to help your sellers find the right vendors to handle their chosen renovations. Connect them with the contractors, architects, and designers who can execute their projects efficiently, successfully, and with the highest quality and attention to detail.  By taking this pressure off their shoulders and making the process simpler you will actually generate a long-lasting relationship that will be rewarded by long-term benefits such as referrals and additional business.

FAUN G. HAUPTMAN
Broker Associate with Kentwood Cherry Creek
Faun@FaunHauptman.com
303-917-8000
Faun grew up in the Denver area and has an undergraduate degree in Public Relations from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance from the University of Denver (DU). Faun has extensive experience in public relations. She started her career with Hill and Knowlton in Los Angeles and worked with some of the nation’s most visible luxury goods accounts including Patek Philippe, Stolichnaya Vodka, Haagen Dazs, and the Bermuda Department of Tourism. After leaving the public relations field and receiving her Masters Degree in Finance, Faun worked in investor relations. Through that experience she developed a keen set of skills working with professionals on Wall Street and publications such as the Wall Street Journal. Faun is a product of the outstanding Cherry Creek School District and has many years of first-hand knowledge of some of Denver’s most elite residential property. She is one of the top producing Realtors focusing on Distinctive Properties in Denver, West Denver and the Foothills.

 

  • "Faun gets the job done! We met her while we were in the process of relocating from out of state during the most difficult real estate market in history. Our transaction was complicated,, but she did not give up. She kept her sense of humor and managed to find us a beautiful home. Faun is creative,, tenacious and not afraid of challenge."
    - tweek1
     
  • "Faun spoiled me! She helped us sell our house on a very tight schedule. Faun totally exceeded our expectations with her professionalism. After working with Faun it has been very difficult working with any other realtor. Throughout our interactions Faun exhibited the following qualities: true professionalism,, knowledge,, resourcefulness,, competence,, reliability,, ethics,, honesty,, along with graceful demeanor no matter what the situation. Faun is a joy to work with."
    - parker09
     
  • "Faun's impressive resume and qualifications led us to select her as our selling agent and we are happy to report that she exceeded our expectations by successfully negotiating the sale of our home. The house was a very extensively modified historic structure with very non-standard layout and features making it a unique selling challenge. Faun accepted the challenge enthusiastically and made practical suggestions to enhance the attractiveness of the home to a targeted market. We followed her suggestions and realized a better return on our investment than we thought possible. The buyer's agent created some difficult situations and challenges that were well beyond our expertise and Faun guided us through them with a tenacity,, flexibility and dedication that only a person of her unique talents and abilities could provide. We highly recommend her thoughtful,, targeted approach to selling,, On a more personal note,, Faun took the time to get to know us and fully understand our situation and expectations and worked very hard to help us achieve our goal. In the process,, she made two loyal friends. If you are looking to sell or buy a home -- hire this woman! You won't regret it."
    - Barkingspiders1805
     
  • "I worked with Faun in selling and buying a home. We had very tight deadlines and with her expertise she was able to meet every one. In selling my home she advised on staging (even helped me pick up items needed) and got top dollar for it. She negotiated extremely aggressively on both the sale and purchase of the homes. I wouldn't hesitate to contact Faun in the future. She's helping other family members with the purchase of their next home. Highly recommend her."
    - Doug
     
  • "An educated agent is a must! Faun proved this assertion to us in April 2013 when she sold our house at a very agreeable price with fewer concessions to the buyers than we were expecting. I can't express how pleased we were to list our house on a Tuesday night and have a full price offer in hand by Sunday (and we thought we were priced aggressively,, I might add). Here's the key: do what she tells you to do with the property! If Faun wants you to take down a painting,, take it down. We put some elbow grease into the house before we listed and we staged it to her specifications. You can't argue with a full price offer inside a week and a 30 day clean close. She'd be our real estate professional for life if she'd just get her North Carolina license!"Read More
    - zuser20140606135844960
     
  • "Faun and I participated in a very complicated Real Estate Transaction. She was always professional, very dependable and easy to work with. I can't recommend her highly enough."
    - Venator Properties Llc
     
  • "Faun was wonderful to work with. She was in constant communication with us throughout a very long and difficult process to purchase a residence that was a short sale with multiple liens on it. There were multiple situations where her exemplary problem solving skills were put to the test,, and she always got it done."
    - kallijo
  • "Faun did an incredible job of marketing my mother's home as we worked to settle her estate. This was a difficulty time for the family and Faun handled it with sesitivity and made it a lot easier that it otherwise might have been. Of course,, it didn't hurt that her expert advice concerning preparation and marketing resulted in an immediate sale. The only reason she only gets five stars is because they don't offer six as an option."
    - tedw.dyer
  • "Sadly, the circumstances under which I met Faun were due to a possible foreclosure. However,, because of Faun's experience with short sales and her tenacity, we were able to do a short sale and get some money out of the home sale. Faun calls herself the queen of short sales for a reason. She has enough of them under her belt so that she understands the system and how to proceed in a timely manner. That being said,, Faun didn't help us for the handsome commission that she would attain. She helped us because she felt really bad that good people go through bad times and can lose everything. Her compassion for our situation will never be forgotten. Definitely make the decision to use Faun as your real estate broker!!! You will be in great hands!"
    - dale
     
  • "Faun spent many hours with me and my girlfriend touring houses in the Denver area. We probably saw at least 50 different properties,, and she was very patient and professional throughout that process. She not only followed my stated wishes on price range,, type of house and location,, but she also was able to anticipate houses I might like. When we found the house I wanted to buy,, she worked very hard negotiating a good price with a very difficult seller. I selected her after interviewing several other recommended brokers. She brings the whole package of experience,, knowledge and professionalism."
    - Jwheard
     
  • "Faun is exactly the type of Realtor you want on your side. I'm going to be blunt here, and I hope Faun takes what I'm about to say the right way. When we went to seek a Realtor to sell our townhouse,, we interviewed two Realtors. We thought the gentleman we met with was very nice. We met Faun and she was all business - she made no bones about telling us what we needed to change in our house to help it sell, told us what we should expect to receive in a sale,, etc. She definitely was not there to be our friend. After much discussion, we opted for Faun because we believed when it came down to negotiations and getting through all the pitfalls that can and will happen in a real estate transaction, nice was nice but we wanted someone who was a pit bull. Faun put a lot of time, energy and expense into selling our townhouse,, and when she sold it, it was during the bottom of the housing recession in Denver. We couldn't have picked a worse time to put our home up for sale. Faun put the best face possible on our property. She brought in a film crew to take both still photos and create a movie presentation. The brochures were slick and high-quality. When our brochure holder was empty,, Faun made sure it was filled back up. The webpage she set up for us was top-notch. While it did take almost eight months to sell our property (which,, considering the market and all the foreclosures/short sales in our neighborhood that were harming us), Faun did about as great a job as possible. She stood by us the whole time and provided great advice, including recommending that we pass on the first offer, proving she was more interested in doing what was right by her customer than making an easy commission. If you've read this far and you think I've suggested Faun is not nice, you'd be mistaken. She just doesn't do business from the standpoint of wanting to be your buddy and tell you what you want to hear. She does it as a serious businesswoman, she tells you what you need to hear. I'd absolutely hire her again if we found ourselves back in Denver looking to buy or sell a home."
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