I'm planning on selling my house in about 15 months or so. I have a really good sense of how it stacks up against the likely competition - the pluses and minuses. And I also know which of the minuses can be fixed in order to help me get a better price for the home. That's why I've been working on various home improvement projects for the past 4 years. As I've previously posted, I decided that it made more sense to make these improvements sooner rather than later so that we could enjoy them. One example was adding a few nice closet organizers.
Our most expensive project to date, other than the rehab work we did before moving in, was a bit of a renovation on our main level that we recently completed. I know how important it is to make the right first impression with home buyers and they walk straight into the main level so...
I had heard about Renovation Sells, a company that specializes in pre-sale renovations, and decided to bring them in for a consultation. We went through the house and agreed that the biggest initial opportunity was on the main level. Even though the paint was still in good condition we thought the living room and kitchen could use a lighter and more neutral color, the two fireplaces had a funky tile that needed to be replaced, and we needed to update the kitchen. As is usually the case, updating the kitchen meant painting the cabinets and updating their hardware, replacing light and plumbing fixtures, new backsplash, and new countertops.
The nice thing about working with these guys is that we didn't really have to spend a lot of time making design decisions. They made their recommendations, we tweaked them, and they started the project. That's actually a key part of their business model. As their name suggests, they focus on renovations focused on getting a home ready to sell. They actually don't want to work with people renovating their home for themselves. That way the homeowners don't have a lot invested in the design decisions and it's easier for them to get their job done. And from á home seller's perspective you're not making taste specific decisions which is a big no-no when you are getting ready to sell your home.
Having worked with many different contractors over the years I can tell you that Renovation Sells was the most professional I've dealt with. The different components of the project were very well coordinated, with several pieces progressing in parallel where possible. I think the whole project only took 3 weeks and it actually could have been condensed into 2 weeks if the cabinet guy had greater availability. The cabinets appeared to be the most labor intensive part of the project.
Redoing our master bathroom is next on our list. We opted to hold off until the spring on that project since taking our kitchen offline for 3 weeks was disruptive enough to our life without have to lose our bathroom simultaneously.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market or get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.