Top tips to ensure you get the most from your renovation this season
Even in a hot housing market, buyers must beware of renovations that can actually make it more difficult to sell your home and add little or nothing to the property value. Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the future, careful consideration of your renovation vision is crucial BEFORE you start.
Establishing a relationship with your real estate agent will set you up for success no matter when you plan to sell.
“Owning a home is one of the single largest purchases many of us will ever make,” said Andrew Zsolt, President / Broker of Record at Royal LePage Terrequity Realty in the Greater Toronto Area. “Building a relationship with an agent you can trust, and who knows first-hand what creates demand in your neighbourhood, is a smart way to ensure your renovations marry your tastes with the market in order to maximize your investment,”
Zsolt recommends the following tips for owners ready to renovate:
1. Know your neighbourhood – No matter how long you’ve lived in the community, you will not have seen as many of your neighbors’ homes as your real estate agent has. Agents specialize in areas. That means they’ve seen all kinds of renos…and have had to sell them. Talk to your agent about the renovations that have returned the best value for others in your area.
2. Temperature matters – Selling in a hot market is challenging in a different way than selling in a cool one. An agent who knows your neighbourhood will be the best person to give you advice on negotiating the market variables.
3. After kitchens and bathrooms, let in the light – Homes with good natural lighting are always popular. Sometimes, the simplest solution is a glass front door to allow light into your entryway.
4. Add a room, to your outside – Despite, or perhaps because of, our winters, Canadian buyers love outdoor living spaces. A well-proportioned deck extends the living space of your home and is an attractive enticement for buyers.
5. Be room conscious – The current trend is for more open concept living with fewer, bigger rooms. But (see tip #1), if your neighbourhood is full of older, more traditional homes, a modern open-concept layout might not be as appealing to prospective buyers. When in doubt, consult your agent.
6. Bathroom bonanza – Homes with bathrooms or powder rooms on each floor are customarily hot sellers.
7. Recognize the “reasonable standards” – When renovating to sell soon, know what is expected of you to help your home meet the standards of others in your area (see tip #1). Over-renovating can sometimes backfire. Very few Buyers can tell the difference between a $250 and a $500 toilette.
8. Be sure to replace the unsightly – Anything broken, chipped, stained or garishly coloured (like that hot pink porcelain toilet and sink combo) should be updated.
9. Love it and List it – If you aren’t planning to sell immediately, you can still maximize the value of your renovation AND reflect your personal tastes. Stick with neutral finishes and let your personal style shine through accessories you love that can then move with you when you are ready to go.
10. It’s my home – The hardest part about renovating your house to sell is the emotional attachment owners have to their homes. A trusted agent can give you an objective and qualified perspective that can help take the emotion out of the challenging decision-making involved in home renovations.
In the end, a good REALTOR® should not only know the neighbourhood, but also be a proactive and trusted advisor, able to give practical advice on home decisions throughout the ownership lifecycle.