I get this question several times a week, as a Realtor ® working in Lakeview, Andersonville, Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Lincoln Park neighborhoods of Chicago. Short answer is “Depends on your budget, your tolerance for disorder, and how much you want to sell it for and how quickly.”Know that current buyers are of two types. Wholesale buyers/investors, and retail buyers who want to own and live in a nice place. Wholesale ones want a bare bones price and often are paying cash, so you don’t have to wait for them to get a mortgage. They may be willing to accept broken stuff, older finishes and appliances if they can get the home for 30-60 cents on the dollar.
Retail buyers, on the other hand, are planning to move in, and they want move-in condition and more. No broken items, and often they prefer lovely finishes, features and amenities, rather than ones that are outdated and worn. Their decision may have more emotion than the investor’s, so if your place has broken things, they may feel less inclined to buy. Absolutely fix the things that you can afford, unless you want to settle for cents on the dollar. Broken anything is a turn off.
Here are a few quick tips. If the walls need painting, know that paint provides the greatest return on investment that you can get, and is a do it yourself project. If you floors are scratched or worn, there is a new product by Minwax, a floor restorer. You can buy it at Home Depot and in many cases, do it yourself, so you won’t need to bring in a floor sander and put up with the dust and dirt that will bring. Just a few ideas, but its always wise to consult your local realtor for an opinion of value, and what they think needs to be done, given the local market. Real estate is local, local, local.
Maggie Finegan, ABR, Move with Maggie Chicago Real Estate Team