There are many sellers out there who are listing their Windsor homes today after waiting many years for the market to improve. After watching their property take a significant decline in value the past seven or eight years, homeowners are more optimistic today that they can sell their home at a better price.
But for many homeowners who have suffered from financial setbacks, it may be difficult to make the necessary updates that buyers so covet. Homebuyers today really want to move into a house that is ready to go. But what do you do if you have a dated home that you simply can’t afford to remodel? Yet of course, you want to get as much for your property as possible.
First things first, if your home is in an excellent location, in a well established neighbourhood near outstanding schools, that is an excellent marketing tool. By all means, you should be promoting this to the high heavens. The old saying, “location, location, location,” is still the number one rule in real estate and I can assure you, it’s not going to change any time soon. Let me give you an example. There are two homes currently on the Windsor market. One is updated and move in ready. It looks gorgeous from the inside out. It is priced right and the owners are motivated. Then there is another home. It has dated 1980’s oak kitchen cabinets with no attached hardware and two bedrooms have old, worn carpeting. However, it is down the street from one of the best schools in the area. Not only that, homes rarely go for sale in this neighbourhood. To top it off, it’s at the end of a cul-de-sac and it is in the same price range as the updated home. By now, you can probably guess: the dated home was under contract within one week. The newer home is still on the market. So make sure you hire a real estate agent that will prominately feature your home’s terrific location. I can assure you, buyers will take note.
But let’s take a look at each room one by one to see how you can update a home with little cost.
Does your bathroom have a big sheet mirror and those globe lights that were popular twenty years ago? Simply remove the mirror and replace with an elegant framed mirror (two if double sinks). Also, consider replacing those not attractive lights with sconces on both sides of the new mirrors. You will need to hire an electrician, but it is well worth the cost. Add a simple paint job, some new towels and accessories including sink fixtures and you have made a huge difference in a weekend.
When you walk into your kitchen do you see a room that is in drastic need of a huge makeover? Needless to say, a complete kitchen re-do can cost thousands and thousands of dollars. So let’s take a look at what impresses buyers: countertops. Overall, buyers don’t want to see grout lines and they prefer granite or Corian. Even butcher block should be considered which is much less expensive. If you are able, change the countertops as that is one of the first things a buyer will notice. If your cabinets are in good condition, then simply change the hardware to give it a more updated look. Finally, and yes, we know this can be a bit more costly, but remember, kitchens are what draws a buyer into a home, replace old appliances with mid-range stainless steel. It does not have to be top of the line, as that really doesn’t impress the average buyer. But if you update the counters and add stainless steel and a few other inexpensive changes like hardware, chances are, you will have a buyer that will take a longer look at your home before hopefully making an offer!
Are you bedrooms dark and small? All you need is a gallon of neutral paint, sheer curtains and remove most of the furniture and you are just about good to go. I can’t tell you what an easy fix this is, but many homeowners feel they need to completely change a bedroom in order for it to appeal to buyers. Not true. Buyers like spacious rooms filled with natural light. So paint over those dark colours with a light tan or earth tone colour. Discard those heavy curtains that block the sunlight and replace with inexpensive white sheer curtains. Finally, if you have too much furniture, all a buyer sees is a small room. Use either a full or twin bed, a dresser and end table. Take away any overstuffed furniture that doesn’t belong. Notice a huge change? Believe me, your buyers will.
4. Family room:
Again, this is another easy fix. Often these rooms are filled with personal memorabilia and loads of family photos. Remove anything that shows your interests. This includes trophies, dead animals mounted over the fireplace, a wall of framed family pictures and oversized furniture. You want your buyer to walk into your home and imagine their furnishings placed throughout your house. Believe it or not, taking away your personal belongings only ADDS to the overall appeal of a home.
For more information on how you can update your home, look through my various blog posts for additional help.