Profile picture for jessegirl1214

If I want to sell my house, should I put the money in and finish the basement?

  • November 24 2013 - Old Irving Park
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Answers (23)

I like to use data to make the decisions when advising clients. I'd come up with the answer by doing two market analyses, one with finished basement and one without. It also depends how much you plan on spending. If you were going to finish your basement for $10,000-15,000, you can expect to get that money back vs an unfinished basement, especially if you're adding BRs or BAs.
  • January 06 2014
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Profile picture for karenfeldman3
check out the competition, if it will add value and not over-improve. Do it.  Buyers like turn key properties.  The cost of renovating or fixing anything is inflated in the mind of the buyer.  They will guesstimate it's cost twice as much as it will really cost.  Also, I assume you are in Chicago, the more finished space the better!!!
Good luck!
karen
  • January 03 2014
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Very few major home renovations receive 100% payback.  Lists of the % payback on projects are available on several sites.  Let this be your guide on how much you can expect.  Obviously the costs of a good cleaning and a paint job are worth the investment.
  • December 31 2013
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Profile picture for Bkgdc
Depends on where you live.

Ask your REALTOR to give you comps showing the SOLD price and Days on Market of homes with and without basements.  Then compare what it will cost to have a nicely finished basement.

  • December 31 2013
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I usually recommend that my clients not spend a lot of money, Paint is cheap, and a good clean up and staging can do wonders, but it really depends on how the market is in your area. Which is why I agree with the others, have a realtor come by and see what they think. 
  • December 31 2013
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I would suggest finding a few good Realtor's to take a look at your home and give you their valued opinion. Sometimes depending on the situation it's better to sell as is because a buyer may want to come in and redo everything. But again it's best to get the advice of a Realtor first. Good luck with the sale of your house.
  • December 31 2013
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Profile picture for RealEstateCrew
Discuss with a local Realtor Member, they will be able to help you with the information needed to make this question. 
  • December 31 2013
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It depends on the overall condition of the property and market conditions.  I've sold several homes in the area and a finished basement was a big plus for buyers.
  • December 31 2013
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Contact a couple realtors and get a comparative market analysis. This will give you a good idea of how much a finished basement adds to the price of a property in that area. 
  • December 23 2013
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Depends on the current value of your home and the other features it offers in the marketplace. Get an experienced listing broker to value the home and inform you how much more value would come from a finished basement. The broker should be able to help you with a cost:analysis to determine if you should invest the dollars to get a better return.
  • November 28 2013
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Profile picture for Matt Laricy
At this point I would not. It probably wont make sense for you to get your money back.
  • November 25 2013
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Contact your local realtor, get the cma, then go back to decide if the renovation is worth it.. It might be more beneficial to sell as-is or slap on a new roof and more curb appeal.
  • November 25 2013
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 I would If you could do most of the work yourself. But check with a Realtor and ask them for the market value of your home.

  • November 25 2013
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Profile picture for JohnWilt
NO! You get less than a 50% return on your investment.  Interview a few Realtors and ask them for a market analysis of your place.  After they give you an estimate of a sale value ask them if you spent $10K on repairs or updates where should it be spent and how much value would that change make.
  • November 25 2013
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Do the comparable properties in the area also have find basements? if not, there is such a thing as over-improving property. Take a look at the other properties in your area and see if they hve finished basements an compare the value to a similar property with out finshed basement. This is pretty tricky to to... I would contact your broker/agent/appraiser and ask them advise you. 

Disclaimer: This is in no way legal advice and I can not be held liable for the actions of others.
  • November 25 2013
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You should look at this Wall Street Journal article.
  • November 24 2013
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Should you finish your basement JUST to sell your house??

No............................ not unless you want a finished basement and will live there long enough to enjoy it, but simply as a "capital" improvement?  No.

If you feel the need to spend money, spend it where it counts - in the kitchen or bathrooms..or simply freshly painting the interior.
  • November 24 2013
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Usualy you want to see what the competition is doing and what they have done to sell, see what price they received and evaluate based on what it would cost for you to do similarly.  Meeting with an experienced Realtor in your area and discussing the space in person will give you a much better idea.  It is not always cost, if the space is too tight, low ceilings or does not get good flow (in a basement usually because of support beams) it may look good on paper but in reality it could hurt your sale.

Santiago Valdez
RE/MAX Signature
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  • November 24 2013
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You need to have a few agents take a look and do a market analysis to see what the value might be and then you can see more clearly whether or not it is worth the money. If you have to pay retail price to do the work then it probably is not worth it, but there might be a few things you can do to the area to make it more attractive for few $$. There might be better things to spend some money on than the basement. either way, wait until Spring to list.
  • November 24 2013
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Profile picture for bjtregoning
It's impossible to say for sure without seeing the house and knowing where it is. However, you typically do not get a significant return on basement finishes. I would be happy to discuss your situation with you and give you my honest professional opinion once I have enough information. Give me a call or send me an email if you'd like to discuss. Thanks. BJ Tregoning
  • November 24 2013
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Probably not. You will be hard pressed to get it all back. If you can do some, or most, of the work yourself, then maybe.
  • November 24 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Basement finishing is not likely to return the amount that it costs.   Therefore, if you wish to finish the basement for your enjoyment of your home, go ahead.  If you wish to finish it simply to add value for resale, don't bother.
  • November 24 2013
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Profile picture for amandathomas
Hi Jessegirl1214,

To answer that question, you may want to start by requesting a price opinion from a local realtor. A CMA (market analysis) can show you what homes are selling for in your area, and you can run different reports to show what homes with finished basements sell for on an average price per square foot, and how quickly they sold.

Do the same for homes with unfinished basements.

Then get quotes on finishing out your basement. The answer should be evident if you bring it down to the costs of completion and the time value of money.

Does this help?
  • November 24 2013
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