Poor Quality Remodel Leads to Lower Sales Price

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I just got back from showing some clients a new home for sale in west San Jose.  Prior to putting the house on the market, the owners had the home extensively remodeled.  They knew that in today’s real estate market, homes that are nicely remodeled sell for a premium versus those that don’t. They were trying to capture that market.  Unfortunately, they failed.

“The beautiful remodel”

This home had almost everything remodeled.  The kitchen and bathrooms had been redone, the hardwood floors exposed and refinished, new double paned windows were installed throughout, even the fireplace was refaced and new tile added.  The pictures on the Multiple Listing Service were stunning.

My clients were very excited to see this remodeled home and wanted to see it right away.  When we entered the house they went straight to the kitchen to see its granite counter tops, new cabinetry and appliances.  They opened up the kitchen cabinets and drawers to see how they operated.  They check out the shiny new appliances and the view from the kitchen window.  They even looked under the kitchen sink.

Looks can be deceiving!

On the surface the kitchen looked awesome.  However, the more my clients examined it, the more discouraged they became.  You see, the remodeling job looked nice, but was poorly done.  The shelves in the cabinets were not level, the nail holes weren’t patched, there was a huge hole in the back of the cabinets where the electrical box was.  The brand new microwave wasn’t vented to the outside (this is a sign of a cheap microwave that blasts food smells back into the home).

As we went through the entire home, the discussion switched from “How my buyers can see themselves living in this home” to “let’s see how poorly they slapped this thing together.”  It became a game to find the weirdest construction defect.  The windows stuck, the closet doors were painted together, the bathroom cabinet doors were misaligned and so on.  The only thing that didn’t appear to have some construction mishap was the nicely redone hardwood and re-tiled floors.

Do it, but do it right

Many times remodeling and/or updating a home prior to putting it up for sale can return more profit than if the home was just cleaned up and staged.  As a seller, if you are going through the trouble and expense to update your home prior to selling it, don’t do a crap job.  New crap is worse than old crap.  Hire someone who has the experience and track record to do it right.  The remodel on this house was poorly done and will eventually cost the seller more than if he/she left the house in its original condition and sold it.

I think my client summed it up nicely when he said “If they did this bad of a job on the things that I can see, what did they do to the things that I can’t see?” Needless to say, they decided to pass on this home.

Should you have any questions about the value of your home’s remodel in today’s market or you wish to purchase a home, please call or text me at 650 465-0755.

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