Every homeowner wants to add value to their home, and this is especially true when it comes time to sell. Most experts agree that for roughly every $25 you spend on your home, you can get up to $75 back. Now that sounds like a great return on investment to me!
Of course, not all of of us can afford to do a full kitchen renovation or bathroom update before selling our home. Not to mention some people are more handy than others and may be able to do a lot of specialty work themselves on the cheap.
For the rest of us, how can we ensure we maximize the value of our home just before we go to sell? That’s what I’d like to talk about in today’s post.
Let’s look at 5 low cost ways to easily add value to your home before you sell.
Did I mention paint? Paint is the number one simple way you can revitalize and change the look of your home. Now, I’m sure that dark merlot coloured bathroom was a huge hit back in 2005. And that farm-yellow kitchen with one dark green “feature wall” was all over HGTV back in 2008. Maybe not so much anymore, however. Of course we can’t always stay up to date with whatever modern trends are defining interior decor. Things seem to change so fast, you would almost need to be painting every year.
Adding a fresh coat of preferably white or neutral-toned paint is the best way to let prospective buyers envision themselves living in your space. Dark colours or specialty choices may have been chosen from your heart years ago, but they can weigh down a room or leave a visual impression buyers just can’t shake. That’s definitely not something you want during an Open House.
Most painting is relatively easy to do on your own, or with family and friends. Its an in expensive way to breathe life into your home and refresh scuffed walls (plus you can repair any nail-holes in the drywall). Neutral, light tones are easy to digest for buyers. This is why all new homes have a crisp, clean coat of easy-to-cover-if-you-wanted-to paint.
For a bonus: hire a company with a spray gun and have them re-paint all of your trim and doors for a brand-new look on every surface.
Even if you’re not an electrician, plumber or carpenter, there are plenty of small fixes and changes you can make around your house to add a “like new” feel. Take a look at all the aspects of your home that are only semi-fixed and easy to change out for low costs. The best simple upgrades are small pieces of hardware, like door knobs and handles.
If you currently have old brass knobs that are flaking their finish, try swapping them out for a luxe matte-black version. For your front door, could you maybe upgrade your standard deadbolt to include a keypad?
Another easy thing to swap out is kitchen and bathroom hardware, like faucets and handles. Simply changing the faucet and handles in a bathroom can give your vanity the boost of life it needs (especially when combined with a new coat of paint). Same goes for your kitchen cupboards.
Bonus tip: Order some new, modern looking blinds from an online service such as Blinds-To-Go. No one wants dusty old metal slats that have been sitting for at least a decade turning yellow. Providing new window coverings means your buyers won’t have to – and you’ll see the payout in your asking price.
We all do a deep-clean of our house nearly every week….. right? Ok, so maybe we don’t as often as we should. When you’re going to sell your house however, you need to give it more than just your saturday morning once-over. You need to dust and wash every surface because Realtors and their clients (ie. Your hopeful buyers!) will be inspecting every single inch of your home as they walk through and consider the price you’re asking.
Key areas to deep clean are on top of baseboards, behind toilets, window sills, and grease splatters on your kitchen backsplash. Use a magic eraser (or fresh coat of paint) for scuffs on your walls. Hunt down hidden dust bunnies wherever you can. Windex your windows both inside and out, use an air freshener (but not too much), and ensure all of your garbage, compost and recycling have been put out.
Now, this is something you should do at all times anyways, but before you go to sell your home, declutter. Now is the time to throw out the piles of old clothes, books and magazines. Get rid of all the expired canned goods gathering dust in your pantry. All of those empty condiment bottles on your fridge door? Goodbye! Take this as an opportunity to cleanse your house of all the things you shouldn’t be taking with you when you move anyways. You’ll feel much lighter – I promise.
When you list your home with a Realtor, before listing photos are taken they will be sure to engage a stager to assist in showcasing the best layout of your home. If you happen to move, they may even provide some lovely furniture to demonstrate that this empty house is a) indeed habitable, and b) a nice warm space to live.
When a stager makes suggestions on how to style your home, please know that they are only trying to do what is exactly in your best interest, which is maximize the sell-ability of your space. They aren’t asking you to put things away because they’re ugly or unimportant. They aren’t rearranging your furniture because they know your house better than you. They’re simply using their design eye to bring out the best in your beautiful house so other people can see it too. And hopefully pay a premium to get it!
This is something that people who are selling their home often leave to the very end. Which happens to be just what you don’t want, because curb appeal is what your prospective buyer will see first. From the moment they drive up to your home, to their parking experience, to the walk to your front door, they will be scrutinizing every aspect of your property.
You should always be sure to keep your driveway, pathways and decks swept clean and repaired if there are any major cracks or stains. Keep your grass neatly trimmed and ensure your garden is in decent shape, because no one wants to walk past a big yellow dry and patchy lawn, complete with a flowerbox sans-flowers but complete with rocks and weeds. Always make sure snow or dry leaves are cleared depending on the season.
Closely investigate your garage door (if you have one), siding, fences and front door. If one of your family members uses a boot to open your door, now would be the time to clean up the scuffs or apply a new coat of paint – because your prospective buyers will notice. Clean your eavestroughs and remove any debris that may have fallen from overhead trees and onto your roof. Always make sure the outside of your house, including the house number is well lit for night time showings.
If you employ even a few of these easy and cheap ways to add value to your house right before you sell, you’ll feel confident in your asking price and visiting buyers and their Realtors will too. Always remember that even a small amount of work on your home can go a long way, because perception is everything.
Feel free to call, text, or email Dan today for no-pressure advice,
tips and insights into the Canmore & Banff real estate market.