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Should I Renovate Before I Sell My Home?

Posted by John Benjamins on February 23, 2016
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Homeowners who consider selling their property often wonder, should I renovate before I sell my home? It’s an important decision to make.

Before we get into the finer details of home preparation, it’s helpful for Sellers to try and gain some perspective on their own style of home ownership. Try to honestly assess your level of commitment to the following:

  • What is my tolerance, budget and skill level for home updates? Am I confident in contracting out renovations, paintwork or landscaping?
  • How important is decor in my own lifestyle and home? If its very important you’ve probably been updating your home regularly. If it’s important, you probably update things as they tire out and keep your home well maintained but may not rush out to embrace the latest trends. If it’s less important you probably focus on the utilitarian aspect of your home and hopefully maintain what’s there but are less concerned by dated cosmetic finishes.
  • What type of Buyer would I like to attract for my home. Benjamins Realty can certainly assist in making this determination but it’s important to begin considering potential Buyers before considering any update.

If home decor is less important, focus on making your home clean and presentable. Change any lightbulbs that need changing, remove all the clutter and place non-essential items into storage. Prepare mentally to sell your home (that’s a whole other post), there are lots of Buyers who simply prefer to update homes themselves.

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It’s Time To Renovate

Once you’ve established a basic framework for your personal style of home ownership, you may be ready to consider some updates to the home prior to selling.

The best way to think about updating your home can be summed up in one term: coherence. When a home has coherence, it gives the Buyer an impression of completeness or wholeness. This coherence should also speak to the type of Buyer you’re seeking.

One of the easiest ways to present coherence is painting the home in soft neutral colours. Fresh paint can make a home feel cleaner, brighter and more inviting.

renovateHire a professional unless your confident your personal paint job will be indistinguishable from that of a professional. Not sure what colour to pick? Take a walk through model homes in the area. Model homes are professionally designed to the last detail and give good indication of recent design trends.

Curb Appeal: If you paint the interior but the front door and garage doors have chipped or faded paint, do the exterior entrances too. Remember we’re seeking to present a coherent finish to the Buyers. Consider investing in some nice seasonal planters (just make sure to water them). Does the driveway need to be sealed? It goes without saying… in the summer and spring, the lawns should be neatly mowed and the edges trimmed with a string trimmer.

Larger updates: these become trickier, obviously if you put money into the home you’d like to see that returned at the time of sale. We believe a larger renovation can be helpful when there is one important room that needs to be brought up-to-date to create a wholeness within the rest of the house. Did you renovate your update, paint and kitchen but have a bathroom from the 1980’s? Go ahead and renovate the bathroom too. The reverse of this is also true, do not update the bathroom when the rest of the house is still rocking a mullet (outdated).

Design Consultation

Finally, consider meeting with a professional interior designer. All of our clients receive a complimentary consultation with a designer prior to listing. The designer helps to see things you may not as a homeowner. They can recommend what needs to stay and what needs to go. Even as professional Realtors, we like to defer to expert designers, they help make our photos pop and can give the Seller an edge against the competition. Remember a Buyer will always compare what you are offering to other similar homes that are on the market.

Our designers can also offer furniture rentals, maybe you need a few accent art pieces or a new dining room table. Rather then purchasing these, home stagers can provide a short term rental. This can really contribute to the overall coherence of a property.

Have questions about your own plans to sell? We’re always available for a friendly conversation here at Benjamins Realty. We’re not interested in pressuring you to sell, so it doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of today, tomorrow or sometime down the road.

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