As a homeowner and future seller, it’s important to be aware that the real estate market will fluctuate with the changing seasons. The springtime is typically regarded as the most ideal time for buyers to begin their search due to a variety of factors, such as weather conditions, the school year cycle and the number of homes available. If you’re planning on listing this spring, you’ll need to ensure that your home will stand out and attract more potential buyers, no matter how competitive the market is. To do this, there are a few important actions that need to be taken — well before the snow melts.
There are quite a few touch-ups and repairs that can help your home go the distance in terms of curb appeal and overall attractiveness to potential buyers. For starters, you should consider applying a fresh coat of paint. This not only pertains to the walls and ceilings inside of your home, but the windows, doors, sheds, fences and any other large surfaces found outside. It may not be immediately visible to the naked eye, but the effects of time can wear away at the brightness and boldness of your chosen colours, taking away from your home’s appeal, and ultimately its value.
You don’t always need a drastic change in paint colour, but sometimes one is recommended if your current colours aren’t buyer-friendly. Remember that since your goal is to sell, you should typically paint your home something more neutral, like a white or a cream colour. This way, it’s easier for potential buyers to view the home for what it is, without any bias if they don’t like your stylistic choices.
When it comes to the value of your home, energy-efficiency is a significant factor in this day and age. Buyers are more financially and ecologically conscious than ever before, leading to an increase in demand for homes that check off these boxes. Energy efficiency isn’t strictly about appliances, either. This has to do with your home’s ability to keep itself warm in the colder months and maintain healthy airflow in the hotter ones — without running an expensive power bill. Keep your HVAC appliances well-serviced, but also make sure to patch any gaps in your insulation and seal any cracks around your windows and doors where heat may escape.
The use of smart devices, such as smart thermostats, can also help minimize excess energy use. They can be easily customized and pre-programmed to suit your needs, and some can even detect the temperature in your home to optimize power usage accordingly. Through Enbridge, detached, duplex and row townhouse homeowners who heat their home with natural gas may qualify for a $75 discount on the purchase of a smart thermostat. This can help you save now, and in the long run.
Renovations can play a large part in the sale of your home. Yes, it’s true that any medium or large-scale renovations require a significant budget — but strategic upgrades can prove to be extremely rewarding as they often provide a healthy return on investment. If your budget is relatively low, consider one of these low-cost, high impact home upgrades.
Kitchens and bathrooms can be a great focal point for your upgrades, as they provide you with many different angles of approach. These spaces are used regularly, providing both visual appeal and functional value to the household. Replacing your appliances can be a great place to start, as they come in great variety and different levels of performance to suit the look, feel and budget you’re aiming for. If you’re going the full distance and remodeling the whole room from scratch, remember to leave some extra wiggle room in your budget for any unforeseen circumstances.
Finishing your basement can also be a great direction for your renovation budget. A finished basement can take on many different functions, such as a home gym, home theatre, home bar or games room. The possibilities are endless, but please note that finished basements will often carry the best return on investment if they’re designed for miscellaneous use. This way, the basement will still look visually appealing, but the purpose of the space will be up to the buyer’s discretion.
Make sure not to go too far with renovations though, as you could risk too much of a visual mismatch between the interior and exterior of your home, or one between rooms. This can lower the value, ultimately reversing any effort you’d put in.
Proper landscaping and gardening are effective ways to boost your curb appeal and give a strong first-impression. Not only that, but well-kept outdoor spaces often imply that the home is also in equally good condition. This is incredibly helpful when potential buyers are doing their initial online searches, as it will catch their eye, likely putting you high up on their list of places to visit. A nice-looking property can also pique the curiosity of those passing by, leading to an increase in listing traffic and sometimes more offers coming your way.
It’s always good to contact a skilled REALTOR® well in advance, as there are many best practices and fine details that need to be addressed ahead of time. In addition to helping recommend which items you should address prior to listing, Royal LePagers have access to an extensive network of experienced professionals from a wide variety of industries (legal, financial, construction, inspection, etc.) to help you close on a successful sale. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
Whether you are looking to buy, sell or invest in the Ottawa real estate market, I can help. Contact me today for to discuss your real estate needs.
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