So you’re considering refinishing the basement to increase the value of your home before you sell it. Is it worth the hassle and money?
It is definitely going to increase the value of your home. The question is, for every dollar you spend how much are you going to get back when you sell? We did some research and talked to appraisers and realtors. We found that 70% of what you spend on refinishing the basement you’ll get back. So, you are leaving 30% on the table. With an average remodel on a basement remodeling project being $50,000 you are leaving 30% or $15,000 of that for the new buyer to enjoy. So, unless you are going to stay in the house and enjoy the basement for a number of years, then refinish the basement. But, if you aren’t, then our advice is to NOT refinish the basement.
If you have a leak in the unfinished basement, and you need to sell your house, you should definitely fix it before you put it on the market. If you don’t you’ll limit the number of buyers. Murphy’s Law says the couple who wants to buy it will show on a rainy day. If potential buyers don’t see the leak, the home inspector will or the appraiser will. Then you’ll be pulling in structural engineers which will cost as much as the repair would have.