Simple fixes to bring in better offers on your Calgary home

Posted by Justin Havre. on Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at 6:45pm.


 Selling your Calgary home but not sure how much money to spend on sprucing it up?  Attending to little things here and there are necessary chores and they can usually pay off.  But what types of jobs will pay off and bring you the biggest return.  Well, it depends on:

  • What time of year it is
  • Where your home is located
  • What the current market is like
  • What else is for sale in your neighbourhood

According to Remodelling Magazine, there are a few general guidelines.

Look Underfoot

Do you live in an older Calgary home with original hardwood?  Buyers today want wood floors, so if you have carpet overtop of your hardwood floors, tear them out.  Depending on the shape of the floors, you may want to have them refinished. If your home was constructed in the 1960s and 70s, when carpeting became a more inexpensive flooring option in new homes, the most cost effective option is to replace the carpet with something fresh and contemporary.  A neutral shade is most appealing to buyers. It would also give you an opportunity to check the plywood sub-floor for rot.   If you have tiles, replace broken or chipped ones and refresh the grout.  If you must replace all the tiles, don’t go with ceramic tiles. They’re too expensive.

Walls and Ceilings

Step outside of yourself and pretend you are a prospective buyer and look at your ceiling and walls with a critical eye.  Buyers look at the ceiling very carefully.  They’re looking for signs of water damage but what you don’t want them to see are cracks or even stains from cooking.  There’s a children’s novelty item which is like slime and perhaps your kids have thrown this type of substance up on the ceiling to see if it would stick.  It likely provided a lot of laughs at the time, but this stuff leaves grease spots.  You don’t want buyers to see that, or finger prints on the walls either.  Fix cracks, old nail holes, dents and scratches and paint.  If you can’t find the right shade, go with a neutral colour.

Your wallpaper probably needs to go, whether you strip or steam it.  Some people say you can paint over wallpaper but that’s only if you’re in a big hurry and your wallpaper isn’t bubbled or have pronounced seams.  If you have wood paneling it can be painted.  No matter how beautiful your walnut, cedar, pine or mahogany paneling is in your home, it’s dated.  Prime it and paint it a soft or neutral colour.  If you can’t bear to cover up that wood, you can leave it and wait for feedback from buyers coming through your home.  But that’s the key word.  Wait.  If you have time to wait.

In the Kitchen

It’s quite expensive to update a kitchen.  Appliances can be expensive to replace.  Cabinets can cost an arm and a leg and most likely, buyers can spot cheap cupboards a mile away.   But if they’re in bad shape with broken hinges and extremely dated, you might not have any choice.  Think about resurfacing perhaps and adding new hardware. Redoing your kitchen can almost guarantee you a 100% return on your investment unless you have installed a luxury kitchen.   A moderately priced reno might do the trick.  Don’t worry about a super deluxe fridge or an under mount sink.  You don’t have to invest in granite as some laminates these days duplicate the same look and feel.  Check with your real estate agent to see what buyers are looking for in your particular neighbourhood.

Bathroom Blitz

Like kitchens you can often recover your investment in a renovated bathroom.  Sometimes even more.  The best items to replace in the bathroom is the floor, fixtures and taps and the lighting.

Outside the Home

Grit your teeth and do your roof.  Buyers will ask right away – when was the roof done last?  Guaranteed.  Other odd jobs outside your home include fixing the fence, replacing door knobs and fixing cracks in the sidewalk leading up to your front door.

Again, your real estate professional can advise on what buyers specifically in your neighbourhood are looking for.

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