When it comes to resale value to your home or investment property renovating with a skilled and trusted design team, construction crew, and real estate Broker is arguably the most important investment you can make.
We listed and sold 3729 Roderick Rd in Los Angeles. I remember the first time I walked into the house. The space was really special with an incredible view, but the house was in rough shape. I use the term “rough” loosely.
“I’m a big believer the space you live in has a significant impact on personality and lifestyle,” Says, Los Angeles based Realtor Karen Jones.
The owners called me over to list the property for sale. They knew from reading online forums like Yelp.com, where we have plenty of past client feedback, that my team and I regularly help our real estate clients renovate houses and condos before they are listed on the MLS or open market for sale. The best way to assure more money in your pocket before selling a property is to make minor ‘lipstick” improvements.
The rule of thumb, ” Only spend a dollar when we’re certain you’re going to get at least three dollars back.”. It’s that simple. It’s important to make the home beautiful and fresh by creating the lifestyle and energy to attract a top-dollar sale.
Whether you hire a fancy design company or save money by taking our advice, It’s really important to know what interior and exterior styles are trending including color palettes. The last thing you want to do is spend money on choices that aren’t easy to understand or even worse, yesterday’s news.
Our team will gather multiple samples and help you tell the RIGHT story for the house. Together we’ll find the perfect balance of work and play while allocating every dollar to make sure the house stands out in the market.
Staging is half the battle
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have heard the term “staging a home”. It’s certainly not a new concept in Los Angeles, and it’s a practice that’s gained popularity nationwide.
I see many homeowners confuse staging for decorating,” says Linda Graveline owner of Eleven Interiors.
At the end of the day the moment you pull the trigger to market your home for sale you have to commit to making your house or condo a place prospective buyers can easily picture as their new home.
What’s the story you want to tell with your home?
I’m sure if you’re like me your home speaks to you, but what will it say to potential buyers? Most of the time we walk into a seller’s house quickly get a sense of who they are. Sometimes sports trophies displayed, plenty of family pictures covering the walls, or Stacks of books on the coffee table. The point is we don’t live the same way we sell. Our homes represent who we are. They’re life-size memory books of our adventures, achievements, and beliefs. It’s a bunch of stuff that speaks to us. The goal of staging is to design the space to speak to everyone else in a cohesive way.
8 ways to instantly save money on your home remodel before listing your home for sale with a reputable real estate broker
1. Rethink the space you have before modifying
If you can reorganize the kitchen you may not need to blow out a wall or build extra storage to achieve the amount of space you need.
2. Donate items you don’t want anymore
Before you make a pile of unwanted items, call your local Habitat for Humanity or the Good Will. Many items you think are junk can be reused and reimaged. Plus, take advantage of the charitable tax credit for the donation.
3. Have fun with the demo
One sure way to save money is rolling up your sleeves to do your own demolition. When in doubt, wear a respirator mask and goggles. Just be cautious you know the difference between plumbing pipes and electrical wires. Rule of thumb, when you mess with a water pipe you get wet, when you mess with an electrical wire you get dead.
4. Watch out for FRAUD contractors
I’ve heard the horror stories of unscrupulous general contractors and personally know of a local Eastside Los Angeles individual who secured a General B contractor’s license by committing fraud on the state of California and its residents.
The person paid another general contractor thousands of dollars to sign off on her skillset. Contractors are required to have a minimum of 4 years of experience to qualify to take the state exam. Experience must be at the journeyman, foreman or supervisor, contractor, or as an owner-builder. The person I’m referring to is operating a business with no practical experience whatsoever and who hasn’t stepped foot on a job site in any of those capacities.
Real estate and renovation is a lifestyle for me, not a day job. I’ll help you sniff out the bad eggs and troublemakers. I work with a trustworthy renovation and construction crew.
5. Partner with a trusted Real Estate Broker
It’s important to put your faith in a real estate professional with a proven track record of putting clients first. Some of the benefits of working with a local Realtor team is general contractor, staging referrals, and handymen referrals, professional advice from someone who’s fiduciary duty is to you, or simply to have a confidant every step of the way through the renovation and ultimately the marketing and sale process.
6. Do your own schlepping
Who do you know with a pickup truck? Another silent budget buster of home renovation is delivery fees. Find someone with a large SUV with push down rear seats, a pickup truck, or even a van. Any vehicle we can get our hands on large enough to transport appliances or large plants is a major win.
7. Is that an authentic Eames Lounge Chair?
I’m a fan of authentic anything, but remember this project isn’t for you or me. We’re creating a “lifestyle” which will appeal to everyone else in a cohesive way. We don’t need to break the bank with designer furniture. This is why working with a skilled and reasonably priced interior designer and stager keeps money where it belongs – in your wallet.
8. A punch list early equals savings
It’s smart to put together a list of renovation items you’ll need pretty early on so you don’t get bottlenecked in the eleventh hour and loose time or money or both. Fixtures, fittings, hardware, or lighting can be back-ordered or some items can be hard to find. Locating the correct amount of drawer pulls can be a daunting task. Always order 10 more than you like you need.
Conclusion & Resource links
Picking the right renovation and real estate team can seem daunting, I totally get it. Especially in today’s market when everyone is an expert and are #1 blah blah blah… Your best bet would be to interview a handful of people, ask for references, review their portfolio, check them out at online forums like Yelp.com and cross-check professional licenses.
A clear line of communication and a sense of urgency are paramount. If you don’t feel as if the candidate has both of those qualities move on and don’t look back.
If you enjoyed this article or would like to learn more about our real estate brokerage or services don’t hesitate to email or call anytime. We work for our clients seven days a week.
Here are a few more helpful links from industry professionals we trust. They know their stuff!
- How to negotiate with contractors – by Brian Davis
- Remodeling small kitchens ideas – John Cunningham
- Indoor Improvements To Increase Home Value – Geoff Southworth
- Inexpensive upgrades which add value to your home – Michelle Gibson
Glenn Shelhamer is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Los Angeles area for many years. He is also the team lead of The Shelhamer Real Estate Group. When Glenn’s not selling real estate he can be found spending time with his beautiful wife and two terrific kids.