To sell, or not to sell, that is the question. When it comes to residential real estate, the answer might have a lot to do with the readiness of your property. Maximizing your sale value requires not only finding a buyer willing to pay maximum price, but also enhancing your property to entice interested buyers. Fortunately, that kind of pre-sale property enhancement is easier and less expensive than you might imagine according to experts.
“I get a lot of questions from people who call me wanting to know how to add value to their house,” said Hudson Smith, head of a team of Guelph realtors at the Hudson Smith Real Estate Group. “Some want to know if the changes they make to their house they'll get back if they sell it. There’s different advice depending on how long they plan on staying or if they’re just trying to add some value to sell in the short term.”
According to Smith, there are three simple but important things people can do to their homes to instantly add value. Once these three initiatives are successfully completed, Smith says he doesn’t even have to enter the property to know its value has been increased.
“The first one involves cleaning, decluttering, and staging,” he said. “You can get more for your home just by cleaning it. Anyone can do it by sacrificing a Saturday or an evening, picking up the broom and the rags, wiping the baseboards, cleaning the registers, the stove, dusting off the fans and neutralizing odours. By doing the little things that we often neglect, we see how sensitive buyers are to them, because when they aren’t done, buying reflexes are shut down and make buyers feel like they’re invading someone else’s space. When buyers feel like they’re invading someone else’s space, they can’t picture themselves in the house.”
Hudson says decluttering and staging are two natural extensions of cleaning the house. When completed together, Smith says they are also the least expensive way to add value to the home. The second way to maximize sale value is through painting.
“Some of us have the patience for painting, and some of us don’t,” he said. “For people who do have the patience, it’s just such a huge return on investment.”
Smith said that painting can dramatically change how a house shows, making it more palatable to buyers and neutralizing any lingering scent. Of course, painting has to be done well and with the right colour choices to make it a good pre-sale investment.
“There has to be proper cutting, proper transitions between wall and baseboard or wall and casing,” said Smith. “Even if you have to hire someone to paint, it’s one of the more affordable things to do, offering the biggest impact on buyers.”
The third and potentially most expensive of the three steps needed to improve sale value is upgrading the flooring.
“Even if you start with the most basic of flooring, which is carpeting, it makes the house smell like a new house,” said Smith. “It completely changes the look of the interior and improves how the house shows. It takes away wear and tear signs, odours, feelings of neglect; more of those things that shut down buying reflexes. You can add hardwood, or any of the nice vinyl planks available. It’s such a competitive landscape out there today you can have new flooring installed for a very affordable budget.”
Ultimately, Hudson says this isn’t a “pick one” option. “These are the three things that are vital when selling.”
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, contact the Hudson Smith Real Estate Group, a trusted team of local real estate professionals. Visit them at 824 Gordon Street. Or call 519-821-3600.