Should You Renovate or Not? Things to Consider Before Selling Your House In Santa Cruz County

Should You Renovate or Not? Things to Consider Before Selling Your House In Santa Cruz County

  • Liz Kroft
  • 07/5/21
If you're thinking about selling your Santa Cruz County home, you're probably asking yourself, "Should I renovate it before I sell or should I not?”

Santa Cruz County Realtor Liz Kroft of Sol Property Advisors outlines the pros and cons of renovating your home before selling. Offering a few real life examples of when it is a good idea to renovate and when to hold off on putting any work in.

In this video, I want to help you make the decision on whether or not you should or should not renovate your current home before you put it onto the market.

TLDR; The three key take aways are:

  1.  Know the current local market conditions 
  2. Finish the unfinished projects 
  3. Do what will get the most bang for your buck 

1. Know the current local market conditions 

The first thing I want to tell you is it's going to be very much dependent on the market conditions. If you are in a red-hot market where there is a shortage of homes for sale, a  lot of times you can get by with a little bit less renovation, because when buyers are out there looking, there's not a lot of choices for them. Well, when there's not a lot of choices, buyers might be willing to make due with things that might not be exactly what they want but since there's no other options, they'll go ahead and take it and deal with it.

Whereas if you're in a market where there's a lot of homes for sale, there's a surplus of supply of homes for sale, now buyers might have 10 different choices, they're going to be a little bit more picky and choosy about the home that they ultimately do pick.

So you might have to do a little bit more in a market like that. So that's the first thing to consider is the market conditions in which you're up against when you're thinking about selling that home.

2. Finish the unfinished projects

The next thing is the one non-negotiable that I recommend on every single home when it comes to renovations is finish the unfinished projects. There's nothing worse than walking through a home and seeing one wire sticking out of a wall, where you could have probably finished that little electrical project for a couple hundred bucks. But a buyer sees that electrical wire sticking out of the wall that goes to nowhere and their brain instantly turns a molehill into a mountain. And they start thinking about, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to rewire the entire home. And what else did they not finish?"


People lose their mind over the smallest little things. So any of those unfinished projects that you have, you got to take care of those. Another one that I see, I was just in a home the other day in Capitola, and you look up on the ceiling and there you could see that they had done a patch job in the ceiling and they never painted it. Well, where does your brain go? Well, if there's a patch job in the ceiling, the roof was probably leaking and there's going to mold and the whole house is going to fall down.

It is insane how insane people can go when it comes to these tiny little things. So you've got to finish all those unfinished projects. You want to have the home cleaner and move-in-ready. If buyers come in and start thinking, "I got to do this, I got to do this, I got to do this. And what about this? What about that?" They're going to freak out. So that's going to be the second thing to consider is always finish those unfinished projects.

3. Do what will get the most bang for your buck

And then the third thing is, you want to be reasonable with what you do. That's going to get the most bang for the buck.

I have sellers come to me a lot of times and they're like, "Oh, I just did this and this and this and this and this. And I'm like, "Oh, well, why did you do that? You literally just threw money away." I met with a client over the weekend and I went out to his home and he was like, "Oh yeah, I'm putting some new sliders in here and I'm going to do this." I'm like, "No, stop, just don't!" His house has a totally dysfunctional floor plan. The home is in really rough shape. Whoever buys this particular home is going to come in and completely renovate the entire thing. There's no sense buying a sliding glass door when somebody might completely change the entire floor plan. 

Now, on the flip side of things, I had another client recently where we went out to their home. And the home looked really nice except for the master bathroom. It had just some old dark oak cabinets, which is just very out of style today. And we were able to come in there for a few hundred dollars and just throw a fresh coat of paint onto those cabinets. And we ended up selling that home for $20,000 above what the most recent home sold for in that same exact community. So there's going to be times and places where the one house made no sense, I didn't want him to spend a single penny, and there's going to be other homes where it might make sense to spend a few hundred or a few thousand dollars because a few hundred or a few thousand could be 10, $20,000 when it comes to that price.

In Summary

So the key is you really should be working with an expert that knows the market conditions, has the connections to help you finish these projects, and knows which projects are going to give you a positive return on investment and which ones are going to give you a negative return on investment, where you're literally just throwing money away.

I’d love to be that person to help advise you. If you're interested in having me come out, do a walkthrough of your home, no cost, feel free to call or text me, no obligation, 831-854-7489. I’m Liz Kroft co-founder and realtor with Sol Property Advisors and the 2021 President of the Women’s Council of Realtors.

Work With Me

With over nine years of full-time experience and more than $114 million in sales across the greater Bay Area, I work tirelessly to be a well-regarded agent, industry innovator, and ambassador for my clients.

Follow On Instagram