A home in tip top shape may sell easier (and possibly for a better price) than a unkempt home. But it can be difficult to decide how much home improvement is necessary before putting your home on the market. After all, you won't be living in the home anymore, so you only want to make changes that will help you sell the house with a satisfying return on investment.
One common question from sellers is "Should I replace my windows before selling?" In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of replacing windows before you sell.
Return on investment for new windows
The most important question at hand is whether new windows will give you a good return on investment. According to the National Association of Realtors 2016 cost vs. value report, homeowners who replaced their windows with new energy efficient windows on average saw a return of 72% of the project cost upon resale.1
It is unlikely that you will earn back 100 percent of the money you spend on the replacement, but 72% is still a good return relative to other projects you could tackle before selling. And there may be other reasons to replace your windows besides the increase in the price of the home.
Do new windows help sell a house?
The second crucial question we need to answer is whether replacing windows increases the likelihood that a house will sell, and sell quickly. And the answer is likely yes.
A 2016 survey by the National Association of Homebuilders2 found that 87 percent of home buyers considered ENERGY STAR windows to be essential or desirable. Energy efficiency is an attractive quality because buyers do not want to purchase a home that will lead to them spend excess money on heating and air conditioning bills.
Buyers also may not want to go through the hassle of replacing the windows themselves after they move in. If faced with a choice between a home that has old, inefficient windows, and a home that costs slightly more but has new, efficient windows, having new windows may give the impression that a home is more “turnkey.”
Besides increasing energy efficiency, new windows can also make a home look more modern and put-together. This can be a major selling point for buyers who do not want to do any renovation after they purchase.
In sum, investing in new windows may make selling your home easier, although it is not a guarantee.
Pay attention to style
It's important to keep in mind that you cannot replace your old windows with just any new windows. You have to replace them with windows that fit the house. If you choose replacement windows that look awkward or out of place, you can actually end up detracting from the value of your home. For example, installing modern vinyl windows in a traditional, colonial style home will probably give the house a confusing, even off-putting appearance that may drive buyers to look elsewhere.
Take your time with choosing new windows and think critically about what will upgrade your home without making it look like a hodgepodge. Pay attention to the window material you choose for your replacement as well as the cost for the project.
Should you replace your windows before selling?
There is no guarantee of what return on investment you will get with new windows, but many homeowners who replace their windows see benefits when they go to sell. New, energy efficient windows can make a home much more attractive to buyers, so it is a decision you should consider carefully.