23 Oct Renovation Decisions Before You Sell Your Home
We get asked this question on a regular bases, “will this renovation help with resale or will I get a return on my renovation investment?”, so I wanted to discuss this topic as it relates the best renovations you can do to increase resale value or simply sell your home quicker. Wise investments on pre-sale renovations can maximize the resale value and make you’re your home more attractive to potent purchasers, however, you must be careful not to overspend, otherwise you may not be able to recover your investment. The following are renovation investment considerations:
Painting – Interior and exterior painting are likely the most cost-effective improvements you can make to your home, which have an instant impact. You can quickly neutralize personalized colours; using earth tones is a great idea. Remember, a new buyer is not looking to be shocked and your personality may not match theirs, so keep it simple. It sounds strange, but fresh paint makes purchasers think “clean and new”, which is a good thing.
Flooring – Many homes have various types of flooring and they often need updating. If you have wood floors that looks tired and worn, I recommend having them refinished; if you have any tile that is damaged, this is the time to repair or replace; if you have tired and worn carpet in rooms or stairs, it is economical to have the carpet replaced with a neutral colour.
Landscaping – “Curb appeal” has always been critical to resale of homes. So, spend some time and money on trimming or removing overgrown trees or shrubs that may be crowding the house or blocking views. Use mulch and/or stone to create accents, make sure the walkways and steps to the home are safe and inviting. If there is anything broken, like a door bell or door knob, have it fixed. A clean, well-kept yard provided buyers with the expectation of a well-maintained home.
Bathrooms – A bath is one of the highest traffic areas of a home and they wear out and become unattractive. It does not have to be a big bathroom, but for resale, it must be clean and functional. Most home buyers will appreciate a renovated bathroom, as one significant project they do not have to tackle. If possible, add a second bath to your home, if it doesn’t already have one. Many busy families are looking for 2 complete bathrooms, so having a second bath adds value and helps to sell the home.
In-Law Suites / Rental Suites – A semi-separate space or completely separate living space in the home adds value. The modern family dynamic has shifted with adult children remaining home, parents and married children sharing the home or elderly parents moving in with their children for security and convenience. Having a fully functional suite with bedrooms, bath, kitchenette/wet-bar can add value and encourage more buyer interest. It is important to note, an in-law suite or apartment is not a rentable separate unit unless your local zoning permits and you should check with your municipality before making a decision to create and suite. If zoning permits, then a separate rental unit may add significant value if renovated properly to National Building Codes.
Finished Basements – If you have an unfinished or partially finished basement, this can be a great renovation to increase value of your home, as it can increase the actual living area of the home. If you can add a bedroom and a bath to a basement, you have just created a guest space or separate living space for an adult child who may be attending secondary school or saving money for a home of their own. Basements are like hidden gems; they already exist and can be renovated relatively easily without impact to your existing home. The basement is for more than storage and has great potential for increasing resale value.
Kitchens – This can be a difficult decision as a kitchen is a significant investment and can be very unique to the individual. If the kitchen is worn out, it should be updated, keeping it simple and affordable. However, it the kitchen is simply dated, you may want to consider reducing your sale price to reflect what a renovation would cost. This may give you a price advantage and allow the new owner to create the customized kitchen they want.
Selling “as is”, is always an option, in which case the selling price is typically reduced to reflect the work that a new owner will have to complete. This strategy can work for some properties; however, you may be leaving money on the table by doing this. Make the home as presentable as possible with a realistic budget, but always be aware that many styles of homes in specific neighbourhoods have set maximum values, regardless of how much you invest in a renovation. So be realistic about the return on your renovation investment and be aware of the value of homes in your neighbourhood, as you don’t want to over-invest and then be forced to take a loss.
No matter what you choose to do, renovate, repair, paint, flooring, landscaping, cleaning, every little bit helps to give you the best return on your home sale. Please remember to always hire a professional to do any work, ensure they are insured, have safety certification and work above board.
I hope you found this information helpful when making decisions on what to do before you sell your home.
Dan Monk, P.Eng. / Red Seal Carpenter
Owner – MONK Renovations