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Q&A: Should I do some updates to sell?

Q: My Dix Hills home was on the market for the past two years. Whatever the asking price my Realtor set, I was always offered $100,000 less. I just took the house off the market to rethink things. Will updating my kitchen and bathrooms (which haven’t been updated in 20 years) help increase the offers I get? If so, can I get away with just resurfacing the kitchen cabinets and installing new vanities in the bathrooms to keep my costs low? On the plus side, I have wood floors, Anderson windows, a glass-sided staircase and a granite-surrounded fireplace.

A: "Updating your kitchen and bathrooms will increase the value of your home, but only in proportion to the money you put in it," says Kevin Wrynn, a certified remodler, owner of Kevin Wrynn Carpentry in East Meadow and a member and past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. "First, adjust your asking price based on the comparables in the neighborhood. Next, while an inexpensive fix is not going to give you the huge return you're looking for, updating a 20-year-old kitchen and bathroom will increase your home’s value -- even if you only resurface the cabinets."

Wrynn suggests you consider replacing the countertops in the kitchen. He says that adding a granite countertop vanity in at one of your bathrooms might also help. "In this fickle real estate climate, you have to make sure your house has a competitive edge,” says Wrynn.

Need some real estate advice? Send your questions by e-mail to realestate@newsday.com.

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