Renovations that may be worth doing before selling

With the first day of winter right around the corner and the holidays upon us, selling your home might not be at the top of your wish list.

When the time does come to sell your home, an obvious question arises — should I do renovations before I sell? While on the surface it may seem like renovations could increase the value of your property, there are a handful of factors to consider before jumping in and doing them.

First, find and choose a REALTOR® for guidance on how the market is performing in your area. Next up, decide on your target market. Are you looking for a buyer who wants a move-in ready place? Or someone searching for a fixer upper? What’s your time frame to sell? These questions will help determine the scale and size of any potential renovation.

 Anthony Lance, REALTOR® and sales representative with Right at Home Realty Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, says, “whether you’d like to sell your home with small upgrades or larger ones, there are specific changes that can help.”

Kitchen and bathroom

When it comes to large renovations, Lance suggests putting your money in areas like the kitchen and bathroom.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and future buyers are attracted to a space they could see themselves in. However, the cost and time required to remodel a kitchen can quickly add up with new flooring, countertops, cabinets and appliances. To keep costs down, consider do-it-yourself projects like painting the cabinets, replacing the lights, and refreshing the backsplash.

A bathroom remodel is also typically one of the higher return projects you can do. For larger renos, consider updating worn-out items, replacing flooring, and purchasing quality finishes. Some easier changes include repainting the vanity, switching out the fixtures, and brightening up your grout.

“When a buyer comes in and sees a nice bathroom and kitchen, it’s a relief,” says Lance, adding “these are intimate areas where people spend a lot of time and having them already done can be a major win.”

HVAC, roof, and windows

Lance also says “people want to know the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), roof, and windows have been taken care of as a buyer is going to be concerned with what might cost them more down the road.”

When it comes to your roof ask yourself ‘what’s the damage?’ both financially and foundationally.

Like the roof, when thinking about windows determine if a repair will suffice. Windows can make a big impact aesthetically and to the efficiency of your home, including its heating and cooling costs.

General aesthetics

While bigger renos may help increase the value of your home, they could also open up a Pandora’s box, so when planning for renos, consider if smaller changes may fit the bill.

 “A fresh coat of paint indoors and outdoors make a home look larger and well maintained. Also consider painting the exterior, especially the front door,” says Lance. “Little things like changing the doorknobs and ensuring the insides of cabinets and closets are in good shape can also help to draw in that detail-oriented buyer.”

Although cleaning isn’t a renovation, a good deep clean of your home is a great way to show off its features. Moreover, “fresh flowers, green grass, mulch in the garden and potted plants go a long way,” says Lance. In winter, shovel your walkways and driveway, and keep all access neat and ice-free. Fresh seasonal greenery at the front door is a nice touch.

If you’re in a condo, give your windows and balcony a good wash and accentuate the area with bright plants and balcony lights. Extra lighting, especially during the darker winter months, adds extra appeal for potential buyers.

Remodelling your home before selling is no small decision. If you have time, a clear budget, and want to attract a move-in-ready buyer, consider taking on larger renovations like the bathrooms, kitchen or mechanical systems. Or, if your property is already in tip-top shape, consider some paint, a professional home stager, and a proper clean.

And don’t be shy about decorating for the season. Buyers like to visualize themselves in your home as they’re walking through. So add a few tasteful holiday decorations here and there. But moderation is key because you want the buyer to visualize themselves entertaining family in their new home over the holidays; you don’t want them looking at your decorations instead. The same goes for clutter. Simplify every room.

There are many paths you can take when thinking of renovating your home before selling, and your REALTOR® can help identify the one that will help in your local market.

The information discussed in this article should not be taken as financial or legal advice. This article is for informational purposes only.