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prep for sale - basement finish options

Posted by homebound (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 14, 11 at 12:02

Question for the pros. How do you handle potential jobs where a client is preparing their home for sale and they want an unfinished basement to be saleable/presentable as a family room, etc.? These clients typically don't come in with the mindset or budget of "basement finishing", but instead are seeking "just some framing and drywall" and maybe "a small bathroom". You know what I mean?

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RE: prep for sale - basement finish options

Where do I start: This comes up quite often in my business.
Do not spend a dime on the basement if the stairs are very steep and lack headroom, uneven floor, no headroom, dampness, small furnace that won't heat added space and an exit. These things cost money that you will not get your return on. Basements do not appraise as high as the rest of the house even with living space. Your value in basement remodels comes when what you have remodeled flows well with the rest of the house and does not feel like a basement. Just throwing some walls up will not accomplish anything.
The bath scenario is a whole different ball game. Underslab work and expensive fixtures. Only if the requirements for the other rooms has been met do you consider a bath.
There are more too numerous to mention questions that need to be answered before proceeding with a project like this.

RE: prep for sale - basement finish options

Don, thanks for the good feedback. I agree, especially if it's my home. The challenge is when the client still thinks a relatively small investment will be beneficial, and your trusty referral (the agent whom you want to keep happy) agrees. When I get these I really get into "people-pleasing" mode, but it drives me nuts they don't want to go all the way (eg. insulation, electrical, transition details, etc.)

RE: prep for sale - basement finish options

Your right, you do get into the " people pleasing mode " but only after I have thoroughly gone over all the cons of doing such a project. I want the business but I want to sleep at night too.
My wife is a Realtor and it is her responsibility to give the best advise on how to sell your house. She would be able to give very detailed statistics on what they could expect to gain or lose from a remodel project. We have both come across people that will not take our advise and you just throw up your hands and proceed with the work with a smile on your face.

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