Seven quick fixes to top up your selling price
Your home is going on the market, but you don’t have the time or funds to give it a full makeover? Not a problem! Even quick and inexpensive tweaks can attract more bidders and encourage better offers. But where to start? Real estate broker and TV host Sandra Rinomato (formerly of HGTV’s Property Virgins and Buy Herself) has the best advice on upping your price.
Real estate broker and TV host @SandraRinomato has the best advice on upping your price. #RealEstate
Get professional help
Before you spring into action, talk to the people who know your neighbourhood. In Toronto, for example, Rinomato would advise you not to put down carpeting. “But in Saskatoon, they’re fine with carpeting,” Rinomato says. “Consult with your local expert: the Realtor who can tell you what the buyers expect in your area.”
Colour your world
“Definitely take a trip to the paint store,” says Rinomato, to take advantage of free expert advice on colour and decor trends. They can suggest what colour to paint your porch in order to complement your roof and brickwork. “There’s a lot of help out there that’s ready and available.”
Rake in the profits
“Curb appeal is something that you have to address,” Rinomato affirms. But this doesn’t have to be a big-ticket item. She suggests a nice big cleanup in your garden. “Fix the loose patio stones or loose railings; paint your door a bold colour!” Tuck in a few potted flowering plants for instant colour.
Drag your home into the 21st century by eliminating the most dated elements. “If you have a house that’s stuck in the ‘70s, a great thing to do—and one of the least expensive—is walls and floors.” Like popcorn ceilings and dingy acoustic tiles, rooms with old linoleum, outdated carpeting, damaged strip flooring or parquet with missing pieces could instantly alienate certain homebuyers. A good solution for kitchen, bathroom or even hallway floors could be durable, attractive self-adhesive tiles; a slightly more ambitious approach would be to lay down a good-quality laminate.
Tidy and transform
It’s a decor trend right now, but when it comes to selling, Rinomato says “no wallpaper—especially outdated wallpaper.” A lick of paint in a contemporary colour may cost less than $100 and transform a space within a day or two. But do your repair work first. “There’s no use painting walls that are cracked and lumpy and in poor condition.”
Rooms for improvement
If you do have a reno budget, make sure to direct it where it will have the most impact. “Kitchen and bathroom are the big things,” says Rinomato. “They date the quickest, from wear and tear, but also [change in] style.” Consider switching out your oldest appliance for something fresher. Haunt the Habitat for Humanity ReStore or similar shops in your area, where you may score a late-model low-flush toilet or a nearly new bank of cabinetry for a fraction of the retail cost. Even a change of hardware or a new light fixture can give an old room a new look.
“When it comes to appliances, if you’re going to be leaving soon, purchase what you need to sufficiently impress the buyer. But you don’t need to blow them away, because you’re never going to get your money back,” Rinomato cautions. The same holds true throughout the home: a top-grade roof, a basement makeover or a high-efficiency furnace might seem likely to tempt buyers, but you’ll be unlikely to recoup the cost you’ve put into them—and could even end up pricing your home above the rest of the market, she says: “People don’t want to pay for your 25-year roof!”