Top 5 ways to boost the value of your home
rewritten and updated for Canadian Sellers and Buyers
Learn how to make 10 percent more money when selling your home
There is no question about it, this is a great time to be selling a house—or buying one.
Buyers as well as sellers can benefit. That’s because purchasing a home is comparatively cheap right now, thanks to still-low interest rates (Ratehub recently posted rates below 2.59 percent for a 25-year fixed mortgage). This is at a 40 year all time low.
So how do you make the most money, no matter which end of the transaction you’re on? For answers, we have put together a summary from the people most in the know for answers—the real estate professional and their service affiliates who broker 90 percent of residential sales.
We point to the following and provided the best advise and tips including;
- what are the costliest mistakes sellers make?
- when is the best time to put a home on the market?
- how much money as a percentage does prepping a home earn you, really?
The answers may surprise you. If you’re a seller, advice from the pros on smart fix-ups, coupled with tips that can help you get the best sales price for your home—some have boosted an additional 8-12 percent, on average. With Canadian Real Estate Association reporting on the house map, the median single-family home price is hovering at about $433,367.00, that’s a potential gain of $43,500.00. In pricier markets, the profits will go many times higher.
And both buyers and sellers can come out ahead with our guides to savvy financial and negotiating moves. Avoid the most typical mistakes and you could gain tens of thousands and even more in some markets, of the home sale’s price.
April through June is always prime home-selling season; and can follow this trend line year after year. So let’s get started!
Cost range: $0 (DIY) to $2,500 (pro)
Potential return: 3 to 5%*
Nothing drives away would-be buyers faster than clutter, grime, and the weird smells that accompany a messy home. Your home should look and feel like a hotel suite upon arrival. And further, be at least that nice on the day of any open house. Vital to the process of de-cluttering and de-personalizing the space, is removing the personal items you have packed. Many Seller-clients, we help will rent a storage unit or have a Storage Pod placed in the drive. Buyers have a hard time imagining themselves in your home if it’s filled with family photos and other personal effects. Stuffing items in the closets and storage areas just does not cut it!
For severely cluttered residences, or if you’re downsizing and need help parting with your possessions, consider hiring a professional organizer. “We’re not counselors, but we have skills to help people think through why they’re having trouble letting go of certain items, says Jamie of Condo Fresh, a professional organizing and pre-listing company that has helped many home-sellers get it right and have it ready. In addition to making your current home more salable, a pro can help you get off to an organized start in your new residence as well.
Depending on the level of clutter, your schedule and timing, an organizer may need one to three months to get your home ready for sale, at a cost of $600 to $2,500—money well spent if it helps your property move more quickly. The service might even be worth it if you plan to stay put for the time being because living in a cluttered home takes an emotional and psychological toll.
Before hosting the open house, remember to open the curtains and blinds because natural light is just as important as order to making a home feel bigger. And give the entire interior a thorough cleaning, including vacuuming, dusting, and wiping down every surface. Your boss might not be coming over, but someone in the position to write you a very big check hopefully is.
*Potential increase in asking price, assuming home value of $475,000.00
Potential return: 3 to 7%
It’s a real estate adage that the kitchen, more than any other room, sells the home. In fact, many real estate professionals believe that the kitchen is the most important of all rooms of the home to have in good shape before selling.
But that doesn’t mean you should drop tens of thousands of dollars on a new one before putting your house on the block. The first advice, is to make all of those minor repairs that can lead to serious second thoughts for buyers—the leaky faucet, the loose light fixture, the burn mark on the counter-top. Thin out the cabinets, so they look and feel spacious.
Once you’ve made the kitchen fully functional, think about a gentle spruce-up. For a few hundred dollars, you can probably paint the walls, update the cabinet hardware, and add new curtains, which will give the space a clean, fresh look.
If the kitchen is badly outdated, increasing your budget to $8,000 might make sense, especially if you could be in the home for a few more years. A few more thousand dollars will get you a top-performing refrigerator, range, and dishwasher, all with popular stainless-steel finish. New counter-tops and floors will cost about the same, especially if you go for DIY-friendly laminate and vinyl, both of which are very hard-wearing. That will leave about $1,000 for odds and ends, such as light fixtures and a new faucet, as well as any necessary labor costs.
