Investing in Your Home

Before you list your home, you’ll be thinking about what you can upgrade to get the best return. While most people turn to a kitchen or bathroom remodel, there are plenty of options that will reward you on closing day.

Here are some home renovations, big and small, that you should consider, as well as some you should avoid.

Keep it neutral

Styles that last—neutral, safe designs—are best when showing a home. If you have any dated furniture, controversial art, or strange colours in your home, you might want to consider upgrading and neutralizing.

Zoo Tip!

Staging experts also go for extremely neutral, modern designs. Photos for homes look best with clean lines, modern furniture, and lots of light.

Easy home improvement is key

When buyers walk through a home, they’re not only looking at individual elements, but inherently thinking “how does this home make me feel?” The cleaner and more polished you can make a home look, the better. Painting the house, for example, goes a long way toward creating a fresh, clean feel. Here are other small improvements that go a long way:

  • Instead of a full kitchen remodel, consider replacing the backsplash or painting the cupboards
  • Steam-clean all carpeting
  • Put up neutral, colourful artwork
  • Replace any broken tiles and re-tile problem areas
  • Install new countertops in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Install modern light fixtures
  • Replace kitchen and bathroom hardware

Buyers’ market

If the supply of homes outstrips demand, buyers will gravitate towards homes in the best working order. In this situation, sellers need to make their homes stand apart from the others for sale in their neighbourhood.

Large expenses are more common in a buyer’s market, such as:

  • New roof
  • New furnace/air conditioner
  • New windows
  • Remodelled kitchens and bathrooms
  • Finished basement

Sellers’ market

In a competitive market, sellers should stay away from large renovations, as it’s unlikely they’ll yield any differential significant return. For example, if all homes for sale are getting several offers and you decide to replace your windows, the cost of those windows may not increase the amount of your offers enough to cover that cost. Think more about simple cosmetic changes that provide you the largest impact per dollar.

For even more information, check out our pages on how to value a home and repairs after a home inspection.