Tips for Updating a House to Sell

For home owners is updating a house to sell worth the capital outlay?  Whether it is a sellers’ market or a buyers’ market, updating a house will help you get a higher price and sell more quickly than other homes in your area.

We have put together our tips for updating a house to sell that will not break the budget.  The average age of a first -time home buyer is approximately 32.  The younger generation are less inclined and have less time to renovate the property after they move in.  Today’s buyers want to move in Saturday and entertain on Sunday.

Buyers who are looking at multiple homes will only spend a maximum of 15 minutes viewing your home, sometimes even less, so spend your budget wisely.   Here are our top tips for updating a house to sell.

Curb Appeal

  • When prospective buyers first come into your driveway, what do they see?  Hopefully it is a finished, sealed driveway, an undamaged garage door and an inviting walkway and front entrance.
  • If you are on a budget, consider painting your garage and front door.  If you have a screen door that is old and damaged, replace it or remove it altogether.
  • If your front walk is concrete, get it power washed so it is sparkly clean.
  • Make sure your flower beds are neat and your grass looks well kept.  Dig out old plants that do nothing to enhance the look of your front yard and trim all the bushes.  If you are in between summer and fall, pull out your annual plants.  You can always add colour to your entrance by purchasing tall planters and potted plants to put in the planters.

Front Entrance

Once inside your house, what is the first impression?  Is interior colour of the hallway entrance and living area in harmony and pleasing to the eye?  If it isn’t, consider painting the whole lower level.

Should I remodel my kitchen?

Remember, families spend a lot of time in this area of the house.

Some kitchens don’t need a full remodel, perhaps they just need updating.  In a recent house we were renovating to sell, we were able to achieve modern, clean lines, by just updating the backsplash and counters, as well as the hardware on the kitchen cabinets.  By just removing and replacing the “curvy’ valances with straight lines, we create kitchen eye appeal that didn’t scream 1950’s!

If your appliances are old, it is good value to replace these.  If you are on a strict renovation budget, consider second hand appliances, or ends of lines as long as they all have a matching finish.

What About Bathrooms?

Kitchens and bathrooms are top of the list when buyers are considering home purchases, so a bathroom update should be top of your list.

All the plumbing should be in good order so there are no toilet or sink leaks.  Simple things such as replacing toilet flanges, replacing taps and caulking bath/shower areas can ensure that your house is leak proof.

Replacing shower doors/curtains will add a clean look.  Replacing backsplashes and vanities to give a sparkly, clean look is well worth your investment.  We suggest you go for the neutral look which is timeless.  Pops of colour can be added in accessories and toweling when your house is home staged for sale.

Best Flooring To Increase Home Value

Hard surface flooring will give you the best return on investment and achieve that clean, well- kept look that will appeal to buyers.  This look can be achieved in a number of ways, so before you rush out to purchase high end hardwood flooring, look at all the options available.

Kitchen and bathroom floors are the first essential areas to upgrade to hard surfaces.  Again, choose large tiles in neutral tones that will blend with any paint colour.

Basement Renovations

 As basements are secondary living areas, don’t spend your whole house budget in remodeling this area, as the buyers may make different choices on how to finish this space.  It’s best to make sure it looks as presentable as possible with your lowest cost outlay.

Where it makes sense to finish the basement to command a higher selling price is in markets where the cost of housing is very high per square foot and additional living space such as a bathroom, bedroom or sitting area is very desirable.  It will attract a higher number of potential buyers.  In a down market with a lot of housing inventory the cost of a full basement renovation may not give you the return on investment you are expecting.  A lot depends on your local market.

Other considerations when updating a house to sell are:

  • Making sure your contractor is licensed and insured
  • What guarantees are offered?
  • Looking over the contract of services before the work starts
  • Ensuring the payment plan is agreed upon before the work begins

At 360 home+staging we make sure our customers are 100% satisfied with the work of our team.  If you are looking to update your house before you put it on the market, and live in the Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and surrounding areas, connect with us to see how we can help you.  We take care of all your needs with our full circle services-downsizing, home repairs + updates and home staging.