Top 10 Things To Do To Prepare Your Home For Sale To Maximize the Value
Posted By: Rachel Kavanagh
July 19, 2023
So many clients ask us ‘What should I do to prepare my home for sale?’. We love this question and over the years, we’ve given it a lot of thought. We’ve come to the conclusion that when considering this question, one should consider their objective and timeline. When you begin thinking about preparing your home for sale, it means that you are in the mindset of thinking about a move. Is that move 1, 3, 5 or 10 years out? It’s likely 1-5 years out if you’re thinking about the impact of your improvement on resale. If your move is 5 years or more out, do what you want to do for you and enjoy it. Most renovations ie. Kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, pools/hot tubs, finished basements are depreciating assets, whereas the land your home sits on is an appreciating asset.
Now, if you’re planning to sell your home in 1-5 years, we like to recommend the improvement investments which net you 5 – 10 times your investment. If you spend one dollar and net one dollar, it’s not worth the time and effort, especially if you won’t be in the home to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Here are the top 10 improvements for maximizing your investment from our experience in selling homes in the Greater Toronto Area.
1. Decluttering and Organization
This is a no brainer and feels so good, yet most of us resist the decluttering and home organization step. Make three piles for Keep, Trash & Donate and go through all your drawers, storage areas and closets. An organized and clutter free home gives the buyer a sense of spaciousness. You’ll be a step ahead for selling and moving! Bonus!!
2. Paint and Caulking
A fresh coat of paint (in a neutral colour) can update the look and feel of a home. Fresh caulking around the countertops and bath tubs really makes a difference in the overall vibe of the home. When buyers get the impression that a home is well maintained, they will pay more for it.
Hardwood is a plus and easy to clean, but even a fresh neutral carpet will go a long way in improving the flow of your home. Tip: try to minimize different types of flooring throughout the home and opt for a more universal flooring type throughout where possible.
Whether you need a full renovation or a refresh, the kitchen is the heart of a home and buyers will look closely at the kitchen when making a decision.
Who doesn’t love a clean, spa like bathroom. This is the area to keep light and airy.
6. Finishing the BasementBasements can be secondary to buyers as they’ve usually made their home buying decision within 60 seconds of stepping into a home. However, a well finished basement can be what seals the deal for a buyer on the fence. Think about your home and the area and what may be important to buyers in your area. Are there many multi generational families living together? Do many people in the area have kids? Are their kids younger or older?
7. Patio or Landscaping
Start with the front, hello curb appeal! Think about the backyard and where one may BBQ and host gatherings. These can be important decisions for buyers depending how they will use a space.
If your roof is showing significant signs of age, we may recommend this at the top of the list. However, if your roof is simply older but still in great condition, we wouldn’t recommend replacing it for resale.
Rarely will an older furnace or AC be a deal breaker for a buyer. Like the roof, if they are not working well, we recommend replacement. Usually a service call can satisfy the buyer that the equipment is in good working order.
10. Garage Updates
We may not be in good favour with some people for saying this, but if basements are secondary for most buyers, garages are third or maybe lower on the list. Many buyers never look in the garage when making a buying decision. Some buyers love their garages and turn them into retreats or caves from their home. An insulated, heated, epoxy finished, furnished with shelving garage is a nice to have for many buyers but usually not a reason they buy a home.
Ultimately, most home owners improve their homes over time and enjoy the upgrades while also benefitting from the resale value of these updates. If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near term, give us a call to discuss your specific home and let’s us help you put a plan together to maximize the return on your investment. In the meantime, enjoy your home!