Call 403.795.5204

The Earl Report

Should You Spend Money on a Home You’re Selling?

Should You Spend Money on a Home You’re Selling?

Preparing Your Home For Sale

Sellers often ask me if they should spend money on their home before listing it. To be honest, there’s no right or wrong answer because it really depends on a large set of circumstances such as the overall condition of the home, the age of the home, how hot the market is, and what you’re hoping to achieve as a sale price. Obviously every home in Lethbridge is different, and before I’ve seen your home it would be difficult for me to make any suggestions, but, I would like to offer some general advice on this subject.

Spending Big Bucks

Unless you’re specifically flipping a home, it would be silly to spend thousands of dollars on home improvements just as you’re about to move. So, replacing a kitchen probably wouldn’t be worth the time, money and headache that it causes. The same can be said for bathrooms, though there are some quick fixes that you can make to bring new life to a tired bathroom – more on that in a moment. An old furnace can be an issue for some buyers but this is a big expense to have it replaced yourself. Instead, give your buyers peace of mind by having the furnace serviced so that your buyer can see that everything’s okay and in full working order.

Out of all the big ticket items to consider when selling a home in Lethbridge, the roof can be an area that’s worth spending the money on. If your roof is looking tired (check to see if the shingles are curling at the edges and the gaps between shingles are growing) this will be immediately obvious to a buyer. If a buyer knows they will have to replace the roof they’re likely to choose another home over yours. The funny thing is, perceptions as to how much a roof costs to re-shingle are usually not accurate. Yes, you may still be looking at a bill for $5,000, but in the eyes of the buyer they’re probably thinking of taking $10,000 off your asking price to cover the new roof and the hassle it will cause them.

Little Things Make A Big Difference

You’ve heard of the saying “bang for your buck”, well getting more bang for your buck is what I usually recommend to anyone selling their home in Lethbridge. By this I mean, spend some money on more affordable things that can help to make a big visual impact. Fresh paint is a prime example – it doesn’t cost too much to paint a room but it can make a huge difference to the overall feel.

If you have a dated bathroom, replacing the whole thing is probably out of the question, so why not look at just updating the faucet to a more modern fixture, and maybe put new flooring down too. A new light fixture and mirror can also help to boost the appeal of a bathroom.

The same can be said in the kitchen. Depending on how much cash you have set aside you could make numerous improvements to a kitchen without spending a fortune. If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape you could paint them a more modern colour and/or replace the handles. The sink and the faucet can be relatively cheap to replace too, and if you want to go a step further, look into getting new worktops/counters. It all really depends on the overall condition of your kitchen to begin with. If it’s in bad shape you’re probably better off not spending a cent on it as any buyer will see it needs a complete overhaul. On the other hand, if it’s just looking a little tired, those improvements I mentioned above could really freshen it up. It also depends on the value of your home – if it’s a large family home in Lethbridge and you’re expecting to sell it for top dollar, any buyers will be looking for a new kitchen, not an old and dated one.

Without Spending Any Money

Of course, there are many things you can do to make your home more saleable without spending any money at all – at least, not much more than a few dollars!

Presentation is key when selling your home in Lethbridge. A messy and cluttered home is always more difficult to sell than one that’s clean and tidy, so before you start trying to sell your home you need to spend some time on the preparation. This can be easier said than done… if you’ve lived in the same home for many years you may have accumulated lots of belongings. Anyone walking in to view your home may think it’s cluttered whereas because you’re used to it, you may not see it as a problem. This is where I can help – I will give you my honest opinion as to what I think should be done to improve your chances of a quick sale.

De-cluttering can really help. Sort through your belongings and put them into three piles. One pile can be things that you no longer want or need – you can either donate these or have a yard sale. The second pile can be things that you want to keep but don’t need on a daily basis – these can be boxed up and stored away for when you move. The third pile is things that you do need regularly, or things you really don’t want to part with.

Once you’ve de-cluttered make sure your home is as clean as it can be. Don’t forget windows and doors, and make sure kitchen and bathrooms look their best.

Also remember that the yard and outdoor space should look their best too, especially if you’re selling during the summer. Curb appeal does make a difference, so stand back and look at your Lethbridge home from the street and compare it to your neighbours; does yours look better or worse? Mow the lawn, do some weeding, maybe paint the front door, trim back trees and bushes to let light in and keep your pathways clear.

How I Can Help

So there are just a few tips you can use to get your own home in Lethbridge ready for sale. As I said above, I’m always more than happy to come and visit you for a no obligation chat where we can discuss what might need doing in your own home, and what might be a reasonable listing price if you decided to list with me.