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When it comes to home renovations, most sellers need guidance

By Mike Wheatley | July 21, 2021

Most people understand that renovations can help to increase the value of their home, but many could benefit from guidance on what exactly needs upgrading, a new study has found.

The survey of 2,000 U.S. homeowners, commissioned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate, found that many people are unclear about the home renovation process. Not only do they fail to realize where they should focus their renovation efforts, but they’re also unaware of the possible financing options to fund those projects.

Real estate agents might do well to advise their clients on their home renovations, according to RealtorMag, which first reported on the survey’s findings. According to survey, 28% of those who recently sold a home said they chose an agent primarily due to their ability to advise them on the best renovations to help maximize the price they can get for their home.

Another 27% said they saw value in an agent that has access to a network of home renovation professionals who can help them to increase the value of their home. And 21% of those who’re hoping to sell their home soon said they were looking for an agent who has ideas on how they can finance their home renovation projects.

So it seems fair to conclude that real estate agents can benefit from getting clued up on all things home renovation, learning about which improvements can add the most value and various funding sources to help their clients.

It’s important to do so because the survey found that 88% of recent home sellers made upgrades to their home prior to the sale. Coldwell Banker Realty’s Rose Sklar said she isn’t surprised that such a large number of sellers are upgrading their homes first. However, she said she has come across a lot of sellers that make bad choices in their renovations, for example painting their home in an unpopular color. That’s because they don’t seek advice prior to their home renovation projects.

Coldwell Banker is getting serious about helping its agents help clients with home renovation. Last year it launched a program called RealVitalize in select markets, where its agents can work with sellers on their renovations prior to listing their homes. The program provides funding, access to locally-based renovation professionals and advice on where to improve a home. It covers projects such as cleaning, painting, curb appeal enhancements, staging and more. Coldwell Banker pays for all of the renovation costs and sellers only have to reimburse them once their home is sold.

Other brokerages have similar programs in place. Compass Real Estate has its Concierge service for example. There are other options too. Curbio is specialist resale renovation firm founded in 2017 that offers its services in partnership with real estate agents. The company is staffed with its own home renovation professionals so it doesn’t farm out the renovation work to third-party contractors. It says this enables it to guarantee the quality its work and it offers a one-year warranty on every project.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
  • 2 comments on “When it comes to home renovations, most sellers need guidance”

    1. Hi Mike - this is spot on. I advise most of my real estate clients, whether selling or buying, about home renovations and value for the money spent. I see a sigh of relief when I tell them that I can help them with resources and guide them regarding value or design. Here in Fairfield County, CT we've seen prices blow through the roof with buyers paying up to 10% over the list price. Due to that, the money they then spend is done so carefully!

      1. It's definitely helpful, a lot of people have a good idea of what they want to do to improve a home, but they don't always understand what kinds of upgrades other people are likely to appreciate.

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