Buying a new home also means looking for the best new home renovations or upgrades that fit your lifestyle. When selling a home different renovations can either mean money in your pocket or potentially money out the window.
After I’ve shown clients the first few homes in their new home search, we often discuss my “Real Estate Baseball” rule of thumb. What do I mean by this? Three strikes and you are OUT! As soon as potential buyers can tally up three perceived “defects” in your home, they aren’t interested any more (it should be noted that this is by no means scientific).
You can’t make a first impression on potential buyers again, so, you need to make a great one at the beginning!
I often talk with clients about renovations and Do It Yourself (DIY) projects so they can make the right informed decisions. Sometimes renovations can add to a home sale, but other times they just become another stressful event associated with selling your home and wont generate the return that you are looking for.
Here is a list of potential renovations that I often discuss and recommend with clients.
When my clients walk into a freshly painted home, they immediately notice how fresh and clean it looks. Picking neutral tones and doing a neat and tidy job is key. This is an inexpensive way to freshen up a home and it can dramatically improve the look and feel of a space at a low-cost. It is clean, crisp and welcoming. Potential buyers feel at ease straight away and this is how you want people to feel as they consider your home.
At least 95% of my clients tell me that the Kitchen is the “heart of the home”. That is why it is such an important room when selling a house. Potential buyers are picturing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners being prepared with family or hosting dinner parties with friends. You need to make the kitchen as desirable as possible.
Kitchens should be bright and spacious with a smart layout. Replacing old appliances with energy-efficient new appliances adds a lot of appeal. If you are undertaking a renovation and you don’t already have one, make sure to add a dishwasher if possible.
It can be very costly and frustrating to change the layout of a bathroom but if you pay close attention to the finishes, it can be a great investment. In my experience a beautiful mirror and hardware upgrade can make the world of difference.
New flooring or rejuvenated old wood floors are incredibly popular. Upgrading to hardwood in the living areas and ceramic in kitchen and bathrooms can have a dramatic effect on a home’s value.
My clients often comment on how a home could take on a whole new look with improved flooring. The biggest complaint I hear currently is in regards to old carpet covering hardwood floors. Expose the floors! Sometimes they won’t even need re-finishing.
I would consider putting nice carpet in the bedrooms. While almost everyone likes hardwood and ceramic, they don’t necessarily like getting out of bed onto a cold floor in the winter!
5) Light Fixtures
Let there be light!
Not only do upgraded light fixtures look good, they also help to brighten up your home. Potential buyers do not want to be straining their eyes to look at your home. Make sure it is bright, warm and inviting!
6) Curb Appeal
This is the very first impression people will have of your home. Make sure your front lawn is tidy and gardening is minimal. Don’t feel like you have to go overboard but take an afternoon and plant some shrubs and flowers.
This is my take on potential renovation projects you may wish to under take. Below is a grid, provided by the Appraisal Institute of Canada, outlining other home renovations with return on investment (ROI) as well as the ones I have discussed. It is important to remember that even if you cannot afford to do any home renovations, that doesn’t mean your house won’t sell.
You should also make sure and not price your home out of the market. This can happen when people complete too many expensive renovations only to find that to recoup the costs you would have to price your home higher than any home in the neighbourhood or surrounding area. Speak to an agent in your area; they will be able to give you accurate market information to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Ultimately, If you know what you want to do when it comes to home renovations you should research or consult with a professional about whether it is money wasted or money invested.
|$2,000 (for 1,000 square foot space)
|$5,000 (for 1,000 square foot space)
Renovations with best return on investment, some help may be required
|$12,000 – $15,000
*Assumes mid-grade quality finishes, labour excluded
** Source: Appraisal Institute of Canada RENOVA,
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