What to Consider When Upgrading Your Home

When you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s natural to want to make improvements and enhancements to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. But there are a few things you should think about before you undertake any renovations—since not all upgrades are financially beneficial in the long run. As you prepare to sell your home, consider these factors before making any major home renovations.

Buyers’ Needs and Preferences

Before you sell your home, it’s essential to reflect on whether the upgrades you’re considering are going to benefit homebuyers. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to make improvements to their homes based on what they like—instead of what sells. When you put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and make improvements based on what they find appealing, you’re increasing your chances of receiving a competitive offer and closing the sale. One way to check buyer sentiment is to see how the amenities and features of homes selling in your area compare to your property. If newly-sold properties in your area all have fenced-in backyards but yours is open, that would likely be a beneficial upgrade. If your home is close to schools, buyers may prefer a turn-key property with multiple bedrooms. An upgrade such as adding a bedroom and a half-bath in the basement would make it appealing to families.

Current Market Trends

By looking at the current housing market with your realtor, you’ll be able to assess whether the market is hot and buyers will purchase your home with minimal upgrades—or if it’s cool and you need to invest in renovations to distinguish your property from other homes in your area. A buyer’s market tends to favour making renovations to optimize your return on investment, while a seller’s market tends to call for being more reserved in your plans to make substantial renovations to your property. Reviewing comparable properties is an ideal way to judge whether or not your planned renovations would be worth it.

Age and Overall Condition

Before you undertake any upgrades or renovations to your home, consider its age and overall condition. If your home isn’t ready for buyers to move into without doing additional renovations themselves, it may discourage them from making an offer. Unless your buyer is willing to hire contractors or do major renovations themselves post-sale, it’s unlikely they will be interested in purchasing a home that needs substantial renovations. Older homes typically need more upgrades than newer homes, but a lot of it depends on how the property was cared for and if there were any severe events, such as flooding, that need to be repaired before the home can be sold. 

Home Inspections

It’s not uncommon for sellers to focus their renovation budget on the areas of the home that are most obvious and noticeable to home buyers. But older homes may have issues hidden below the surface that need to be upgraded, such as electrical, plumbing, foundation, and structural issues. Before listing your property, your home should be assessed by a certified home inspector. Remember that buyers often include a home inspection requirement as a contingency of the sale. A home inspection is also a thorough way to identify smaller issues before they become larger problems during the sale. It can also help you identify priorities and make it easier for you to plan and budget for any potential upgrades before selling your home.

Are You Preparing Your Home for Sale?

As an experienced realtor, I help new and seasoned homebuyers navigate the real estate market in Victoria, Cowichan Valley, and the South Island’s Westshore communities. Contact me today to explore exciting opportunities for home ownership and real estate investment on Vancouver Island.