In the competitive BC real estate market, going that extra mile to showcase your home is a must. But, which home upgrades can deliver the most value?
We’ve put together our top 10 home improvements that will help boost your property value and bring in a great ROI.
What to Do Before Selling Your Home
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to update the look of your home before you list is by painting. Doing so keeps the outside looking sharp, and helps freshen up the overall curb appeal. Go with a colour that fits your home’s overall aesthetic and that of the neighbouring houses. You don’t want your home to clash with the environment – but you can always opt to add a unique accent by using a bold colour on the front door or trim.
Just as exterior paint is used to protect your home from weather, temperature, and external elements, interior paint is an effective way to protect walls, doors, and trim. Paint minimizes damage from moisture, and can even help surfaces hold up longer from normal wear and tear. Even clean walls can start to look dingy and dirty if you don’t refresh your paint occasionally.
Painting the exterior and interior of your home can:
- Increase value
- Protect from elements
- Boost curb appeal
- Slow down wear and tear
The first thing that will catch a prospective buyer’s eye is your home’s curb appeal. The photos and videos your listing agent presents are key when it comes to drawing in viewer traffic to your home.
Luckily, you don’t need to shed out thousands of dollars for shrubs, flowers and hedging before selling your home.
Most homeowners can increase the beauty of their front lawn by tidying up overgrown shrubbery, weeds, and fallen branches, and by cleaning up any clutter that may have accumulated in the yard, sheds, or underneath balconies. The front yard is the first visual prospective buyers will see both in listing photos and upon arrival, so you want it to look well-kept and tidy.
Plant flowers in beds to add colour, or purchase some seasonal greens to add a cozy, homey feel that will create a warm emotional response in potential buyers viewing your home.
3. Fixtures & Hardware
Replacing hardware can be a great cost-effective way to give your home a more finished and uniform look. Make sure your home hardware is updated, and that everything matches. When replacing older hardware, focus on the most noticeable pieces such as cabinet pulls, bathroom fixtures, and doorknobs.
Decide which style you prefer – we love the look of these matte black and brushed brass fixtures, which coordinate beautifully with a neutral palette. Gradually work your way through each room in your home and you’ll be thrilled with the great impact a small upgrade like this can make.
4. Bathroom Update
Not all updates require a complete overhaul with costly expenses and plumbing work. You can bring added style and function to a powder room or main bathroom before selling your home, for a quick and cost-effective spruce-up.
Here are some ways to breathe new life into this common space:
- Upgrade your vanity
- Paint or install neutral wallpaper on a feature wall
- Swap out the mirror
- Install a new shower curtain
- Update your light fixture
- Make room for storage with a medicine cabinet or floating shelf
- Upgrade your shower head to a handheld or rain style
While prospective buyers are touring your home, the last thing you want is for them to be distracted by disorder. Decluttering your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to add a desirable feeling of spaciousness.
Decluttering your home will:
- Allow them to visualize “their home”
- Make the rooms appear larger and open up the space
- Make less work for you when it comes time to move
- Make it easier (and quicker) to stage showings
- Keep your home in a tidy, maintained, showing condition
Natural light is an added bonus in a home. Highlighting your natural lighting, or supplementing a lack thereof, can have a huge impact on a buyer’s perception of the home. By using light, you can create dimension and character within your space.
Monitor the type of lighting your home receives throughout the day and schedule showings based on when the light in your home is optimal. Switch out to LED bulbs and replace outdated fixtures with simple more modern ones that go with most décor and style. If you’re unsure of which route to go, check out your local lighting store for tips and suggestions on how to maximize the lighting in different rooms while staying within a budget.
7. Entry Door
Adding to the aforementioned curb appeal, enhancing the security on your home is another cost-effective home improvement to consider before listing. A good impression begins at that first listing photo and a solid, secure entry will be sure to impress.
Consider a door that is energy efficient, with durability and strength. Standing out from the rest of the homes on the block and building up the feel and value of your home is a relatively small investment with a big impact.
8. Energy Efficiency
Much of the energy a home consumes is associated with heating and cooling. As heating and cooling prices rise, so will your bills. Consider making energy-conscious updates such as increasing insulation, installing double-pane windows, or replacing exterior doors with airtight seals.
Here are a few good reasons to tighten up on energy efficiency before selling your home, while attracting the attention of potential buyers.
- Save money
- Increased comfort level indoors
- Lower our impact on climate change by reducing the pollutants that become airborne or that reach water supplies
9. Replace Damaged Flooring
Every square foot of your house has flooring, and it makes an equally big impression on buyers – good or bad. Walking into a home with dirty, worn, or outdated flooring is very hard to overlook. Bringing attention to areas needing improvement puts an immediate distaste in the prospective buyers’ mouth.
- Any floors that are damaged or show wear and tear are worth replacing
- Well-maintained carpet can last up to 15 years, but typically needs to be replaced if it gets to this state
- Hardwood can withstand more wear and tear without needing to be replaced so if you have stained or frayed carpet consider updating it with a hard floor option.
If you love the look of hardwood but are on a tighter budget, there are various products that look similar but have a lower price tag. Try engineered or laminate flooring, which comes at more reasonable cost and still makes a statement.
10. Finish, Expand or Add a Room for additional Space
Unfinished areas in a home aren’t included when calculating the square footage, regardless of where they are located. If you can add additional square footage to your home, the return on increased liveable space is sure to not disappoint the searching homebuyers.
Start by looking for inspiration in areas that could potentially accommodate the space, and create a desirable feature or benefit for the next homeowner. Assess your home and look for areas that you may want to expand on. Perhaps it’s an extra room, attic space, bumping out the kitchen, adding a garage, or enclosing a space.
Expanding the living space and/or storage can not only increase your home’s value, but can highlight it when being compared to similar ones in your neighbourhood. This type of home improvement can be a bit more time consuming and complex, so be sure to check your local building and zoning regulations and obtain the proper permits before your start your project.
Home improvements can be a major investment of time and money. By focusing on where your home could use the most TLC with the best ROI, you can optimize a quick sale with little investment in this competitive market.
If you are in the market for a new home or looking for tips on how to care for and maintain your property to keep it looking and functioning at its best, be sure to check in with us on social media and our webpage as we continue to add content.