Top tips for preparing to sell your home – on a budget

Getting ready to sell your house can be an exciting process, but it isn’t without its stresses – and its expenses. There are ways you can make your home easier to sell and they don’t have to cost a lot. In fact, a big renovation might not always get you the return on your investment you were hoping for. Here are some budget-friendly tips to consider when preparing to sell your home.

Improve your curb appeal

You can’t change someone’s first impression of your home, so make sure it’s positive. This starts before potential Sell Your Homebuyers even walk through your front door. Make sure you cut the grass, rake leaves or shovel the drive, depending on the season. Consider planting flowers or hanging a wreath to make your entryway more inviting. Make sure your porch light works, paint your front door or railing if you haven’t updated recently, and install new hardware on your door to create a strong statement.

Get a new perspective

It can be easy to miss imperfections that you’ve come to accept as part of your home. A friend, real estate agent or professional stager can bring a fresh eye to your house and spot something you might not notice. That statement wall you love might be off-putting to potential buyers. A fresh coat of a more neutral colour may make your home easier to sell.

De-clutter your home

You want to create a blank canvas for people so they can imagine themselves in your space. Since you’re going to have to pack up to move, get started on the process early. Put personal items like pictures or keepsakes in storage, and where possible, try to take about half of the items out of your closets to make them appear larger. People are always looking for more storage, so it’s in your best interest to make it seem like your house has lots of options.

You can’t change someone’s first impression of your home, so make sure it’s positive.

Quick and easy upgrades

When you’re getting ready to sell, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to complete a total overhaul of an outdated room, such as the kitchen or bath, since you won’t always get a good return on your investment. If the rooms needing updating aren’t in bad shape, you may also consider reducing the price of your home to give buyers the option to renovate to meet their needs.

This is where little fixes can have a big impact. Make your house move-in ready by fixing chipped floors, patching cracks or nail holes in the wall, updating hardware on cabinets and doors, cleaning grout, and fixing leaky faucets. Make sure doors and windows are on track and open and close easily. A little TLC goes a long way towards making your house enticing to buyers. They are more likely to want to purchase your house if they don’t have a long list of things to fix when they move in.

Always be ready to show your house

It may be hard for your realtor to sell your house if it doesn’t show well. Having your house in show-ready condition at all times increases the opportunities for your agent to bring potential buyers through. Dust frequently, don’t leave dishes in the sink or dishwasher and make sure your bathroom is in tip-top shape.

Getting your house ready to sell can be an expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips can help you get the most for your home without spending a lot of money.

Renovations can be an important financial investment

Maybe you just bought your first home. Or maybe you’ve lived in your house for 20 years. In any case, it’s important your home is structurally sound and reflects your personality and taste. Home renovations can be as small as painting a room or as large as remodeling your kitchen. Regardless, you can expect to take out your wallet to make it happen. Thankfully, planning ahead and carefully considering the following issues can help your project run more smoothly.

Financial preparation

First, ask yourself this: Are you ready, financially, to complete the desired renovations? To help you understand what your upgrades are likely to cost, do some research – it may be helpful to speak with a contractor and get an estimate. Develop a budget that reflects your research – one common practice is to include an additional buffer amount of 15-20 per cent to cover unexpected expenses. Don’t forget to include HST. If you’re feeling wary about the cost of your renovations, remember there are laws in place to help protect your finances.

A renovation can increase the value of your home for resale, making it a valuable investment in your future.

Things to consider before renovating

Before getting started, it’s important you consider the following:

Is this a big or small change?

Depending on the scale of your project, the impact on your budget and financial security plan will vary. Understanding the amount of work required will help you create a realistic budget.

Who should do the work?

Your home is one of your biggest financial investments. That’s why it’s so important you find a trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced contractor for your project.

Another option is to complete the renovations yourself. While this can be enjoyable and a great way to save money, it will only remain as such if you have the tools, time and understanding of building codes and processes necessary to smoothly complete the updates. Give some thought to whether you have these resources available to you before you begin.

Do I know what to look for in a contractor?Home Renovations

If you decide that paid help is the right choice, you’ll want to work with someone that respects both your expectations and your budget. Depending on an external provider for such a large purchase requires a great deal of trust and transparency. Pay special attention to potential renovators’ professionalism, timeliness and communication to decide if they’re the right fit. Ask your friends and family for recommendations.

Return on investment (ROI)

In many cases, renovations actually increase the original value of a home. From a fresh coat of paint to new windows and doors, everything has a value. A common rule of thumb is that a successful renovation will increase the value of your home by at least 50 per cent of what you spent. To determine the ROI of your project, work with an appraiser before and after your renovation. They can tell you the approximate value of your home so you understand the long-term financial impact of your project.

In addition, there are national tax credit programs available to assist with the cost of certain renovation projects. Credits change over time, so be sure to check online or with a government representative to find out what’s available when you begin your project.

If you’ve made the decision to renovate but are unsure where to get started, I can work with you to ensure your budget is worked into your overall financial security plan.