There’s an entire home improvement industry that can help you figure out how to spruce up your house and how to prevent potential homeowner disasters. But we wanted to know which of those investments are worth the time an energy. That’s why, in the summer of 2017, CENTURY 21 Canada® surveyed more than 1000 agents for our Home Buying Trends Survey. The top national results are clear-- and offer advice for sellers to stay on trend with buyers.
Home buyers are looking for a newly renovated kitchen. If a seller is looking to update one room in the house they should focus on the kitchen. Updating the kitchen will attract more buyers and provide the most return on investment, around 70%. Rooms such as living rooms and bedrooms can be updated with a splash of paint while the kitchen may require new flooring, cabinets, and countertops. A general rule of thumb is to spend 6-10% of your home’s value on renovations to get fair returns.
Before you get started on your kitchen renovations, you may want to get some advice about what ‘must-haves’ are popular in your neighborhood or price point. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding a trendy colour to your backsplash. When outfitting your kitchen avoid going for the highest-end products such as exotic wood cabinets. For the most part, you’ll also want to keep your colour scheme neutral to appeal to most and avoid overly personal touches.
Canadian home buyers find updated finishings the most appealing feature in a home. The home buyers trend survey found that 67% of buyers are looking for updated finishings. Updating a few finishings in each room has the potential to take your home from ‘asking price’ to ‘bidding war’.
Many of these finishings may be included in your kitchen renovation, but also consider refinishing hardwood floors and updating light fixtures. When updating the inside of your home, base it off the architectural style of the outside. Potential buyers fall in love with the exterior of your home first. If you have a country style outside, with a hyper modern inside you will be appealing to very small niche.
Water damage is the biggest turn off for potential buyers. Having to fix water damage on a home that you are selling is an unfortunate situation. It makes you feel as though you are investing in an improvement that buyers won’t ever notice. But remember, fixing the water damage will retain potential buyers which will ultimately improve your chances of getting your asking price, or more!
Before your home goes up for sale do a full inspection to detect any damage. You don’t want potential buyers to find the damage before you do. You’ll want to check under sinks, the attic, near windows, fans, chimneys, and in the basement. The amount of repair depends on the damage and can range from sealing windows to a full bathroom renovation caused by mold.
Potential buyers consider layout the most important factor. Buyers are looking for homes with open and functional layouts. While the layout of your home may seem like a permanent feature, there are some small renovation and decoration projects that can improve it. Firstly, remove any excess, personal items from your home to declutter rooms.
If you’re going to knock down walls, consider the structural implications and what buyers are looking for in open concepts. A lot of older homes have separated kitchens while most buyers are looking for kitchens that are included in the living area. If you aren’t interested in knocking down walls or hefty remodeling it may be wise to hire a professional stager. A stager can decorate your home to appear brighter, more open, and create flow from room to room. Staging your home can drastically speed of the selling process and see a price increase of over 15% compared to unstaged homes.
Preparing your home to sell doesn’t have to be a stressful or lengthy process so long as you know what buyers are looking for in a home. According to the Century 21 Home Buyers Survey, buyers are looking for a home with an appealing layout and updated finishings. Buyers appreciate a renovated kitchen, and do not appreciate water damage. If you ask the right experts the right questions you’ll be able to do most improvements yourself. The biggest thing to remember is that investing a little time and money into preparing your home will attract more buyers and higher bids.
Home Buyers Survey Infographic