Making Renovations Before You Sell

So you are thinking about selling your home but its not yet ready.  Well here are a few tips to help you get focused.

The greatest error many people make is to make extensive renovations without regard to return on investment.  A dollar spent on renovations does not necessarily equate to a dollar added to the value of your home.  Carefully determine what will bring the most “bang for your buck”.  According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada “spa” style shower systems are a very popular upgrade which only brings a return of approx. 36%.

If your home has many original finishes from 20 years back, its important to note that in a time where many do-it-yourselfers are working away at their homes, yours may be potentially undervalued, unappreciated, and passed over by many serious buyers.   It may be tagged as the “handyman special”.

Relatively reasonable repairs:

Ceiling repairs – when people view homes, the first thing they will do is look up at the ceilings for any proof of leaks.  Greasy, spained, or dirty ceilings are a big turn off. Make necessary repairs and then give ceilings a fresh coat of paint.

Popcorn ceilings have their challenges.  Repairs are not easy to make.  These are now unpopular and removal is a very messy job.  If you have several repairs to do to these types of ceilings you may be best to remove the popcorn.  This is a big job and you may want to consult a professional contractor to have this done.

Wallpaper – Get rid of wallpaper.  Wallpaper patterns become a personal choice and most people don’t like it.  It is not very popular right now.  Remove and paint walls with a fresh coat of paint.

Paint – Although dark colours are popular, you are best to pick neutral tones.  Limit the number of colour changes. Dark colours absorb light and if you have small rooms it may  make your rooms look smaller then you want them to look.  Consult with a professional decorator to assist with colour selections.

Higher $$ renovations but good bang for your buck!:

It’s important to emphasize that large renovations should be tackled with a design professionals expertise.  You will want to ensure that you get the best return for your dollar rather then costly design mistakes.

Kitchen – “The heart of the home”!  Its the place where we gather therefore no wonder why so many people find this has so much affect on the buyer!  A professional looking job and one that is well thought out is definitely a value adder.   A job poorly done can actually be a distraction to the potential buyers.  Kitchen renovations can bring 75 – 100% return on your investment.

Bathrooms – These are the next rooms buyers will take a look at.  Renovations should not only feel new but bring a bit of “spa” like feel.   Your renovations should include new fixtures, flooring, lighting.  Again, bathroom renovations can bring 75 – 100% return on your investment.  Bathrooms

Flooring –  The most important point here is to limit the number of flooring changes.  Flooring is intended to flow throughout the house, not start and finish all in one room.   More and more people desire hardwood floors so keep this in mind when doing your selections.  If your intent is to sell your home in the short term, select types of flooring with the greatest appeal to consumers.  Floorings will bring between 50-75% return on your investment but don’t underestimate the appeal to potential buyers.

Energy Efficient Upgrades – The type of heating systems, the efficiency of the heating system, insulation, window efficiency are considered to have the most “significant” positive impact on the resale of a home.


RENOVA – Appraisal Institute of Canada interactive web tool to value home renovations


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