With the way the housing market has been moving the past several years, we could end this article right here because house prices just seem to keep skyrocketing year over year. However, the goal of this article is to better maximize your profits through home improvements that will justify a raised asking price.
Before diving deeper into this article, keep in mind the cost you are willing and can afford to spend for improvements on your home. This article will focus on improving 3 features that home buyers rush to when looking for a home: space/functionality, style, and peace of mind.
Space and Functionality
Every homeowner wants to maximize the amount of space they can use in their house, that is what functionality is in a nutshell. So, what does this mean for you as a seller? When showing your home consider hiring a staging company to better present your home. Staging companies have experienced decorators that can fill your home with furniture and accents that fit and promote your space, often making it easier for buyers to visualize the potential your home has. Remember that any home buyer is not just looking at your house. They compare many different properties to determine which home they could best see themselves living in, so your goal is to make it easier for them to see your property as a future home.
As mentioned above, we talked about functionality and maximizing your space, but we didn’t talk about the space itself. When selling your home, you want to make your home look as spacious as possible. As we mentioned through home staging, decorators will use furniture that fits your space well and avoid presenting an overly crowded or barren living space. However, you can make your home appear more spacious to potential buyers using a colour palette that will brighten your home. Darker homes tend to give off a feeling of a cramped space which often is uninviting and very depressing to be in. Of course, the new buyer can always paint the walls themselves, but remember that your job is to make it easier for them to envision themselves living there. Consider slapping a fresh coat of paint on the wall to make your home seem newer and opt for brighter colours like whites, off-whites, and soft tones to leave your home feeling more vibrant and inviting to be in.
LOW BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Fresh coat of paint for the walls in your home
MEDIUM BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Low budget recommendation + Home staging
Trends are an important tool that a seller can leverage to increase the sale price of their home. A trend is something that a large amount of people favour towards. It’s a rather simple concept, if you can style your home so that it fits a popular current trend then you will increase the chances of hitting checkboxes off potential buyers’ lists. The difficulty lies in determining what the current trend is. A simple way you can figure out the trend for your area is by looking at catalogues/brochures for new homes and condos being built. If you ever bought a home off plans you will be familiar with how builders will create showrooms that model how their new projects will look both physically (if you were to visit their sales offices) and conceptually (through their brochures). Building companies have a team of designers and interior planners to create trendy homes that they know are current. Register for these projects online, it doesn’t cost you a thing, but will give you an idea of what the current trend people are flocking to in homes.
I’ve personally registered for more than 13 different over plan projects (I’m currently in the process of buying my own home) and noticed that of the 13 projects, 11 have very similar styles and colour palettes.
· Colour themes usually revolve around soft and lighter colours (we went over this point earlier in how lighter colours make a home feel brighter and bigger)
· laminate flooring colours were often light grey, or a rich brown (usually medium to dark brown for rich contrast)
· countertops were often white
· basin sinks, and modern fixtures (often solid darker colour fixtures to provide contrast)
· bathroom tiles were often white or off-white colours
· kitchen cabinets would usually match or compliment the flooring colour
· floating bathroom vanities
· modern lighting fixtures (ex. hanging lights for the kitchen)
Based on the several features listed above it is clear that the common trends that those 11 projects were aiming toward were modern, bright, and contrasting themes. Now this could differ depending where you live but these points illustrated how using upcoming projects in your area as a guideline can give you a glimpse into what the current and future interior design trends are moving towards and you as a seller should be mimicking.
LOW BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Update sinks and fixtures, update lighting fixtures
MEDIUM BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Low budget recommendation + updating dated flooring
BIG BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Low & Medium Recommendation + Update cabinets and countertops
Peace of Mind
Home buyers just like anyone buying a product want something reliable. They don’t want to purchase something that is going to give them headaches and will require fixing or changing things. A lot of buyers tend to decide in the first few minutes of viewing a home in terms of whether they are going to consider your house as a potential buy. So, what can you do to ensure that they maintain a positive opinion on your home? The first thing you can do is replace old appliances. Show to your potential buyers that everything is upgraded and working perfectly. You don’t want to give reasons for the buyer to cut your price down no matter how small the issue is. Consider making your home smarter with smart appliances. The future is moving towards devices and appliances that can communicate with each other. Once people become fully accustomed to having smart products, non-smart products will be a thing of the past and will be considered old and require changing. Another lower cost upgrade is to upgrade showerhead fixtures. A multi-setting low cost showerhead can go for around $40-$70, takes 5 minutes to install, and can create a premium feature in your bathroom. If you are selling a home/townhome think about changing your water heater to a tankless unit. It’s a relatively small upgrade that can prove to be a bonus selling feature in terms of cost savings and maintainability.
LOW BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Change shower heads and small appliances
MEDIUM BUDGET RECOMMENDATION: Low budget recommendation + update all appliances
At the end of the day, we’re currently living in a seller’s market, however no one knows how long that will last. Whether the seller’s market continues or not, utilizing the points discussed in this article will ensure that no matter who’s market it is, you’ll always get the best value for your home.