How Much Do Home Sellers Spend To Prepare Their Homes Before Listing Them

Sellers gearing up for the spring home shopping season need to roll up their sleeves now and spruce up their homes if they want to attract a shrinking pool of buyers. Investing in improvements, maintenance and repairs could pay off when it’s time to sell.

A new survey shows home sellers typically spend around $5,400 sprucing up their houses before putting them on the market (this does not include staging).

The survey found that sellers who sold their home within the past two years most commonly completed interior painting (40% did this), carpet cleaning (35%) and landscaping (33%) before listing their home for sale. 

That $5,400 total investment breaks down to roughly $3,782 on landscaping, $1,432 on painting and $174 on carpet cleaning, according to the findings from Zillow and Thumbtack. Painting and landscaping do the most to attract buyers, the survey found. 

An inviting outdoor space, clean floors and a fresh coat of paint — particularly in the right color — can deliver a powerful signal to potential buyers that a home is well-maintained and contemporary. While sellers may be reluctant to shell out for these projects up front, those improvements can ultimately pay off, by helping a home sell faster and/or for more money.

While homeowners are sometimes reluctant to spend big bucks on home improvements before putting a property up for sale, doing so can increase its online “curb appeal”. Houses that appear to be well-maintained can sell for 10% more than a similar home in poorer condition, Thumbtack home expert David Steckel noted.

Neglecting needed repairs and minor cosmetic updates can lead to seller regret, particularly in today’s shifting market. The Zillow survey found that 30% of recent sellers think more home improvements or repairs would have helped them get a higher sale price. Separate Zillow research finds that about 2 in 3 real estate agents believe today’s sellers are mistaken if they think they don’t need to make home improvements before selling. 

Nearly one-third of recent sellers report they believe they could have gotten a higher price had they made more home improvements or repairs.   

Late April is traditionally the best time to list a home for sale, which means now is the time to get a jump on any repairs or improvements. Previous Zillow research found that the top seller’s regret is that they didn’t start the process of preparing their home for sale sooner. And one-quarter of sellers who made at least one home improvement before listing their home for sale say it took longer than expected.

Here’s a tally from Zillow and Thumbtack of other home improvements that sellers often complete, including how much each typically costs:

  • Kitchen remodel | $10,355
  • Bathroom remodel | $5,291
  • Roof replacement | $4,919
  • Repainting exterior | $2,932
  • Replace floors | $2,345
  • Replace carpet | $1,679
  • Replace windows | $1,155
  • Roof repairs | $628
  • Replace light fixtures | $317
  • Declutter the home | $196
  • Repair appliances | $134

Today’s housing market is far different than the frenzied pandemic era of bidding wars and record-fast sales. A recent Zillow analysis finds that homes are now lingering on the market for a median of 54 days, 45% longer than last year. However, the most desirable listings are finding buyers in 18 days nationwide, suggesting the most appealing homes are still moving very quickly. A trusted local real estate agent can help sellers decide which projects are worth the investment based on the market in their neighborhood, and Thumbtack can help homeowners find a local professional to get the job done.

Making a home look presentable and enhancing its marketability may be even more crucial in many markets in the next few years due to the fact sellers will likely face a much smaller pool of buyers. The combination of higher mortgage rates and high home prices has scared off some house hunters this year, many of whom have decided to continue renting until the market cools down. Columbus and Central Ohio haven’t been as impacted by this trend as our local market is still incredibly affordable in comparison to other major cities and our local economy remains strong.

Economists at expect mortgage rates to climb even further in 2023 as the Federal Reserve continues to raise its benchmark interest rate. While the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage did fall to 6.41%, rates are once again in the 7% range and could climb as high as 7.4% in the first half of the year before settling down to around 7.1% toward the second half of the year.

If you, or someone you know is considering Buying or Selling a Home in Columbus, Ohio please contact The Opland Group. We offer professional real estate advice and look forward to helping you achieve your real estate goals! Call or text us at 614.332.6984.

The Opland Group Specializes in Real Estate Sales, Luxury Home Sales, Short Sales in; Bexley 43209 Columbus 43201 43206 43214 43215 Delaware 43015 Downtown Dublin 43016 43017 Gahanna 43219 43230 Grandview Heights 43212 Galena 43021 Hilliard 43026 Lewis Center 43035 New Albany 43054 Pickerington 43147 Polaris Powell 43065 Upper Arlington 43220 43221 Westerville 43081 43082 Worthington 43235