Should You Upgrade Your Appliances Before Selling Your Home?

Story Highlights
  • 1 - Will they increase the value?
  • 2 - Do they have value, even if not included?
  • 3 - Repairing can be cost-effective
  • 4 - How big of a priority is it?
  • 5 - How big of a change will it introduce?

A lot of people may believe this question to be quite absurd and the answer to be a simple – NO.

However, nothing in life is so black and white.

Sure, in order to increase resale value, you need to make a minor investment for a major capital gain. Still, not everything can be looked at through sheer numbers.

Why? What about boosting the appeal of your home and allowing you to sell the place faster?

You see, it’s quite hard to quantify the value of being able to sell your place a month sooner. Here are some additional considerations that might put a different spin on this situation:

1 – Will they increase the value?

One study suggests that an investment in appliances in your kitchen, when followed by countertop and flooring upgrade, may boost the sale price by anywhere between 3 and 7 percent. Needless to say, this figure is far from insignificant.

Now, it all comes down to the amount of money that you’re ready and willing to spend per appliance.

Remember that the fact that this appliance is brand new already serves as a strong psychological tool in your hands. You don’t have to make them high-end.

As soon as you learn the difference between the resale value increase and quality of life improvement, you’ll be on the right track.

2 – Do they have value, even if not included?

Now we come to the complex, controversial, and perhaps even a morally ambiguous question – do these appliances add value to your home even if they’re not included in the deal?

Imagine a scenario where you have a home buyer arriving at your home in order to inspect the place. There, in the kitchen, whether they see an old stove or a new one may completely change their perspective of the place.

Even if you stress out that you’ll be taking the appliances with you, when you move, they’ll still have a great impression of the place. In other words, you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong (from a moral and ethical standpoint).

If anything, you’ve helped a potential buyer see how the place will look when fully furnished.

3 – Repairing can be cost-effective

Even if buying new appliances sounds like a great idea, it definitely shouldn’t be your go-to solution.

If appliances are included in the deal and you’ve done your math only to realize that the ROI boost isn’t justifiable, you should look for a repair instead.

After all, your visitors have seen the appliances and they’re content with them. However, you need to keep in mind a scenario where they decide to test them, as well.

For instance, what if they want to try your washing machine and it’s not in… well, ideal shape? This is something that a professional washing machine repair can solve without the need for a purchase of a new appliance.

4 – How big of a priority is it?

Previously, we’ve talked about investing money in order to increase the value of the place. Well, chances are that you will have a limited investment budget.

So, even if buying appliances will give you an increase in resale value, is this really the increase that you’re happy with?

Perhaps the same amount of money can be used in order to redo your home’s façade or fix the bathroom fixtures. Doing this might yield a greater ROI.

Remember, you’re not going to live in the place, so don’t allow yourself to be too sentimental. Still, it could be quite helpful for you to try and look at this from a buyer’s perspective.

5 – How big of a change will it introduce?

The last question is one that you need to look at from a completely different angle – a relativist one.

In the first section, we’ve mentioned an increase of 3 percent. The total value of these 3 percent mostly depends on the total value of the home. You see, 3 percent of R1,000,000 (R30,000) and 3 percent of R5,000,000 (R150,000) are not one and the same.

Also, try to take a look at these things from the perspective of aesthetics. Do these appliances match? From the standpoint of a pragmatist, you need to ask whether replacing these appliances might cause some other issues to spawn.

Destroying the kitchen floor in the process is just one example of a negative side-effect caused by appliance replacement/removal.

In conclusion

In the end, it all depends on the value gain and the options that you have available.

Making the place more appealing to the customer is a huge thing but it’s something that can be quite unpredictable and situational.

What appeals to one customer doesn’t necessarily attract someone else. So, it’s far safer for you to stick to those solutions that will provide you with a direct, financial benefit.

Also, remember that your time and effort have a value of their own, and spending too much of either on a home that you don’t intend to live in might not be worth your while.


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