After we spent the better part of three months (and a good chunk of change) doing a lot of work to our house to get it ready to sell, the big question is…
Was it worth the work?
In a nutshell, I would say yes, it was worth the amount of work we put into it.
In total, we got fourteen showings on our house – a little over one per day. We sold our home for our full asking price, in ten days. (We actually got another offer on the first day, but rejected it – more on that later.) The buyers agreed to close in mid-June and allow us to rent it back until the end of June, which allowed us more time to make the transition to our new home. I’m not sure if you could ask for much better!
The people who bought our house chose it because they wanted something like-new but without the hassle that often comes along with building a new house (paying for upgrades, installing landscaping, etc.). Our house fit the bill, so while we were at the top of our price range for our particular square footage, the upgrades helped overcome the fact that we weren’t the best bargain in the neighborhood.
Was it worth the money?
Well, this one’s a bit trickier. Overall, I would absolutely say that the amount of money we spent more than paid for itself not just in the fast sale, but also in the selling price.
However, we didn’t exactly rake in a huge profit on the deal. We were grateful to get a very small check (less than $500) at the closing table, and we sold the house for less than we paid for it seven years ago. However, had we not invested the money into the upgrades, we would have been bringing a check to the closing table anyway, for far more than we put into the improvements over the past few months.
So, yes, it was worth the money, and overall it ended up better than it would have been if we hadn’t done the improvements – though it might have been nice to get a bigger check, of course! :) That’s hard to do when you buy during the boom and sell during the bust, but it was the optimal time for us to move, with interest rates still low but housing prices going up (and interest rates going up, too).
Were particular upgrades worth more than others?
It’s hard to say what particular upgrades were worth it and which ones didn’t make a difference. Big ones like the wood floors were huge, yes, but did the $20 spent on new house numbers really make that much of an impact? What about the new light on the back patio, or the pre-inspection?
Jeremy always encourages his clients to just look at the overall picture instead of stressing over whether $10 spent here or there will really matter, and I totally get that – at least, now I do. At first, I didn’t completely understand why he wanted everything to be completely new and fresh-looking – after all, we’ve taken care of our house well and it was very clean. Who cares if the steps to the basement have a new coat of paint?!
But as we got into it and started getting feedback from buyers and their agents, I started realizing that the upgrades made our house compelling. We could have skipped the time and money to put in the upgrades, but then we would have been just another house at $200,000 in Stetson Hills. It seems doubtful that we would have been able to receive an offer with the conditions we wanted (particularly as far as closing and possession dates) if we were just another house. But, because there wasn’t really another house like it, it gave us a competitive edge. The people who bought our house really wanted our house, and couldn’t find anything else like it. That right there means the time and money were well-spent and overall, netted us more.
Note: as a Realtor’s wife, I feel compelled to mention that every house is different, and you shouldn’t take our list of upgrades and assume that’s what you should to do your house to sell it for top dollar. :) Some of the things we did would never have been profitable if we’d had to pay someone else to do it, and there are always upgrades that are a good idea for certain price ranges but not necessary for others.
We are praising the Lord for selling our home at the price we hoped for and with the timing we requested. It has been very clear that God has been putting all the pieces together throughout this process, and I am thankful.
I’ll share more about how the whole home selling and buying process went down soon – but, we haven’t yet been able to close on our purchase because we have to wait for the Black Forest Fire to be 100% contained before we can close, so that will have to come later.
If you are looking for a home in Colorado Springs, or getting ready to sell yours, I’m going to just tell you: you need to talk to my husband, Jeremy. :) Allow me to brag on him: a recent client that Jeremy just helped sell their home and buy a new one told me something to the effect of “this is the fourth home I’ve purchased and this is the first Realtor that I felt like actually worked for me and didn’t just collect a check at closing.” He really does work hard to serve his clients on both the sale and purchase of a home, and I’m constantly amazed at how hard he works to make things come together smoothly. (An example would be our own purchase, but I can’t talk about that until it’s closed.)
Anyway, if you need a Realtor in the Colorado Springs/Monument/Black Forest area – he’s your man. ;) (No, he’s my man; but he can be your Realtor!)