When people decide to sell their home, often they are uncertain if they should update their home. If so, what upgrades would bring the greatest return and most importantly, how much money should be spent on those upgrades. Upgrading before you sell can get out of hand, so set a budget and stick to it or you won’t be able to get that money back on the sale of the home. Consider giving your home any of these 10 upgrades when looking to sell.
If you're preparing your home for sale, there are certain improvements that are definitely worth their cost by helping to attract more buyers, by selling your home faster, by making back most (if not all!) of your investment, or even by increasing the value of your home. It is also wise to check with the government programs that currently offer rebates and grants. Not only can you apply for the tax rebate program for upgrades up to $10,000, but both levels of government are currently offering ecoEnergy grants for upgrades that make your home more energy efficient. There is a lot of money to be given out, why don’t you go out and get it!
An updated kitchen is one of the most popular renovations to add value to your home. Certain upgrades --granite counter tops, hardwood or ceramic floors, premium appliances (especially stainless steel), islands and undermount sinks are all desireable upgrades and will add significant value to your home. Many buyers want to walk into a home and have the kitchen done for them. Outdated kitchens will have a lot of buyers heading for the exit before they even see the rest of the house.
2 Hardwood floors
These days, hardwood flooring is a feature many people are looking for in a new home. Often people will take money off of the asking price because they know they will incur the cost of ripping out the carpeting and installing hardwood. Older homes with original hardwood may have to be sanded down and refinished, but it is well worth the investment. The time and money you will spend will come back to you ten fold when the offers start coming in.
3 Neutral paint job
It is inexpensive but adds significant value to a home. Just the freshness of a new paint job is often enough to leave buyers with a favourable impression. Neutral colours will appeal to more buyers as they can see the house without having to fight through the colours. The colour of the walls shouldn’t distract the buyer from the rest of the house.
4 Master ensuite
If your ensuite is a bit tired, it's worth upgrading, especially if you can afford a few luxuries such as a whirlpool or air jet tub, separate shower with a rainshower head, double sinks and/or heated floors. If you don't have an ensuite, perhaps you can install one by stealing space from the master bedroom or a room next to it.
It's a simple carpentry job, but makes almost any older home seem more gracious. After kitchens, bathrooms are the next most important rooms in the home. By updating your bathrooms, you increase the amount of potential buyers. If you don’t have a lot of money, changing a light fixture, updating the faucet or changing the cabinetry hardware can add significant value to the room.
6 Upgraded lighting
Old-fashioned "can" track lighting can be easily replaced with more contemporary styles such as smaller cans or halogen track lights. Updated and modern fixtures don’t have to be expensive, but can add great value to a home.
7 A finished basement
After kitchens and bathrooms, a stylishly finished basement is high on many buyers' wish lists. Often an unfinished basement will kill a potential deal. If you have the money to do it, you will get most of it back and your home will sell quicker.
A well-maintained garden with attractive plantings, hardscaping such as brick or flagstone, and features such as urns or paths, add an elegant look to even a smaller home.
9 Front Porch/Back Deck
Two or three decades ago, tearing off front porches became fashionable in some Canadian cities, but now they're back in a big way. If you can, add a full front porch (or replace/repair the one you have if it isn't in top condition); if not, a portico (a smaller porch that shelters the front door) can be a worthy substitute. If the front isn’t where you want to update, look at the back of the home to add your value.
10 Adding a bedroom
A four-bedroom house will command a higher price than a three-bedroom, even if they're both the same size. Consider dividing a large bedroom into two small ones (as long as they're not too small, or it can have the opposite effect), or alternatively, consider converting an upstairs den or sitting room.
For more information on buying or selling real estate in Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, or Toronto Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit the Sean Kavanagh Real Estate Resource Centre at at www.seankavanagh.ca I'd be happy to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs. Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK!
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