How to Increase the Value of Your Home Before Selling

If you asked someone what their most valuable asset was, they’d probably offer a quick answer: their home. According to Global News, 76% of Canada’s national wealth is tied to real estate. And PR Newswire reports that over 70% of seniors list their home as their most valuable asset.

Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that we get a little anxious when it comes to selling our homes. It isn’t like selling a piece of furniture or an appliance. We can’t simply offload the asset when it’s convenient, or close our eyes and hope we get a high bid. When selling our largest asset, we need to be methodical, objective and organized. We need to take proactive steps toward improvements and renovations, and, in the lead-up to selling, consult with a real estate expert about extracting value from the projects.

Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true methods for how to increase the value of your home. In this post, we at NEATSPACES help you court the highest bidder by offering home improvement advice, decluttering advice, tips for staging your home and more.

High-ROI Improvements and Renovations

Do home improvements and renovations increase the value of your home? The short answer is yes.

Broadly, you can place improvements and renovations into two categories: “lipstick flip” projects and appreciable remodels. The former refers to small, mainly cosmetic changes that draw a buyer’s eye (a fresh coat of paint or a new kitchen backsplash, updated kitchen and bathroom faucets for instance). Meanwhile, the latter refers to more involved renovation projects that fundamentally alter the functionality and look of a room (completely replacing your kitchen cabinetry and appliances, for instance). 

The “lipstick flip” has its merits in marketing your home for sale but probably won’t move the needle on any professional home appraisals. To increase your home value, it’s better to prioritize proven, high-ROI improvement and  renovation projects.

According to experts, homeowners extract the most renovation value from kitchens and bathrooms. These are often the primary rooms that prospective buyers look at when evaluating a home; modernizing them can make your home seem markedly more attractive. Before you market any home for sale, it’s important to do a thorough decluttering and cleaning but cleaning after renovation projects is critical. The last thing you want is to pour  money into a home value investment, only to be left with a home that doesn’t show well.  As the literal and metaphorical dust settles on your home improvement projects, pay special attention to deep cleaning the home.

A modern kitchen elevated by decluttering and organization specialists

Home Organization and Decluttering

Here’s where psychology plays a pivotal hand in home selling. Prospective buyers don’t just want four square walls and a roof; they want to dream of the life they can have within those walls. When they walk into a space, they want to imagine themselves at their happiest. And that’s awfully hard to do if your home is strained with clutter, has too much furniture or furniture that is too large for the space.

Before photographing, staging and listing your home, call in the home organizing specialists at NEATSPACES. Our compassionate, professional, and experienced team can help you declutter excess belongings and organize everything else. Not only will this organizational process help you sell your home, but it will also facilitate an easier move to your new home.

Curb Appeal

As the adage goes, first impressions matter. That’s certainly true when selling a home, which is why you may hear your realtor talk about “curb appeal.”

Curb appeal refers to the attractiveness of your property as viewed by an outside passerby. Would someone strolling along the curb pause to admire your front yard, your windows and doors? Or might they recoil at the overgrown weeds, peeling paint and oil-splotched driveway?

The front façade is often the first thing a potential buyer sees, and that experience sculpts and influences their entire impression of your property. Before selling your home, take a week to tidy the garden, pressure-wash the driveway and siding, repaint exterior window frames, and add spotlights to the walkway. These simple but effective measures make a lot of difference.

Energy Efficient Appliances and Features

Energy efficiency is top of mind for many homebuyers. In addition to aiding the environment, energy-efficient appliances and features help homeowners save money on utility bills – a topical concern for many amidst surging energy prices.

That’s why experts recommend installing efficient features to boost your home value. This process can be as simple as swapping old faucets for low-flow alternatives. Or you can take it the extra mile with ENERGY STAR appliances, an updated HVAC system and/or triple-glazed windows. Speak with a trusted realtor about what they think; they will have local market insights about the profitability of energy-efficient renovations.

The Waiting Game: Riding the Market Conditions

The title of this article is “how to increase the value of your home before selling,” so let’s think slightly outside of the box. What increases the value of a home? We’ve already discussed decluttering to increase your home’s value and making wise home improvement and   renovation choices. But you can also let time and market conditions do some of the work for you.

Many listing websites offer an “average sold price” graph that tells you the fluctuating sales prices of various property types in your area. You can consider this information alongside year-over-year data, interest rates, etc., to determine the optimal time to sell. A word of caution, though: it’s always best to make these decisions arm-in-arm with a trustworthy real estate expert.

Larger Projects: Basement Finishing, Additions, Secondary Dwelling Units

If you’re selling in a large city like Toronto, you may meet several prospective buyers who want an investment property. In this case, buyers look for things like dedicated secondary dwelling units, laneway additions and finished basements to maximize their tenancy.

In conversation with a real estate expert (again, it bears repeating), you might also consider undertaking one of these large, expensive projects. These are lengthy, high-cost projects that require several administrative steps (permit and zoning applications, etc.), but they can significantly increase the value of your home and property.

Hopefully, this article offers inspiration to home sellers. Whether you want a low-cost, low-intervention way to drive value – like decluttering – or a high-cost renovation project like a new bathroom, these tips help you wring maximum value from your biggest asset.

If you’re selling a house that belonged to a loved one or partner, or you are serving as executor to an estate, ask NEATSPACES about our estate services before you sell.

For downsizing, moving and organizing services in the Greater Toronto Area contact us today!