• Nathan Myhr

Should You Renovate Before You Sell?

If you are not sure if you should renovate before you sell, you are not alone. Homes in kamloops range greatly in age and condition. Each home varies in the demographic that fits in the home and the neighbourhood. There may not be a perfect, yes or no answer but hopefully I can help make your decision a bit easier.


WHO WILL BE BUYING YOUR HOUSE?


Think of your home as a product you need to market just like a large advertising company would need to do for a company like Nike. If you are selling a small home with 2-3 bedrooms in a neighbourhood that is quiet and has a good nearby school, your home is most likely going to be sought after by a small family. Most young and small families will want a fairly turn key home. So if your home is very dated and not functional, an update may be beneficial. Also keep in mind that if your home is not overly outdated, your home may already be the sweet spot for prices and have the most buyers searching in that range... and update could bring it out of the sweet spot and may not actually help you get more money in the sale.




WHAT'S THE MARKET LIKE?


You should also consider the market. Is it a buyers or sellers market? As I write this, it is fairly balanced as there are homes on the market that are sitting but in a whole, listings are way down which means competition for sellers is low which is what puts a pressure on prices to rise. That being said, if there are 5 properties identical to yours in Kamloops, a renovation could give your home the advantage over the other homes but may not necessarily increase the value enough to give you a profit over the cost of the renovation.


HOW DATED IS YOUR HOUSE?


If your property was built in the 70's and still has the original shag carpet and no matter whoever the buyer is, they will need to renovate before they can live in it... Then you have a really tough choice to make. Many buyers will want to do their own upgrades with their own taste so an blank canvas will be more desirable for them.


Also... Renovations can be very expensive so in most cases, you are better off leaving it to the buyer because an uneducated buyer may overpay for your home without properly anticipating the cost to update it. The other concern with updating it yourself, is you are likely to uncover other costly things hiding behind the walls, like wiring, plumbing, etc. The plan here might be to leave your home as is and reduce the price based on the need for renovations. While you won’t be able to sell for as high, you should still come out on top compared to the full renovation.


That being said, if you can keep the costs low by doing much of the work yourself (and you can do a good job!)... and if you don't uncover anything serious behind the walls, updating it to something modern by still keeping things cheap (inexpensive), then you should be able to see a profit. The main things to focus on would be opening up the spaces as most buyers now want an open kitchen and great room layout... Then modernize the kitchens and lastly, the bathrooms. Finish it off with some simple and clean landscaping, and you shouldn't have an issue recouping all your expenses and hopefully even see a profit.



IS THE RENOVATION WORTH THE STRESS?


All in all, when family and friends ask me this same question, I usually say to leave it the way it is, (unless they are doing it themselves and have connections to get the material and tools.)


Even if you think you can profit from a renovation, keep in mind that living in a reno is very stressful and can put unneeded fatigue on relationships and families. So before you get too excited about the financial gains that might be possible, consider the whole picture and make sure it is something you AND your family is willing to take on before you commit. Also, don't forget to budget you money and your patience for the things lurking in the wall!

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