Back in July, HouseMax founder and CEO Jason Jones sat down with FOX 4’s Carey Wickersham to discuss the current state of the Kansas City housing market and what sellers may need to know to sell a house that needs repairs to prepare their home for listing. The response to that Ask the Experts interview video has been huge, so we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into the subject to provide our readers with info they can use to help decide whether to tackle their pre-listing home projects or reach out to a professional house buyer in Kansas City for an “as is” cash offer on the property.
We dug through numerous sites like The Balance, HGTV, Home Advisor, Thumbtack, and Homeguides, to name just a few, and combined what we found with our own experience in the Kansas City housing market. From that research, we found that the most common pre-listing interior projects include remodeling or upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms, replacing flooring, painting, light fixtures, popcorn removal for ceilings, adding new crown or base molding, and lots of drywall repairs.
All of these cost time and money, and these are just the kinds of remodels and repairs that homeowners are likely to do—or consider doing—themselves. Mechanical projects such as electrical, HVAC, or plumbing upgrades aren’t included, nor are exterior projects, though many homeowners find themselves faced with the prospect of doing those and more before their home goes on the market.
For each of these projects, there is a cost in time to do the work, a cost in tools and supplies, and potentially the cost of hiring someone to actually perform the labor. We’ve compiled a list of common pre-listing projects, how much they cost, how long they take to complete, and how much they’ll increase the value of your home. It bears mentioning that almost none of them recoup 100% of their cost. Also, the time to completion that we list below is just the time it takes to actually do the work—it doesn’t factor in planning and decisions that need to be made, or the time and difficulty of choosing a contractor to perform the work. What You Need to Know Before Selling a House:
- A bathroom remodel averages anywhere from $4,000 to $12,000, with most bathroom remodels hitting the upper end of that range.
- Time to completion: about 2-3 weeks, depending on the level of work being performed.
- Average value increase to your home: about 66% of the total spend.
- Interior painting starts at around $2,000 and goes up from there. Not only is it cheaper than most of the other items on this list, it’s also the only one that is likely to recoup its expense in added value.
Time to completion: usually 1-2 days.
Average value increase to your home: up to 112% of the total spend.
- A kitchen remodel is likely to cost you as much as $13,500, with $7,500 making up the low end of the average spectrum. In spite of the popularity of kitchen remodels, they also take longer than anything else on this list and have the lowest return on investment.
Time to completion: about 6-8 weeks.
Average value increase to your home: about 57% of total spend.
- New flooring costs vary considerably depending on the materials and square footage. Installing hardwood flooring runs about $7.35 per square foot while refinishing existing wood flooring or installing new carpet averages around $3.45 per square foot.
Time to completion: about 2-3 days.
Average value increase to your home: around 91% of the total spend.
- Updating light fixtures to more modern recessed or “can” lighting costs about $210 per fixture.
Time to completion: about 1 hour per fixture.
Average value increase to your home: roughly 70% of the total spend.
- Drywall repair and installation ranges from $260-$450 per room if you hire it out, while professional popcorn texture removal will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500 for the average home in Kansas City. And if you have a textured or popcorn ceiling installed anywhere from the 1930s to the 1980s, it may also contain asbestos which poses a potential health hazard—and the potential for escalating costs to replace it.
Time to completion: usually around 1-2 days.
Average value increase to your home: around 71% of the total spend.
The projects listed above are the kinds of efforts we often see home sellers undertaking in the cities we serve such as Shawnee, Olathe, Independence, Raytown, Grandview, Blue Springs, Gladstone, Liberty, and others in the Kansas City Metro Area.
Today’s home buyers don’t want a house that still requires a lot of work. Home buyers in Kansas City expect turnkey houses complete with modern improvements and popular upgrades. It isn’t just the home buyers themselves, either. The FHA is really strict with inspections and demands that things be brought up to code, and a large percentage of homes being bought in the Kansas City market rely on FHA financing.
Worried that repairs to get your home ready for the market will take more time and money than you’re willing to spend? Want help with what you need to know before selling a house or just sell as is? That’s where HouseMax comes in. We make generous cash offers on a lot of houses that haven’t been updated in 10 to 20 years. Contact HouseMax today for your complimentary analysis from a distressed real estate expert!