Renu Asdhir, a sales agent with iPro Realty Ltd., says that most people don’t have large budgets for renovations, but that doesn’t mean a little effort won’t go a long way. Even if sellers don’t have much money with which to upgrade their homes, little tweaks to the kitchen, bathroom, flooring and lighting are necessary.
“Depending on the house, and depending on what it needs, the kitchen and bathroom are always musts,” she said. “Countertops usually need to be updated, and if you don’t have too much money, the frontage of the cupboards can be changed. Even changing the knobs on the cupboards helps.”
Like kitchens, bathrooms can be given cost-effective makeovers. Where possible, use glass doors on showers, says Ashdir, but above all else make sure new, colour-neutral faucets and sinks are installed.
“Upstairs, leave the carpets if they’re good,” she said, “but if they’re old then change them to wooden floors, and if you’re on a budget, laminate flooring looks good and it’s cheaper. Colour coordination is important, and it should be a neutral colour—so no red or blue. A lot of people don’t like bright colours.”
Lighting fixture replacement is also mandatory, and, fortunately, even fetching pieces can be bought for reasonable prices.
“Light fixtures aren’t very expensive, but they make a big, big difference in the house.”
Upper level carpets don’t need to be changed, but they should be steam cleaned. However, if a client’s budget allows, install hardwood flooring throughout the home. Not only is hardwood high-quality flooring, it looks good and, optically, makes rooms look bigger. Hardwood floors should be a serious consideration for condos, townhouses and semi-detached homes.
Ashdir also says that most people ignore their front and backyards, often to their peril because they’re both integral to the staging process. Not only should the inside of a home, as well as the outside backyard deck, be painted before being put on the market, the yards should be properly mowed. Make sure the place looks impeccable, she added.
“Make sure there aren’t any wobbly steps,” said Ashdir. “You don’t have to spend too much on landscaping, but do the basic things. And make sure your windows are clean.
Each Canadian household to spend around $13,000 on renovations in 2016—survey
Know your clients: First-time homebuyer study
Renovations can be costly undertakings, but if a home is about to be listed on the market, some kind of a facelift is in order.