Selling a Probate Property:
What Improvements Should I Make Before Selling
a Probate or Trust Property?
Part 3 of 10
Many personal representatives having San Diego property that must be sold to settle an estate ask for guidance on improving the house. Their intention is to do the best job possible to obtain the highest net proceeds for the estate.
The first step is to view the house from the eyes of a San Diego homebuyer. If the house is simply requiring a fresh coat of paint, carpet and a cleaning, we will bring in the contractor, handyman or installer to give bids. Getting the information and organizing the estimated expense is what I do. Once the bids are received, the PR makes the decision to invest the funds, or not.
If you’re in the same situation (representing a probate or trust) and have the same question, don’t worry. The fact that you’re asking the question means that you’re on the right track.
As a San Diego Probate and Trust Real Estate Specialist, I understand that the goal is to get the most money for your probate or trust property. Often times, spending a little translates into big returns. I’ve written this series to discuss the Top 10 Home Improvements with the Largest Return.
#8 of 10 Most Popular Renovations Buyers Will Pay More For:
Stainless Steel Appliances
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 41% of homebuyers are willing to pay extra for a San Diego home with stainless steel appliances.
Stainless steel appliances have become a “must-have” for today’s homebuyers. When working with the savvy San Diego homebuyer we have found that they are more likely to want to buy a house that has updated appliances. They are typically ok with black or white appliances, but they really like a house with stainless.
Now, keep in mind, this is one upgrade that the typical San Diego Executor or Administrator responsible for San Diego probate or real estate in a trust may not choose to invest the estates money into providing. Unless, the number crunching and research clearly show that replacing the existing appliances will provide a quicker and more profitable sale. This includes considering the competition, meaning the houses that are available for purchase in the general area of the San Diego estate house.
When the other actively listed for sale houses have updated appliances, then it could benefit the estate to provide the homebuyers with the same “valuable” product. It all depends on the current marketplace; that is why having an experienced real estate consultant, like me, that can help guide the San Diego seller to the best way to prepare, market and know the competition to complete a successful sale of the estate house.
We always look at the expense versus reward. From a cost perspective, stainless steel appliances may not necessarily be the best investment. In the case of decades old appliances, you know… harvest gold or avocado green in an estate house with a kitchen in fairly good condition, then it may be a great idea to replace the appliances. And in the case were the San Diego estate house needs all new appliances and the decision is to replace them, the recommendation is to pay a bit more and provide the San Diego homebuyer with what they want~stainless!
The age group looking for this type of upgrade range between 35-54 with 23% considering stainless steel appliances to be “very important.”
According to the NAR, a San Diego homebuyer may be willing to pay an extra $1,850 for the San Diego estate house with updated stainless steel appliances because they look more attractive.
Basic appliance packages can be purchased for less than a few thousand dollars. We frequently see low cost Frigidaire or Whirlpool appliances in homes. Some major appliance stores often have great sales when buying three or more appliances. Consider replacing the stove, microwave and dishwasher. Although homebuyers would prefer all new appliances, many San Diego homes sell without a refrigerator. By not providing a refrigerator, the San Diego seller can save around $1,000.
It’s important to keep personal taste out of the equation. The goal is to provide just enough to entice the San Diego homebuyer to fall in love with the home. Maintaining a balance between risk (the investment) versus reward (the financial and/or timeline gain).