Very often, when I get a call to go to a home because they are looking to list, I get the normal comment at the end of the call, after I set up a time to meet, that "the house isn't perfect". I regularly hear that people are planning to shampoo the carpets, or maybe touch up some paint, and of course they plan on cleaning up and decluttering as well. I agree, all those things are good ideas. But then again there is always good, better and best.
Many Realtors are taught to just get the listing and get the sign on the lawn. I understand, for those Realtors it's a competitive dog-eat-dog world, and they believe that if they don't quickly get that listing and house up for sale immediately, then someone else will. Post dating listings work, but "what if someone else sees what they are doing and offers to buy it directly..." Well, I guess those are the breaks. Granted, if someone naturally likes something that easily, then to me, that easily means that when marketed correctly, that same home will still appeal to that same buyer, plus also other people in this world as well. Laws of supply and demand easily attribute at least a 5% upcharge, plus the chance for a whole lot more.
I also have learned that a 2% investment in the home's features and finish, almost always at least doubles that return, when executed with a proper precise professional plan.
So, what is your home worth with the builder stock lights fixtures, monotone paint colour throughout, zero landscaping nor even a patio stone and not to mention the mismatched colour appliances? I'll have to say $725,000. But with those things addressed, plus some lifestyle thrown in, and perhaps some unique design appeal, then I would have to say that we're looking at $750,000 - EASY.
If you have the time and a little bit more money to invest, then with some reasonable contractors you can trust to do a good job, and/or call in a couple favours from your Uncle Earl for a day's work to hang some updated light fixtures and install some new switches, then I could easily push that price up yet again. Maybe we consider adding some really cool smart home features... It really just depends on the house and location.
People pay top dollar for an apparent and attractive lifestyle, and even more for a dream well executed. But make work projects don't get top dollar, they tend to attract handy folks and investors looking to make top dollar for their own work that they intend to put into it. Thus, I know it makes more sense to give you an idea off the outset into your best plays in this market. Granted, I do this type of thing so often, I should be able to give you a spot estimate of cost of an executed vision within a 20% range when we meet.
PRICE vs TIME vs CONVENIENCE (it's up to you to choose which ones are most important to you).
In summary, I will more often than not, give you at least two numbers – an AS IS price, and at least one number of what it could be worth, if maximizing your returns is the biggest concern.