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Should You Renovate Before Listing Your Home for Sale? 

You have had your house for some time now and made a great life for yourselves in it. But now that it’s time to move, how much will you get back on your investment? It should come as no surprise that the better the condition of your home, the more modern the design, and the more energy-efficient, the better your chances of getting the full value of the property.

Red Flag for Buyers

When potential buyers walk into the house, they are looking for red flags. A red flag may be a huge substantive issue, like a massive visible foundation crack or water spots upstairs that may hint to a roof leak. In this case, potential buyers are right to turn away. However red flags can also be small things that drop the desirability of your home when compared with competing properties. These red flags will vary from buyer to buyer, but yes, it could be things like your structurally sound but aesthetically hideous 80s kitchen, or your ratty old living room carpet keeping you from getting an offer.

Every time a potential buyer spots a red flag, they are mentally reducing how much they would be willing to pay for your home – if they’re even interested in making an offer at all.

Renovation for Resale

If you are planning to sell your home, there are many valid reasons to do a renovation project beforehand. Whether it’s small DIY fixes like upgrading cabinet hardware or a massive overhaul project, remodelling will make your house more attractive to buyers and improve the resale value of your home.

Inspiration from the House Hunt

Since you are likely looking for a new home at the same time, why not take inspiration from other homes that you see online or during showings? What features make your jaw drop, and what do you not even notice? Let’s say you always appreciate a clean, well-organized entryway. Well, this would be an easy improvement project that you can do in a weekend. On the other hand, what if homeowners spent thousands installing new cabinetry when a simple reface would have made you happy?

Potential buyers will always look at floors, countertops, paint colour, appliances (even if appliances aren’t included in the home). Other features are tricky. Potential buyers will point out hideous light fixtures, and beautiful light fixtures – but they won’t even notice regular, run of the mill light fixtures. So there’s an area you can save money. Likewise, they will notice grotesque stained carpet, and admire beautiful glossy hardwood floors, but if you have regular clean carpet you’re fine.

So – Should You Renovate?

The simple answer is yes, you should choose renovation projects that make sense for your budget, that will be noticed by potential buyers, and that will improve the resale value of your home. Save the big ambitious projects for your next home, and try to stick to renovation ideas and décor choices that have universal appeal.

BONUS TIP: While a DIY approach is appropriate for some small projects like upgrading to LED light bulbs, be careful about any project where sloppy work will show. For example it is easy and affordable to install new shower tiles, but if the tiles are crooked and grout is uneven, potential buyers will not be impressed and all your efforts will go to waste. Work with a qualified contractor in Ottawa and get professional results.