The question of whether or not to update your home before selling never used to be a contentious one. It was always cut and dry. First you renovate, then you list. But the fast-paced market of the last few years has turned everything on its head.  

In many ways, the old rules no longer apply, while others have downgraded into simple suggestions. Some homes sell within days, no matter what condition they’re in, sometimes before they are even officially “for sale.” Nevertheless, you are always more likely to find a buyer when your home presents well. 

But is a top-to-bottom overhaul necessary, or will a quick clean-up do? The answer will depend on the market and on the condition of your house. In this post, we’ll take a look at when and why you might want to renovate before listing your home for sale.

What Condition Is Your Home In?

Does your home need upgrades if it already presents well and is well-maintained? Like many homeowners, you may take great pride in the appearance of your house. You clean faithfully, and immediately make any repairs as they come up. Your care and attention to detail show up in every room, and your house is in tip-top shape from top to bottom. 

Or perhaps you live in a newer residence that was only constructed a few short years ago. In this case, you may not need to invest in any significant upgrades. Still, even a house that was built or renovated recently will show some signs of wear and tear. Luckily, it’s nothing that a few minor touches, like a fresh coat of paint, can’t cover.

On the other hand, if your home is older or a little outdated, investing in a few cosmetic upgrades can widen the appeal to a greater number of potential buyers. That doesn’t mean you need to tear down walls or install a new addition, but you may want to consider new flooring and a modest bathroom or kitchen remodel. 

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What Do Buyers Want?

Imagine that your home is already updated beautifully and that your decor is modern and tasteful. You look around and think that any buyer would be proud to call your home their own. 

But we don’t know yet who your buyer will be. Will they have the same taste as you, or would they prefer an outlandish theme that you can’t even imagine?

Designing your home decor to appeal to a wide audience is always a challenge. The good news is that you don’t need to appeal to everyone. Part of the reason many real estate agents use staging is simply to create a blank canvas in a buyer’s mind that allows them to imagine making your home their own. Often, less is more when it comes to home design that sells. 

What Is the Market Like?

The extent of preparation necessary to sell your home primarily depends on the real estate market in your area. At any given point, it could be a seller’s market, a buyer’s market, or a balanced market.

When there are not enough listings to satisfy the demand from qualified buyers, you may be able to sell your home as-is, with minimal upgrades to prepare it for the market. However, if the housing sales are slow, your preparations can be the difference between a successful transaction or not selling at all. Alternatively, you may find a buyer by lowering your price or offering concessions. However, even if the market is in your favour, you could be selling yourself short by not preparing for the maximum appeal to potential buyers.

What Are Your Goals?

Before deciding what, if any, upgrades to make, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your sale. For many people, getting top dollar is critical so that they can afford to buy their next home, whether upsizing or downsizing. 

For others, a stress-free experience trumps everything else. A close look at the local market will help you decide your path. If you’re selling to move to a less expensive area, you may get away with minimal upgrades and preparation. However, when every dollar counts, a few strategic upgrades can help you earn the highest amount from your sale.

Do You Have the Resources to Renovate?

The lack of time or expertise can deter many homeowners from renovating, not to mention that many projects are prohibitively expensive. If you can’t perform the upgrades yourself, you will need to hire a contractor, which adds to your final tally. 

Even with the increased cost, your real estate agent will likely recommend specific upgrades before opening your home to potential buyers. In these cases, the return on your investment is well worth it! Best of all, working with a local Realtor® can save you time and effort by recommending reputable tradespeople you can trust to perform high-quality repairs.

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How Minor Upgrades Can Make a Massive Difference

When you’re renovating a house for your own enjoyment, the list of projects can seem never-ending. Upgrading to sell is different in many ways. It can actually be easier because it lets you narrow your focus only on what will help you earn a higher dollar amount. 

What types of upgrades should you spend the majority of your time and attention on? Think of anything that can help your home appear more modern, brighter, and even larger. These attributes have universal appeal to buyers, especially in rooms like the kitchen, living areas, and bathrooms. 

The simple upgrades below can often be done with minimal cost while yielding massive results once your house hits the market.

  • Sprucing up the outside to create a positive and immediate first impression on potential buyers. In the summer, be sure to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and pull the weeds. In the winter, keep all pathways clear and salted, and consider solar lights to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Clean and declutter your house thoroughly to maximize the space.
  • Add light or neutral-coloured paint throughout the main rooms in your house and repair any cracks or nail holes in the walls.
  • Consider adding new kitchen backsplash and upgrading your lighting fixtures.
  • Re-caulking all sinks and bathtubs to help them appear more modern.

By paying attention to the minor details, you can generate the maximum amount of interest from potential buyers and be well on your way to a stress-free and successful sale.

Do you have questions about how to maximize your sale in your neighbourhood? Our local experts are happy to help! Reach out today at 204-224-2551 or for more information.

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