Blog by Andrew Peck

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Will Renovating Speed Help You Sell or Will It Cost You More Than It’s Worth?

Will Renovating Speed Help You Sell or Will It Cost You More Than It’s Worth?

You’re selling but you want to renovate first. How do you get the best return on your investment?

To get the best return on your investment, follow these guidelines:

1. Never out-renovate for your neighbourhood

Home prices are driven by location. If you live in a moderately priced neighbourhood that isn’t seeing a lot of development and you renovate your home with a luxurious gourmet kitchen, or a spa backyard, you may not recover your costs. Otherwise you may find your home is the “best home on the block” - one that is often more difficult to sell.

2. Stick to classic styles

In the 1970s wall-to-wall shag rugs and avocado green appliances were in style (and are now making a comeback). In the ‘80s light green and pink walls were the rage. In the past few years everything from Zen gardens to craftsman cottages and country kitchens have been popular. Your best bet for resale value is timeless interior finishings – hardwood floors, classic wood cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances.

3. Do your homework when it comes to zoning

For major renovations - a new deck, garage or in-law suite, you must get a building permit from your local municipal hall. Some types of renovations will be restricted depending on the zoning for your property. For example, a third floor may not be permitted. If you complete renovations without proper permits, you can be in trouble when it comes time to sell.

4. Expensive doesn’t mean better

Sometimes the most expensive renovations pay off the least, for example, a state-of-the-art sound system in each room or skylights in each room. Maybe what you need is exterior and interior paint and new kitchen cabinets.

5. Get it done right!

Renovation work should be of the highest possible quality. Buyers are knowledgeable –and have likely watched many hours of home renovation TV shows. They know how to look closely at workmanship and materials. Don’t do it yourself unless you know what you’re doing.

6. Do your homework

Before starting a renovation project, carefully review material costs, products, suppliers and contractors. Check references for contractors and get all agreements in writing.

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