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Should You Renovate Before Selling?

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One of the trickiest propositions for anyone selling their home is that of deciding exactly how much work, if any, they should put into renovating the property before selling. Renovations are often costly, both in terms of time and money, and therefore there is a definite risk/reward element to any considerations. 

On top of this, even minor cosmetic changes need to be thought of with the broadest audience in mind, something that’s a much more fraught process than just accounting for your own individual taste! 

Luckily, you don’t have to make that decision alone, we’re here to lend you our expert opinion with this guide on whether or not you should be renovating your property before selling, and which renovations would better serve your interests. 

Do I Need To Renovate?

This one is going to be tricky to answer here, because well, every situation is going to be unique. And by the time you also factor in budget and whatever time constraints you may be working with, you’ve got a lot of variables to consider. 

But there are some key questions you should be asking before you decide whether or not to renovate your property before selling:

  • Do I have the cashflow needed to finance renovations?

  • Do I have the time to complete them before putting my house on the market?

  • Will they add value to the property beyond the cost of the renovations themselves?

Ultimately the most important factor is how likely you are to not only recoup the costs of any renovations, but add value to your property. 

One useful way of determining this is to look at the ceiling for your property - how much similarly sized and designed properties are going for in your area. If you’re close to the top already, you probably won’t improve much no matter what the renovations. But, if you’re not, there’s a chance, especially if you live in a good neighbourhood and have lived in your current home a long time, of getting a worthwhile ROI on any renovations. 

Of course, the best person to answer these questions may not be you, but your Realtor. We highly recommend talking these ideas through with them in detail, and using their expertise as guidance, don’t be afraid to ask questions and float ideas, after all you’re both working towards the same outcome! 

Timing Is Everything 

The most important thing to factor into any renovations is timing. You will want to plan as far in advance as possible. If you know you’re going to be looking to sell, even if it’s a couple of years away, you can get started on any major renovations, especially in key rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen, immediately, safe in the knowledge they’ll be finished in time for you to sell. 

For those on a shorter deadline, it’s important to factor in the timing of the real estate market. You can always ask your Realtor when would be the best time to sell, and aim to plan any renovation work around that. 

If you don’t have the time to complete any significant renovation work, that’s okay! There are still a lot of small changes that can be made that will help improve the value of your property without compromising your ability to sell on time. 

Some of the most effective small renovation projects include:

  • New paint and flooring 

  • Decluttering and presenting the property for staging 

  • Landscaping 

Getting The Right Focus

If you are considering renovations, it’s important to understand that there are certain areas that are more likely to consistently add value, and others that are better served being left as they are, and instead staged in a way that highlights their potential. 

For most homeowners, living spaces such as living rooms and bedrooms will be areas where they’re going to look to put their own personal touch on things with renovations, so these areas do not offer significant returns for sellers. 

However, areas like the kitchen and bathroom, which would be costly and inconvenient to renovate for buyers, are areas where you can put the work in and expect to increase the value of your property significantly. 

There are also practical considerations, such as bringing in a new closet or storage options that offer more space and practicality, or upgrading the energy efficiency options. When it comes to renovations it’s important to think about the practicalities of day to day living and what quality of life upgrades may appeal to your potential buyers. 

The Right Way To Renovate 

If you’re deciding to renovate in order to help your property sell, you need to make sure you’re focusing on the right ideas. After all, this will be very different to any other renovation, where personal taste won’t be a factor and budget will be an ironclad priority. But, what else should you be looking out for? 

Firstly, you need to be looking to focus on renovations that will have a long life expectancy; things that will provide value beyond the present, and will both last the new buyer’s for the duration they own the home, but also provide them with resale value. That also means understanding that while you need something modern, like a high end kitchen or bathroom design, don’t chase trends too far. Stick with clean, simple, modern looks. 

And there are also pitfalls you should be looking to avoid, one of the most common being vanity fixes. It’s an understandable impulse, even when selling, people still take pride in their home, and want to ensure it looks the best it can for people, and that it reflects well on them, as homeowners.

As easy to understand as this is, it’s not a good approach when selling your property. Going above and beyond to renovate a home when you won’t be seeing the rewards is ultimately money you could better spend renovating your new home! 

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, there’s no substitute for getting the best expertise and guidance on the market, and that’s exactly what we offer here at Madsen Langlois. Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can ensure you get the value you’re looking for. 

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