Whether you’re preparing to sell your home for the very first time, or you’re someone who has been down this road many times before, you want to MAXIMIZE your home’s value. After all, the last thing you want is to sit and wonder weeks, months or even years after selling if you left thousands – or maybe tens of thousands – of dollars on the table.
There are dozens of ways to maximize your home’s value, and your REALTOR® will work closely with you to identify all of them. However, below we’re pleased to provide you with 5 quick, easy and little-known tips that you can put to use right now to boost your home’s value:
Buyers begin to form a first impression of your home – either negative or positive — long before they walk through the front door. So, ensure that your front yard is clean and clutter-free by removing all trash and litter. Don’t forget to get rid of branches and leaves on your roof and eavestroughs, too. And while you’re at it, take care of some basic landscaping by edging your lawn, planting some flowers, and adding some inexpensive wood chips to add that clean, crisp look. If it’s winter, make sure that the driveway, sidewalk and all walkways are completely clear of snow and ice, and that shovels are neatly stored in the garage or off to the side.
“Buyers begin to form a first impression of your home – either negative or positive — long before they walk through the front door.”
And of course, don’t overlook the condition of your front door, and the doorknob or handle. Needless to say, if it sticks, squeaks, or fails to function exactly like it’s supposed to, you can count on the first impression being negative. You can also replace an old screen door, mailbox and street numbers to give your entry way a modern, fresh and new feel – and create a great first impression.
Did you know that de-cluttering your home will make it look cleaner, more organized, and even a little bit bigger? It’s true! Plus, clutter makes your home seem like it lacks storage space. For example, a buyer who sees a stack of clothes may believe that it’s because the closet isn’t big enough for a hamper — when in fact, it is. Or, a buyer may see plenty of kitchen utensils on the counter and incorrectly assume that there isn’t enough cupboard space. These seemingly small impressions really add up and are often a major reason why buyers fail to make a strong offer – or decide not to make one at all.
As much as you love your home, the fact is that when it’s on the market you want to de-personalize it as much as possible so that buyers can picture themselves living there. So, that means you want to take down and hide your family photos and albums (temporarily, of course!), and all other easy-to-remove décor items. If possible, you also want to use neutral colors so that it’s as easy as possible for buyers to say “hey, I can really see my favourite colors throughout this house – and I love it!”
Also keep in mind that a professional staging consultation, which your REALTOR® should take care of setting up for you, will provide you with plenty of valuable tips and information on how to present your home in the best possible light.
You may enjoy “mood lighting” or dimly lit rooms, but buyers want to see bright rooms that really make their potential next house come alive and feel more inviting. A great tip is to increase the wattage of your bulbs and/or additional lighting fixtures. You may also want to consider adding a fresh coat of paint to give key rooms a bright look and feel. Plus, bright rooms make your home seem bigger!
And speaking of bigger: is their a wall between your kitchen and living room that can be easily removed? Then now’s the time to get rid of it! Many buyers are seeking open concept floor plans, because it allows parents to cook while they keep an eye on the kids, or to have more interaction when guests are over.
Major renovations to your kitchen and bathroom typically provide the highest return on investment (ROI). Minor kitchen updates can include a new tiled backsplash, new sink and faucet, updated handles on your old cupboards (or a coat of paint to really freshen them up). If you have more to spend, new appliances are always sought after by buyers and help give the home a clean, practical “ready to move-in” look. And of course, if you have the time and budget, a fully renovated custom kitchen is almost always a good investment.
As for bathrooms, adding a second one – particularly a first-floor “powder room” — is a great move. Conversely, not having enough bathrooms can be a serious deterrent for buyers; especially growing families. Keep in mind that if you aren’t adding high end finishes and double sinks, that you should at the very least ensure that all basic maintenance is taken care of. Naturally, buyers want to know that whatever is in the bathroom “works the way it’s supposed to,” and that they won’t face nasty (and expensive!) surprises after moving in. Pay attention to details, because while leaks and loose faucets may seem like small issues to you, for some buyers it’s all they need in order to assume that the whole house is faulty and in need of repairs.
For more than 40 years, REALTOR® Niraj Sharma has helped families across Toronto get the enjoyable, straightforward, successful and satisfying home selling experience they deserve.
If you have questions, and need advice and insight that you can trust, call Niraj today at 416.762.8255, or visit online at www.nirajsharma.ca.