Renos to Prepare Your House for Sale
Selling your house can be a stressful event, and planning renovations on top of it can add to the stress. It’s better to plan the renovations in advance. If you are planning to sell your house in the summer, it’s a good idea to start renovations as early as February and do the renos over late winter and spring.
Renovating to sell is a different animal than renovating because you are going to enjoy your home for the next 20 years. Somehow the idea of renovating to sell to a complete stranger is not as enjoyable or appealing. However, when done correctly it is a powerful tool for getting your house successfully sold.
It’s important to understand your local market and what buyers are looking for in a home in your area. Your real estate agent is your partner and will be able to advise you of the renovations that are required. The changes that the agent suggests are likely to increase the ROI of your house. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your house for a sale.
GET RID OF CLUTTER:
Clearing out the clutter will provide the potential buyer with a sense of what the house will look like if they were living there.
Getting rid of the clutter in your home can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Make a plan. Decide on a plan of action and how you are going to approach each room. The goal here is to make sure that all spaces in the house look clean and inviting.
2. Set aside some time. Dedicate a few hours to decluttering your home. The best way to do this is setting aside smaller chunks of time. If you take on too much at once, there is a chance you will encounter decision fatigue. Setting aside small chunks of time will break up the task and make it easier to get rid of those unwanted items
3. Donate or sell items you no longer need. If there are items you want to keep that are causing visual clutter, rent a temporary storage space to house these items until your move.
4. Get rid of paper clutter. Go through your mail and recycle any unwanted paper. shred any sensitive documents.
MAKE NECESSARY REPAIRS:
Any items in your home that are broken or in disrepair may require some attention. Repairs can be small jobs such as fixing any small drill holes in walls, replacing burned light bulbs and repairing minor dings and dents in the drywall. There may also be larger repairs such as water damage which requires a dry walling crew to come in to replace the damaged areas of walls and ceilings, or roof problems requiring a roofing crew.
Painting is not only a lower cost improvement (compared to other types of renovations), it is also less work and time consuming. Always consider neutral tones (such as off-white, ecru and light gray) that have more mass appeal. A neutral coat of paint can give the entire house a facelift.
Carpets may need to be cleaned or if they are out of style they may need to be replaced. Wall to wall carpeting is not appealing to potential buyers. It could leave buyers with the impression that you are trying to hide something.
If you have wooden floors take a look at them and evaluate their condition. They may require some small repairs (such as cleaning up scuff marks, or replacing worn down panels) or the floor may need to be replaced.
If the floors in your home vary from room to room, it may be time to bite the bullet and invest in having more homogenous flooring across each level. Wood or faux wood floors are preferable to carpeting. Again, neutral colours are the most attractive to buyers.
An old looking washroom can make the whole house look dated. A mid-range bathroom upgrade (such as a natural stone counter-top) can offer a great return on investment. A few changes such as new countertops, frameless shower doors, new cabinets, and new fixtures for sinks and the tub, can make a huge difference. Remember to keep all cabinet colour and design as neutral as possible.
The kitchen is the most used room in most homes because it is the hub of the house. A well lit and airy kitchen is appealing to buyers. Kitchen upgrades can vary from painting the cabinet doors or walls, changing the hardware on the cabinet doors, updating the backsplash, i.e., low cost updates, to a complete gutting and renovation of the kitchen.
Getting rid of any busy patterns such as wall paper or patterned tiles and replacing them with more neutral finishes which will make the kitchen appear more attractive to buyers.
EXTERIOR OF THE HOUSE:
Curb appeal is very important. When people are house hunting, the way a house looks on the outside really matters. It’s the first impression and what attracts people to come to the property and take a look at the house. Painting the exterior of the house and landscaping can attract buyers to the house.
There are a few key things you can do to boost your curb appeal. One of the most important things is to keep your lawn healthy and well-maintained. This means regular mowing, fertilizing, and watering. If you have any bare spots, you may want to consider reseeding. You should also trim your hedges and remove any dead plants. In addition to keeping your lawn looking good, you should also take care of your home's exterior. This means painting or staining your siding and ensuring that your gutters and downspouts are in good condition. You may also want to replace your front door or add new hardware to it.
DEPERSONALIZE YOUR SPACE:
If your walls are a bright colour or the rooms are full of too many personal knick-knacks such as family pictures, trophies, etc. or bold artwork, that can turn off potential buyers. It’s better to have clear, uncluttered surfaces. The walls should be a neutral colour and the art on the walls should be appealing to all. The idea here is to have potential buyers see themselves in the house and having too much individuality may be a deterrent for buyers.
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL:
When it comes to major home renovations, it's important to choose a professional contractor who has the experience and expertise to get the job done right.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right contractor for your next home improvement project:
1. Get referrals from friends and family. This is one of the best ways to find a reputable contractor.
2. Check online reviews.
3. Get multiple bids. This will help you compare pricing and get the best value for your project.
4. Ask for references. Any reputable contractor should be able to provide you with references from previous clients.
5. Make sure they are licensed and insured. This is important in protecting yourself and your home in case of any accidents or damage during the renovation project.
Taking the time to find a reputable and experienced contractor will pay off in the long run. Your home is one of your biggest investments, so it's worth it to make sure it's in good hands.
There is some correlation between the size of your home and the need to renovate. In the 3- or 4-bedroom category, you’re most likely dealing with families who either have the budget to renovate to their tastes, or are willing to renovate slowly over time as they grow into the house. The smaller your house or condo, the greater the chance that the buyer will be a first-timer or an empty nester. These types of home buyers want the property to be move-in ready, with minimal, if any, touch-ups required.
Overall keep in mind that repairs and renovations take time. You do not want to be in the situation where house showings are happening at the same time as the renos. Always give yourself extra time for unexpected delays. Ideally, everything should be complete by the time you list your home.