By Sheila O’Hearn, Zoocasa
Are you planning on selling your home? It’s a good time for sellers. The average house price in Canada for October 2016 was reported as $576,656, according to the Globe and Mail. In Toronto real estate − single-family homes specifically ─ are chiming in over the $1-million mark and soaring, and in outlying suburban areas, standalones are selling on average at close to $700,000. Condos and Toronto townhouse prices, meanwhile, are declining, some as low as $369,655, and $322,055 in the suburbs ─ an often preferred option for first-time buyers.
No matter where you are, the home-owning seller, fall into these real estate trends, the bottom line is the same: applying the fix-its and renos to help drive up your home’s competitive price tag. The trick is to choose the right makeovers that will yield the greatest resale value, at an affordable cost to you.
General tips when selling
Many benefits are gained by working closely with a hard-working agent. They can save you headaches by applying the best marketing tips to home-staging. They will also echo the advice that simple projects to get your house resale-ready is best.
Not everyone who sells their home will have schools or public transit at the stretch of an arm; if you do, fabulous ─ impress that on potential buyers, but know also that a good agent can help you determine and advance an area’s best foot forward.
Selling is not for the faint of heart; it takes careful planning and it takes time. As you prepare to roll up your sleeves, choose renovations that suit the style of your home, your budget, and the area. You wouldn’t, for instance, put huge expense into a bathroom that exceeds a quarter of what the home is worth.
The idea is to recoup the most of your remodelling expenses at the time of resale. So, keep the renovation projects simple, pay to have it done correctly and don’t improve too much.
If you pay to have professionals do your home projects, never pay in cash. Without a proper paper trail, you won’t be able to call on them again if something goes wrong or they didn’t finish the job to your liking.
You’re wise to choose mid- to lower-line priced materials and finishes, rather than elite-line treatments. Chances are that the new homeowners will think differently about a seller’s flamboyant choice, so concentrate on your home’s appearance that is tasteful, simple and clean.
Keeping the house up-to-date and up-to-code as you continue to live in it is always the homeowner’s best practice and will pay off at resale time.
Here is the top-7 list of top-yield renovations:
Neutral paint tones
A fresh, neutral-toned paint job is best for your buck, including simple, no-fuss countertops and cabinetry. Apply bright colours if desired to use as tasteful paint accents or in removable objects, such as a wall print or pottery to set off a room.
Do you have alcoves or kitty-corners that are hard to treat? Try a small, simply designed desk with a low light as an interesting accent. For dark hallways, try mounting a (cheaply priced) mirror. The effect is attractively hypnotic and gives the illusion of length and light.
Remodeling or upgrading your kitchen
Think smaller instead of bigger. Dream kitchens are remarkably expensive, so opt for an updated kitchen that is attractive, functional, clean and modern. Beyond that, you are wasting your money, as you will never get back the value you put into it.
A small amount of luxury or spotlessness in a bathroom, such as a shiny new tub or sparkling, mildew-free tiles, will add to your listing price.
In the world of real estate, buyers do judge a home by its cover! Get rid of clutter around your house. Your potential buyer will drive by if you’ve made no effort to make your home look inviting. Your project can be as simple as replacing a front door, giving your exterior a fresh, neutral coat of paint, replacing worn siding or broken patio stones, or planting some flowers or low-maintenance shrubs. Curb appeal projects add huge value to your home.
Outdoor Living Space
The latest trends show that indoor living space has been extended to the exterior. For resale value, rely on common sense, not expense, by ensuring your porch is in good shape. Add splashes of colour with potted or hanging plants, candle or light accents. Gorgeous throw cushions and clean patio furniture may be just the right touch to make a welcoming impression.
Windows & doors
What shape are your windows and doors in? These items could be part of a larger resale investment if you haven’t kept them up-to-date. The good news is that you don’t have to choose state-of-the-art replacements to reap the rewards of those energy savings that will appeal to potential buyers.
An old roof may keep you in those listings for a very long time, unless you’re willing to lower the price of your home that matches the cost of replacing the roof.
A foreseeable move down the road, but not right away, is foresight you can use to your advantage. In that case, always consider the added value of every renovation you do. It will save you valuable time, money and needless stress at resale time.
Zoocasa is a real estate brokerage based in Toronto.
Sheila O’Hearn is a freelance and creative writer, and has worn many hats throughout her career, from general staff reporter to magazine editor. She has a keen interest in business entrepreneurship and currently writes for several outlets. Visit LinkedIn for more info.
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Writer: Sheila O’Hearn
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