So, you’re taking the leap and putting your home on the market. Good for you. Of course, you’ll want to do everything you can to get the best possible sale price. Often, making a few small upgrades is the best way to achieve this.
Imagine someone comes to view your place and, in their eyes, it’s their absolute dream home, but with one catch. It needs work. These days, people are so busy with work, family, and other commitments that they don’t have the time or energy to even think about making upgrades themselves. The last thing they want when home shopping is to find another hassle to worry about, like making repairs or upgrades. If this potential buyer is one of these people, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll walk away. The good news is there are some things you can do to help avoid this from happening and help to increase your return on investment.
Inexpensive Upgrades Everyone Can Make
The best and most inexpensive things you can do to your home before putting it on the market are repairing anything that’s damaged or broken and replacing anything that needs replacing.
Making your home clean and well-maintained, both inside and out, goes a long way in making buyers love it, resulting in a sale price you deserve. These are easy things to do that keep people interested and engaged when they see your home. Here are just a few upgrades you can easily make that won’t break the bank.
Touch up the paint
Both indoors and outdoors, you should paint what needs to be touched up or completely redone. If there are cracks or stains on the wall, or if the paint color is tired and dated, a neutral, fresh, light, or white color can go a long way to brighten things up, especially if the color was polarizing or off-putting to a broad audience.
Replace old appliances and flooring
If you’ve got old, avocado-colored 1970s appliances or something similar, consider a nice stainless steel appliance package. It can absolutely make a kitchen feel modern and new. And, if you’ve got wall-to-wall carpets that are worn or stained, replacing them with modern laminate is inexpensive and can make the space present really well. But, if you do decide to keep old carpet that’s stained, get it professionally steam cleaned.
Window coverings are an inexpensive way to brighten up a home and make it more appealing. For instance, a light-colored Venetian or roller blind, or maybe a drape, is ideal depending on the style of the home. Focus on light, neutral colors for anything inside. As well, if you have a dated or bright, busy duvet cover, consider upgrading to a nice, neutral color and style.
Adorn the walls
Inexpensive, neutral wall art can be a great way to get your house ready for sale, so look for some pieces that will appeal to a large audience. Mirrors help, too. They can make an interior space — particularly small or dark rooms — look bigger and brighter because the natural light bounces around.
What About the Exterior?
A great way to get a wood deck to look brand new is to pressure wash it, especially if it’s north-facing and prone to getting green slime. Doing this is safer, too, as it won’t be so slippery.
You should also pressure wash any concrete and concrete pavers outside the house. This simple thing can make old concrete look new again for a very low cost.
Your house trim and siding should be pressure washed as well. Many of us are in cities and we forget that cities are polluted. That pollution gets deposited on the roof or sides of our house, and it’s obvious. Cleaning it can do wonders for curb appeal.
Landscaping and gardening
Landscaping makes all the difference in the world when you sell — it can add thousands of dollars of value if done right.
Even if you don’t hire a professional landscaper, at the very least:
- Clear leaves away with a leaf blower.
- Weed the garden completely
- Mow the lawn
- Plant some nice flowers and plants in the spring through fall
As well, it’s a good idea to spread grass seed outside about 1-2 months before listing, especially in the spring and summer as it helps to thicken the lawn and make it look nicer.
What About Condos?
If you own a condo, many of the same tweaks for single-family homes still apply, like updating paint, adding mirrors, and swapping outdated appliances for a modern set. Aside from that, be sure to clean and clear any clutter from the balcony.
Want to stand out during viewings? You could always add a doormat outside your suite door to be more welcoming — a very inexpensive upgrade. If your space is especially small, remember that light colors and small, low-profile, non-overstuffed furniture make a space feel bigger.
What About Bigger Upgrades?
Unless you’re a professional renovator or in the construction business, avoid or be very cautious renovating a property for sale purposes. People often put time, money, blood, sweat, and tears into home renovations before selling. They watch home renovation shows and think they’ll get a big payout but end up taking a loss. This is usually because they either go dramatically over-budget or because the work didn’t broadly appeal to their market, so they didn’t get top dollar.
On the other hand, unless the house will be torn down, if there’s a major problem, you should fix it. Whether it’s a leaky roof, interior damage, loose tiles, or anything else significant, it’s worth your while because a buyer will want a discount for anything they need to take care of themselves, especially if they plan to live in the place.
It’s good to keep in mind that about 85% of the work of selling a property is done before a home gets on the market, and a good piece of that is preparing the home so it can present as best as possible. The great thing about small things like cleaning, maintenance, and decor changes is that they’re very inexpensive and can help you maximize your sale price.
Mike Stewart has been a top Vancouver Realtor since 2005. He is passionate about helping his clients buy and sell homes in Vancouver, BC, Canada. As a long-time Vancouver Real Estate Specialist, Mike Stewart is able to find great deals and hidden gems among the Greater Vancouver Real Estate listings.