Selling Kamloops Real EstateHome Seller's Guide > Marketing Your Home > Making Repairs Before Selling Your Home





"New. Just replaced. Upgraded." These words are sweet music to any home buyer's ears.

Before your REALTOR® puts the “For Sale” sign on your lawn, it's likely that you'll need to make some repairs and improvements around the house. But what kinds of repairs should you make? Do you repair larger items or just small ones? Do you totally upgrade the basement? Do you try your luck and hope nobody will notice?

A home in move-in condition appeals to more prospective buyers. It's a given rule in real estate that a house in good condition sells more quickly than one that requires upgrading. If your home is well-maintained and shows for it many buyers will possibly make you an offer. With multiple offers, the selling price is likely to rise.

A home requiring a lot of work is less appealing to some buyers. Some people simply don't have the time, money or the inclination to carry out these repairs. First-time buyers and those with a busy lifestyle generally want to pay for a maintenance-free home. When considering doing repairs on your current home, consider the market and your neighbourhood. In a hot market, perhaps won't even need to do anything. But perhaps in a buyer’s market, your repairs and upgrades should be completed ahead of time in order to achieve the best possible price when you sell.

Home Inspections Are Popular

Many buyers will request a home inspection. This could work for or against a seller. Depending on how it's written into the contract, a buyer could terminate the contract upon unsatisfactory findings or if specified repairs are not completed. He or she could also re-open negotiations. An unhappy home buyer could also request a substantial discount for the cost of the repairs. Either the seller pays for it now, or later.

Don't Get Carried Away

Dollar-for-dollar, not all home improvements raise the value of your home. It depends on the cost and type of improvement. You could spend $30,000 on a landscaped paradise in your backyard, complete with mature trees, waterfalls, rock gardens and sprinkler system. Will this mean your property is instantly worth an additional $30,000? Unlikely. Many buyers like the idea of a garden and backyard. But a simple, attractive yard with a nice fence, swing set and flowerbeds is adequate. Most people are unwilling to place a $30,000 premium on a garden. If you spent $25,000 on Italian marble for your bathroom you'd likely have the same outcome. While you're willing to pay the price, it may not significantly increase the value of your home by the same $25,000 that you paid for.

When you're thinking about doing renovations to your home, consider the cost and the neighbourhood for proper context. Select renovations that won't stretch your budget. Be mindful not to over improve your home in comparison to the rest of the neighbourhood. When it comes to purchasing a home, buyers will tend to seek the least expensive home in the most expensive neighbourhood they can afford. If your home has too many improvements, it may be priced at the high end of the local market. From a selling point of view, you may not get the best price. It may also take longer to sell your home. Remember, the longer your home stays on the market, the more you're inclined to reduce the price to ensure a sale.

Perhaps you're planning to move in a few years and are hoping to recover the costs. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation suggests the following as a payback range of typical renovations:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Interior painting
  • Exterior painting
  • Main floor family room
  • Finished basement
  • Upgraded heating system
  • Landscaping
  • In-law or rental suite
  • Central air-conditioning
  • Energy-efficient upgrades


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