Potential return: 2 to 3%
Buyers want to see that a home is clean and well-maintained, especially in the bathrooms. Simple improvements like caulking the tub or re-grouting the tile floor will go a long way in the mind of a buyer. And consider this: 42 percent of real estate professionals asked, said the bathroom is one of the most important rooms of the home to have in good shape.
Installing new bathroom fixtures will make the space look brighter and more appealing. “We tell our clients to replace anything with a handle, especially if the home has hard water, since it causes so much metal corrosion”. Updating the mirror and lighting will improve the sensory experience.
If you’re not looking to sell right away, there are several larger upgrades that shouldn’t cost a fortune, given the small dimensions of many bathrooms. For example, you might be able to add a new floor and vanity counter-tops for less than $1,000, especially if you use inexpensive vinyl and laminate.
Adding new toilets is also a smart upgrade because it can improve the look of a home while also making it more water-efficient. We recently tested toilets to see how well they handle solid waste (using sponges and plastic balls) without leaving unsightly stains inside the bowl or creating a deafening whoosh.
Potential return: 1 to 3%
A fresh coat of paint is the quickest way to transform a room. But it probably doesn’t make sense to have your entire house repainted prior to putting it on the market. “I’ve seen people spend three, four, even five thousand dollars on a massive paint job, when all they needed to do was hit the walls with a Magic Eraser and maybe redo one or two rooms. (Sixteen percent of real estate professionals said interior painting is an important element in fostering the sale of a home.)
Kitchens and bathrooms are two candidates for a complete paint job given the high traffic they see. You should also paint any dark-colored rooms. “Most people do not have the vision of what a room could look like, and instead they walk away and later say, ‘Oh, that’s the house with the purple bedrooms. “We’ve had homes not sell, or sell for less, because of purple bedrooms.”
Warmer Whites and off-whites tend to attract the most buyers; the neutral palette allows them to focus on a home’s attributes. Grays and beige’s are both very reliable. They’re not too warm, not too cold, and they work with most types of furniture, so buyers will be able to see themselves in the space.
As for the paint itself, if you’re getting your home ready to sell, choose a paint that does a good job of hiding old paint and leaves a fairly smooth surface; for less than $30 per gallon. Invest in a top-quality product if you’re planning to be in the home for a while. You can paint the walls yourself or pay a pro about $300 per room, paint included. Find Lowe’s 20% discount on selection of painting products
Potential return: 2 to 5%
You wouldn’t go to a job interview without brushing your hair and putting on a crisp, clean outfit. Nor should you try to sell your home without sprucing up its exterior. Start with basic maintenance: mowing the lawn, trimming overgrown shrubs, applying a fresh layer of mulch to garden beds.
As with your home’s interior, it’s also important to make minor repairs, such as replacing cracked siding boards or re-pointing brick walls. Follow with any necessary paint touch-ups, especially to the front of the building, which will get the most scrutiny. It might be worth completely repainting the entry door, provided that won’t make the rest of the facade seem tired and outdated. A top-performing semi – gloss exterior paint, such as Lowe’s exclusive Lowes Exterior Duramax semi-gloss, provides maximum protection plus a bit of visual contrast and shine.
The roof is another area to pay close attention to because prospective buyers are sure to do the same. Indeed, depending on the condition of the shingles, professionals feel the roof is one of the more important parts of the home to have in good shape. But be cautious, roofs can run into the thousands and it might be smarter to approach the roofing from a different direction.
Disclosure up front, you thought about re-shingling, however as you where selling, you did not want to approach the roofing as a low-cost quick fix. This allows the buyer to budget an amount, and pick a shingle with a lifetime warranty that suites the buyers roofing preferences. Paying $7000-$10,000 for a roof, is not a smart move. Cutting corners and taking short cuts is also a back approach. Indemnify you are aware of roofing issues, plus your willing to make concessions, (providing that the roof is not leaking) is a wiser way to approach the roofing issues. Seller and their agents often avoid identifying or pointing out certain defects, however this in my opinion is a negative and costly strategy. We always recommend disclosing known issues, then the buyers and their agents feel you are more transparent and collaborative. It always come down to a negotiation and being transparent and collaborative projects openness and Buyers are more willing to accept rather than walk-a-way.