Improvements that add value:
- Hardwood Floors: Buyers love the look of hardwood floors because of their timeless appeal and durability; Some buyers are disappointed when they view a home with carpeting as they know they’ll need to change it to either engineered or solid hardwood. As well, many buyers or people in their family have allergies so more and more homes are built or renovated without any carpeting.
- Bathrooms: Minor or major updates are beneficial. Buyers are looking for neutral and soothing color palettes and features. Start with basic white toilets, sinks etc…then add modern or contemporary fixtures and hardware. Bathrooms have become a retreat from the busyness of life and many bathroom renovations are “spa-like” in their design.
- Kitchens: If you’re updating your kitchen before you list your home, you’ll need to stick to a realistic budget. While a renovated kitchen has a high return on investment, it can be very expensive. For example, composite, high-end laminate and butcher block look modern, but are more cost-effective than stone. Call in a trusted contractor to see how to update on a budget for maximum results.
- Income Suites: When done right, renovating a basement, loft or garage into rentable living space can appeal to Buyers. Some Buyers seek out these homes so they can generate income to offset mortgage payments. As well, in today’s heated Seller’s market, additional living suites appeal to a Buyer as they may need to get “creative” when buying a home (buying with friends, family etc…) so a separate living space is a bonus. If it’s going to be a few years until you list your home, you can generate income while continuing to build equity in your home. Just be sure to check with local zoning laws before you undergo this type of renovation.
Some improvements that may not add value:
- Swimming Pool: Many home owners especially those with small children may view a pool as a safety issue as well as an added responsibility and expense.
- Changes that don’t fit with the neighborhood: Adding a second storey may be functional for your needs but if it’s in an area of smaller, one floor bungalows you may not get the return you anticipated based on such a large expense.
- Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical : Because Buyers can’t see these improvements and they expect these systems to be in good working order, they may not pay more for them; however, if the home is a century old home then updating from knob and tube wiring, galvanized plumbing etc…will be more appreciated.
- High end Upgrades: Many sellers update their homes before they list, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you replace the appliances and light fixtures, select nice but basic ones. In most cases, buyers will want to put their own style into the space, and may replace anything that doesn’t complement it.
Three Tips to help your home stand out:
- Home Inspection: If any repairs need to be done, you can address it before it goes on the market.
- Declutter: Buyers want to see the space in the home; it’s a good time to pack away knick-knacks, pictures, valuables etc
- Staging: A professional realtor or home stager will be able to help you present your home in the best possible light making sure the focus is on features that sell such as notable architecture, view, fireplace etc…