What to Upgrade and What to Forget When Moving and Selling Your Home
So you have decided to sell your home and are now starting to think about everything that needs to be fixed—and it’s very overwhelming. What home improvements are a must, and which can you skip?
Deciding how much work needs to be done to your home before selling it is stressful stuff. Add in the costs of relocating, the hassle of packing up all of your possessions and the emotional hardship of saying goodbye to a beloved home, and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. So, let’s take some of the panic out of moving by outlining what should be done before packing up.
Think the buyers of your home will love the new carpeting as much as you did? Think again. Sellers are often shocked to learn the new carpeting they put in was ripped out shortly after selling, in favor of hardwood or laminate. Sellers need to ask themselves, “Is this to the buyer’s taste? Will I recover the funds spent?” A lot of the time, the decision to do pre-sale renovations is up to how much time, money and disruptions the seller is willing to put up with. There are certain must-fixes, such as a leaky roof, broken windows or an ineffective septic system. Anything that would cause buyer concern, or be seen as a liability, should be fixed. For cosmetic fixes, buyers will value different things about the house, and it's important for the seller to be open to this and not let their own feelings guide decisions too strongly. A home that has the big-ticket items completed in the past five years: Roof, furnace, air conditioning and windows, is most attractive.
If you still feel like an update is needed to catch the eye of a prospective buyer, focus on the bathroom and kitchen. White is a huge kitchen trend right now, so consider a coat or two of paint, and definitely replace any broken appliances or fixtures.
A ton of money doesn’t need to be spent. There are many inexpensive finds on Kijiji or local community buy and sell pages. You can also update accessories, like towel racks or changing light fixtures or faucets, to give your home a fresh appearance without spending a fortune.
Keep in mind the cardinal rule of selling: De-clutter and depersonalize. Buyers open cupboards and drawers all the time. Go through your cupboards, organize things and pack up stuff to show there is plenty of storage.
Moving is a lot a work no matter how you look at it, but it doesn’t have to include a disruptive renovation on top of it. Spend smartly and you’ll be settled in your new home in no time!