I was quoted extensively in the East Valley Tribune yesterday in a story entitled, “Major upgrades might not be worthwhile, expert says.”

This is a dilemma that many home sellers have, “Should I upgrade the house before I put it on the market or not?” I get calls on this all the time.

It doesnt make sense for a seller to embark on that large remodeling project he’s always wanted to do right before selling, said real estate agent John Wake, with HomeSmart in Scottsdale.

Its better to drop the price of the home because the goal is to get out, Wake said.

“There’s a really strong tendency to put too much money in a house to get it to sell,” he said.

If parts of the home have already been remodeled, the owner may want to bring the rest of it up to date in some cases, Wake said.

But there are effective, less expensive, ways to spruce up a homes appearance.

Real estate agents say new paint and carpeting are two of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve a house. Getting rid of clutter to make the house look larger is also key.

Older homes could benefit from new light fixtures. New kitchen cabinets and appliances also make a difference, Wake said.

Another simple upgrade is improving the landscaping.

Owners can trim back trees or remove bushes that obscure the front door, Wake said. Owners often dont know what types of plants or colors to use, so its worth the money to bring in a professional from a local nursery for advice, he said.

“Ill see a million dollar home. The interior is spectacular and the landscaping looks terrible,” he said.

About that last quote, I remember seeing this million dollar home in McCormick Ranch [okay, it was over-priced] that had extensive remodeling of the interior but the backyard still had the original railroad ties as part of the landscape! Railroad ties were way groovy in the mid-1970s when McCormick Ranch was first built. To my eye, you might as well have the original refrigerator in the house.

Most cost effective improvements to get your Arizona home ready for sale

  • Paint
  • Paint
  • Paint
  • General Cleaning and Repairs
  • New Carpets or Floor Refinishing
  • Updated Landscaping
  • New Light Fixtures and Fans
  • Kitchen Cabinets and Appliances

And Don’t Forget Staging Your Arizona Home

One of the most cost effective investments, I believe, is talking with a home stager on how to make your home look it’s best before putting it on the market.

[When I say staging, I’m not talking about renting furniture. I’m talking about how a home seller can make their place look great with what’s already in the home.]

I believe in home staging so much that I usually pay for a professional home stager to consult with my clients who are selling their homes.

For the landscaping, I will pick up the cost of a consultation with a landscape designer, if my client wants to spend some money to beautify the landscaping.

Talking to the pros helps my clients know which items will make the most effective use of their time and money when preparing their homes for sale.