We regularly get questions about what home improvements our clients should do to maximize their return on investment (ROI) prior to sale. We always suggest keeping in mind what buyers want. Some sellers make the mistake of choosing what they like, which may be too subjectively appreciated. It is essential to know your buyer demographic. By selecting what buyers like you will ensure that your ROI increases! The downside of sellers choosing what they like you risk losing not only the home “improvement” costs, but this seller will also sell for less and likely sit on the market longer than if they had done nothing at all. Here are 5 mistakes sellers believe.
The two primary attractions that buyers feel drawn to in a home are kitchens and bathrooms. Neither of these rooms is “easy” to improve or renovate as the costs are higher than other rooms. However, there are smaller aspects that you can adjust that can go a long way.
Let’s dive into our top 5 list of easy home improvements with a high ROI:
The cheapest and easiest way to improve the value of your home is to paint the high traffic hallways and primary rooms. When in doubt go with a light colour, like white. Accents walls are on their way our. You can also consider wallpaper, but tread carefully – don’t go with a pattern that has too much happening for the eye.
2. Light Fixtures
Remember track lighting? Well, those are no longer a good move. Remember the builder lights that look like a half bubble? That isn’t going to work either. You can spend approximately $1K to get some new light fixtures that can modernize a hallway, living room, dining room and kitchen.
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A full kitchen renovation is a lot of work and money ($20K+++). However, you can explore having the cabinets painted white and replacing older countertops. When in doubt, go white. There are many variations to consider, but this is a good starting point for less monetary investment. When the time to sell comes, you can accent the white with lovely flowers, bowls, towels and small electronics to break up the whitewash.
The simplest way to improve a washroom is to paint it a light, neutral colour. Perhaps replacing tiles would make sense. However, replacing the toilet, bath/shower, the sink is not necessarily needed. Another option would be to replace the sink fixtures and things like the toilet paperwork holder, towel rack etc. Easy, quick options that will update a bathroom in no time.
5. Minor Landscaping
If it’s the summer, choose annual plants prior to listing the property. This will help the street appeal! If choosing to do some minor landscaping well in advance of a sale when considering perennials. You don’t need to revamp the front yard or backyard; however, some aesthetic improvements can go a long way. Do not explore interlocking bricks, large trees, etc. Choose wisely; remember that this is supposed to be easy home improvements.
The key here is to consider your buyer and what they want. When in doubt, reach out and ask what is best. It’s safer to ask a pro than it is to risk choosing something that would be polarizing to the buyer.
The ultimate ROI before a sale is to stage the property. We cannot stress this enough! An excellent stager ensures that the space is speaking the correct buyer demographic. Yes, this is not cheap at the moment, but our experience says that it more than pays for itself, over and over again.