Should I Replace the Appliances before Selling?

It’s a common conundrum, getting ready to sell a home always presents a host of questions, and, this one is no different. It’s difficult to answer because of the many factors involved: time, money, and worth. Unfortunately, the answer might be forced upon you, depending on the overall condition of your home, both inside and out.

You might have a friend or family member urging you to update your appliances to make your home more attractive to buyers, but you don’t want to spend money on a property you won’t own much longer. It seems like a sensible position to take, but it might be a bad marketing decision. It’s a penny wise and pound foolish scenario. So, it’s time to take an honest assessment of your home to know what to do.

Are You Marketing like a Buyer?

Chances are excellent that you’re not thinking like a buyer. Instead, you’re thinking like a seller because that’s the position you are in presently. It’s completely understandable to be in this type of mindset but it might well be preventing you from selling your home for as your estimated asking price, or even more.

“When deciding which projects are worth completing, you don’t want to over-invest your time and money. Expensive projects are rarely worth it if your goal is simply to sell the house.” —Yahoo Homes

Engage in a thought project for a moment and ask yourself why big companies spend so much money on marketing research. You know what the answer is because they are successfully selling their products and/or services. Now, apply that same approach, and you’ll begin to settle-in on the right answer for what’s best to get your house to sell. Basically, the ultimate answer relies on your personal situation. Under good circumstances, you would probably do everything you could to make the home as marketable as possible — to get the most out of the sale.

Upgrade Appliances before Selling?

If the appliances are several years out-of-date, or not in great working condition, the answer is obvious–you replace them. However, if they’re older, but still work and look well, then the answer becomes a bit more complicated. Should the answer not be immediately clear and reasonable, then here are some factors you ought to take into consideration:

  • The rest of the home is largely up-to-date. If most or all of the home outside the kitchen is newer or looks good and provides ample function, those appliances might be a big objection to buyers. Though it seems petty, buyers spend a lot of money to purchase a home and don’t welcome extra expenses. They’ll also wonder why you haven’t upgraded them because you’re trying to sell the home and will probably make a profit.
  • The kitchen has some shortcomings which would cost too much to be feasible. Should the kitchen have problems that would cost a lot to improve, such as countertops which need updating or too little workspace space that could be taken from the dining or living room, spend less and upgrade the appliances. This will take the spotlight off those problem areas and buyers will probably opt for the pros of having new appliances over whatever cons might exist.
  • The amenities and features your competition have in their homes. You ought to be doing some serious snooping to find out what type of competition you’re facing. If there are similar sized homes with the same or comparable amenities, you should one-up the competition and buy new or gently used appliances.
  • The local market conditions and comparable homes in your neighborhood. Depending on the local market conditions, you might be forced to purchase like-new or new appliances. For instance, if there’s a lot of competition and few buyers, that would be a reason.
  • The resources and budget you are working with. Of course, your decision will have to be based on your timeline, your finances, and what you’re likely to get out of the sale. This will definitely help you to make a decision. Should it be a sensible investment, then upgrade the kitchen appliances.

Finally, consider what other low cost improvements you might be able to make it to the rest of the home. Should the appliance be good enough to leave alone and market the home, then focus on little things, like weather stripping, small holes from wall decor, a new coat of interior paint, and the curb appeal of the landscaping.