You’re ready to sell. Should you renovate first?

After making the decision to sell, many homeowners turn their focus to renovations to add value to their home. It’s a valid consideration before you officially list your property. The key is in knowing what renovations are going to give a high return on your investment.

Know the market

Start by talking to a Realtor ® , preferably one who has several years experience in your neighbourhood. Ask how your home compares to others on the market or that have recently sold. And ask about the state of the market. In a seller’s market, you may not have to renovate as extensively as you would in a buyer’s market. If you decide to renovate, discuss your plans with your Realtor ® , he or she will be able to help you determine what projects will be most profitable.

Choose your renovation project(s)

According to some sources, some renovations can have a return on investment equivalent to 5 or 6 times their initial cost. Here are projects that may give you big bang for your renovation buck:

1. New paint

It’s as simple as that. The idea is to create a blank canvas where a prospective buyer can imagine living. The best way to do that is to choose a neutral shade (creamy whites and greys are popular now) and paint each room. This will tie in the rooms as you move from one space to the next. And it will freshen and brighten spaces as well. It may not necessarily be to your taste, but it will appeal to buyers.

2. Update flooring

If your hardwood is showing wear, or you have old carpet, you may want to consider updating your flooring. Look at having hardwood professionally refinished. In areas of carpet, remove the old and replace with hardwood/laminate. If you must carpet, choose a durable, low pile in a neutral colour.

3. Update fixtures

Old fixtures date your home. Look at replacing light fixtures throughout your home. And take a look at fixture laden rooms like the  kitchen and bathroom. Consider replacing or updating countertops, plumbing fixtures (taps & faucets) as well as cabinet hardware. These are small upgrades that can make a big difference.

4. Remodel or add a bathroom

Update the bathrooms in your home. Sometimes this is as simple as a fixture change and retiling the floor. But if you’ve got a pink toilet and matching tub, you may want to consider completely remodelling the space. Or if your current home has only one bathroom, you may want to consider adding another (3-piece) if at all possible. This is one renovation investment that usually sees significant return.

5. Remodel the kitchen

This can make a significant difference in the value of your home. Look through magazines for current kitchen trends. Things to consider include: an open lay-out, an island, brightness through windows or under cabinet lighting, white cabinetry is often more preferred to dark. Appliances are important too – the current trend is towards stainless steel finishes.

Before you spend a penny

Once you’ve decided to renovate to increase your home’s resale value, there are some key things you can do to ensure your projects are done on-time and on-budget. This is very important when you consider that you’ll also have the costs and logistics of moving from this home to another. Do yourself a favour and consider the following:

1. Set your budget

Once you know what needs to be done, do your homework to determine the extent of your renovations and what they’ll cost. Weigh these costs carefully. Remember, renovation costs are in addition to  the costs of moving, land transfer and legal fees and the downpayment on your new property. And be prepared with money in reserve – a good rule of thumb is +30% of your original budget – to allow for unforeseen issues.

2. Set your timeline

Renovations don’t happen overnight. Especially involved projects like a bathroom or kitchen. If you need to sell sooner rather than later, then this may mean sticking to cosmetic renovations. If you have the luxury of time, then you can look at larger projects like updating a kitchen or bathroom, or creating an income suite. Check with the pros who will be completing the work for you and ask for a timeline. Then budget more time for unforeseen issues. If you’re doing the work yourself, be sure to give yourself plenty of time so that you’re not cutting corners as your listing date looms.

3. Create a plan

From day one until the project is complete, you should be following a plan. This is crucial particularly for large, multi-stage renovations. A plan can be created with your contractor so that you both have a clear vision of what – and when – things should be accomplished and how much is spent along the way. This will help to keep lines of communication open as well. If you’re doing the work yourself, a detailed plan will keep you on track so work is completed on time.

Let the Mitra Moves You Team be your guide

The Mitra Moves You Team takes pride in serving Thornhill and other communities. We are committed to transforming dreams into sustainable wealth through strategic home ownership and real estate investments. And we’re just a phone call away.

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