Renovations, especially when preparing your home for sale, can make or break how quickly your property will stay on the market. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of choosing new finishes for home projects or be blindsided by unforeseen hiccups that can dramatically increase costs. Deciding on how much to spend on home improvement projects can be tricky—lucky for you, I have compiled some tips that will help you stay on track and minimize any unwanted surprises!
Set Your Spending Limit
According to Zillow, you should spend no more for each room than the percentage of what that room values in the overall house value. For example, the kitchen generally makes up to 15% of the overall property value. If your home is worth $200,000, you will want to cap remodelling expenses at $30,000.
Another good guideline is not spending more than 10-15% of your home’s value on a single room. Any more than that will not proportionally add to the value of the home. HomeAdvisor states the average cost to renovate a kitchen at $4,000 – $60,000, a bathroom at $2,500 – $25,000, and a basement at $11,000 – $30,000. Keep in mind that older homes will often cost more to renovate if wiring and plumbing aren’t up to code.
You will also need to determine how you are financing your project! Your renovation budget will need to fit within the limit of available funds, whether it is by cash, loan or credit.
Prepare for Hidden Costs
This tip is possibly the most important of them all, so listen closely. Once you have concluded how much you can afford to spend, set aside 10-20% of your available funds for any unexpected expenses that may arise. You might have heard of the phrase, “things happen,” and it definitely applies to home renovations. Things go wrong or cost more than what was initially predicted, and by setting aside these funds at the beginning, you know that you will still have enough cash to cover no matter what happens.
Prioritize & Make a Plan
So long as there is no expertise required, consider doing some tasks yourself to help reduce labour costs. Things like pulling up tile, removing old cabinets, ordering your own fixtures and finishes, shopping for used or refurbished items, and doing your own painting are all easy to do yourself.
Curb appeal is one of the most important selling factors for a home. It’s the very first impression potential buyers ever have, and it can even be the make-or-break factor that decides whether they even step inside the door at all. That’s why, if you’re planning on selling your home, it should be one of the first places you focus your home-staging efforts to ensure a quick and seamless sale!
Give It a Good Clean
Dirt and grime on the exterior of a home very rarely accumulate in just one day, so it’s easy not to notice the subtle build-up over time. To us, it may not necessarily feel unclean because we saw it just yesterday and it looked just the same! But to a potential buyer, that slightly “off” tinge can stick out like a sore thumb.
Take a pressure washer to the outside of the home to blast away dirt, grime, and cobwebs. And if you’ve got a paved driveway, don’t forget to give that a spray, too—you’ll be amazed at just how much of a difference a bit of water can make! Don’t forget about the windows and gutters, as well.
Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint
Whether the colour is looking out-of-place for current style trends or the weather has just taken its toll, a fresh coat of paint can always be a good ideal for boosting your home’s curb appeal for sale! To refresh the existing colour, simple scrape off a small bit of the paint and bring it to your local paint store to have it properly matched. Or, to give the house a completely new appearance, find a nice, neutral shade and complimentary colours for the trim and doors that can give it the facelift it needs! No matter which you decide to do, though, don’t forget to prep the surface to ensure long-lasting performance.
Consider Installing Vinyl Siding
While it may add a bit of work to your plate up-front to install, vinyl siding can not only boost curb appeal, but it may even help to boost your home’s value, too! Very durable and incredibly low-maintenance, potential buyers will love how much time they will save when the only upkeep they’ll need to do is a quick spray with a power washer every so often! Plus, if you’re really set on having colour, you can even buy it in a wide variety of hues that will never need a refresh of paint ever again!
Check the Roof
If you’ve had the roof repaired or replaced in the last couple of years, there’s a good chance you might not have to do much more than a quick cleaning job to clear away dirt and lost artifacts that always seem to make their way up there. However, if it has been a while, you may want to bring in a roofing professional to give the proper maintenance that it might need. Not only can this add to curb appeal, but potential home buyers will also be much happier to hear they won’t have to worry about potential costly repairs in the near future should bad weather hit.
Love on Your Landscape
Especially in summer, nothing sticks out more than an un-mown lawn with leaves, sticks, and debris flung across it. It gives the home the appearance that care hasn’t been taken in maintaining the exterior, and almost immediately the mind anticipates that the interior will be much the same.
To ensure your landscape is in tip-top shape to offer the most curb appeal possible, be sure to regularly mow your lawn when in season, and prune overgrown shrubs and trees. If you have a garden, spend some time weeding and mulching to add a polished look, and maybe pop in a few annuals for some colour. If you don’t have any garden space, you can still add some colour with a few potted plants by the door, too!
Other Small Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal
Consider replacing house numbers. Old house numbers that are weathered and falling off not only make it harder for potential buyers to find your home, but it can take away from all the hard work you’ve done to spruce up your exterior!
Update old hardware. All potential buyers see when they notice a falling apart mailbox or a loose doorbell is more time and money they would have to spend if they were to buy your house.
Check exterior bulbs. It’s easy to forget about the bulbs we never look at once we’re in the house, but if you ever have an evening viewing, it’s hard for buyer’s to miss!
If you want your home to make the best first impression with potential buyers, a little time spent in boosting your curb appeal can make a world of difference. And it doesn’t have to be a terribly costly affair either! Even by doing just a couple of these property pampering projects, you can really amp up the WOW factor to get possible new homeowners excited to get inside and see what it’s all about!
Things to Know While Your House is For Sale
Now that your home is for sale, what do you do in the meantime? Here’s a list of a few points to remember and take note of so you’re not feeling helpless throughout the process.
Be as flexible as possible with showing times. Make it easy for buyers to come and view your home so you don’t miss out on a potential sale. I realize that there are circumstances when this doesn’t allow but being as flexible as you can without too much of an inconvenience to your schedule will have it’s benefits.
I leave the decision of whether or not to do an open house up to my sellers. I’ve found that in some instances, an open house was useful and resulted in a success. However, more times than not, an open house hasn’t resulted in anything other than the neighbours coming over to visit. I leave that decision entirely up to you.
I will need to contact you for showings and any offers we get and I will need to be able to get ahold of you on short notice. If you are going away, I’ll also need to know that.
Try to keep your house as clean as possible during times of showings and open houses. We want to eliminate the objections a potential buyer might have and if your house shows great, then it’ll be that more attractive to buyers.
Throughout the time when your house is for sale, I will send you weekly updates in regards to the number of viewings your home has had on certain websites as well as any new comparable houses for sale and ones that have just sold. This will help keep you informed about the market in your area and help you make an informed decision about price reductions. I will also follow up with agents when a showing has occurred and what the feedback has been so you know what, if any, improvements can be made on your part.
These few things will help you reach your goal of selling your home for the most money and in the least amount of time.