Mar 05, 2019

Selling your home can be a stressful process and the decisions you make prior to listing can have an impact on how smoothly the process unfolds. One of these major decisions is whether or not to invest in upgrading your home.

A general assumption is that if you spend significant money upgrading your home prior to putting it on the market, it will justify a higher sale price thus increasing the return on the property. Unfortunately, this is no longer necessarily the case in the current Vancouver market.

Gone are the days in Vancouver real estate when putting a house on the market with no photos, no marketing strategy and minimal effort to prep the home for listing brings a multiple offer situation within a week. If inventory continues to outpace sales in Vancouver and only 1 of 10 listings will sell in a given month, it is imperative that your home is priced right and stands out from the competition.

Does this mean that you need to do a major renovation to stand out from the competition? Not necessarily. Each property is unique but there are important things to consider before sinking significant funds into a property you’re planning to list:

All Taste Is Personal and No Home is Alike

There is nothing more wasteful of the seller’s time than executing a renovation that doesn’t speak to the target demographic of buyers. The last thing you want to do is do a renovation thinking it will increase the value, only to have the buyers want to re-do all the work you just did, as many buyers prefer to do their own renovations. The important question to ask is who is the buyer that you are targeting? Some buyers can see the vision of the space and are not afraid of a renovation, while others get completely stressed out when thinking they might need to live through a renovation.

Rethink Before You Remake

Doing a major renovation or upgrades prior to selling can bring a laundry list of unknowns and unveil a series of issues if you’re not careful. Make sure you consult with your real estate advisor to ensure your marketing strategy and valuation has been carefully considered.

The most thought-out strategy may be to hold off on doing any work and adjusting the list price accordingly. This can save you time and potentially a lot of money, especially if the market is not willing to pay for someone else’s work. As hard as it is sometimes, taking emotion out of the expectation that you may not be able to sell for as high as you thought, may prove to be a smarter financial decision in the end.

Know Your Neighbours

A helpful step in aligning expectations is taking the time to familiarize yourself with the market and gain a perspective on what other options your buyers might be considering. Is it a sellers market or buyers market? In a hot market, homes that are in need of repair can usually get away with minimal repairs before selling. In slower markets, buyers might not even look a home that needs significant work unless its priced well relative to the market and cost of required repairs.

One suggestion we always offer clients is to take a weekend with us (your real estate advisor) and tour some properties in the neighbourhood. What is the condition of the competition? How do the features and benefits of each home compare to yours? Sometimes the simplest of upgrades are all your home needs to make a difference. Paying attention to what the market is doing is important to monitor if you’re going to have a successful sales outcome putting your home on the market.

Overall at Resident Experts we generally recommend selling a home close to “as is” versus spending a significant amount of time and money upgrading it. As an alternative, it may be worth staging your property as this can make a significant difference for a fraction of the cost of larger renovations.

Visit our blog post on staging here to learn more about the process .

Remember that doing a renovation is a lot of stress and can prove to be more costly then anticipated. You may not see any financial gain as a result of the renovation so it’s important to properly assess the costs of the renovations against the home’s valuation. If you need some help, you know who to call.

Happy selling!

– The Resident Experts

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