Should you renovate before you sell your home?

There is a distinct difference between preparing for the sale of your home and renovating to sell your home.


I strongly believe you should absolutely prepare and stage your home. This includes de-cluttering, arranging furniture and belongings to highlight the home layout, cleaning and cleaning some more and making required small repairs to ensure any required items are in working order.

Renovations are larger scale improvements and include anything from painting to replacing kitchens, roofs, updating landscaping and more. Before setting out on a renovation project there a few things to consider.



1. Inspection Issues. If there is a deficiency that will result in a purchaser walking away from the purchase then it is best addressed prior to listing. Items of disrepair or safety issues should be reviewed independently of aesthetic improvements.


2. Value. Harrison Bowker, Real Estate Appraisers, recently published the Home Renovation Value Guide for 2017. Harrison Bowker is a full-service appraisal company based in Edmonton and serves all of Alberta so I have confidence these numbers reflect our market.
A popular example is the kitchen. A kitchen renovation is considered to have the best return on investment when considering functionality.
The % return for an average quality kitchen is 75-95% and a high quality kitchen is 40-60%.
Please note the numbers reflect renovations completed by qualified professionals.


3. Speed of Sale. Some renovations increase the speed of sale. Recent examples I've seen recently include painting and garage construction.

* Buyers make big decisions based on paint colour. I personally believe a home freshly painted in neutral colours will sell faster than a home with strong or dark colour statements. The % return on interior painting is 80-110%.

* Many first time buyers purchase homes with detached garages on the back lane. In my experience many families prefer to have the garage constructed and included in the purchase price/mortgage. As most families have put the majority of their savings into the down payment they often don't have the $20,000 to then build a garage post purchase. The % return on a typical 24'x24' detached garage (heated, insulted, slab) is 60-80%.


4. Market Timing. Various communities in Calgary have seasonal sales cycles. For example, strong family neighbourhoods such as Tuscany tend to see increased sales in the spring time and move dates that avoid disruptions to school enrollment. If you are considering a sale with a renovation consider timing to ensure your completion is best timed with the market cycles.


Should you wish to review a copy of the Home Renovation Guide and plan your potential renovations to sell, please contact me.

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