Home renovations that can increase the return on investment and up the value of your home for sale.

The spring market in Canada is starting to heat up with record low inventory. Buyers have started to come back, as for the first time in the last few months Bank of Canada has not increased interest rates.

In fact, Royal Lepage has adjusted their national aggregate home price forecast to increase 4.5% year-over-year in Q4 2023. This is an opportune time for home sellers waiting in the sidelines, to finally start getting their home ready for sale and look into renovations.

When selling the place you’ve called home for the past five, 10 or 30 years there is always one question that comes to mind: How do I get the most money back on my home?

How can homeowners increase the ROI, or return on their investment? There are a ton of tricks and tips to increase the ROI when selling a home, but the number one piece of advice is to look into hiring a Real Estate Agent.

The right Real Estate professional can assist in setting an appropriate asking price which is influenced by the season, annual trends, neighbourhood and amenities offered in the area. They can also help with other things like organizing showings, and offering invaluable advice about possible projects that can be completed to upgrade your home and also increase sale price.

Other ways to ensure you are increasing your investment in your home upon selling is by putting some money back into the house before the sale sign is even hung.

Who is buying?

Speaking with your hired professional and by taking note of the demographics in the area can help you determine your target audience. Who will be looking at purchasing your home? A young family? An expanding family? A couple looking to retire? Investors? Perhaps it is some people who are looking to flip the property?

Learning your target demographic can ultimately save you from investing money into big projects that will do nothing to return on your investment. “There are a lot of buyers who just want to buy a home that is turn-key. Updating rooms like the kitchen, will have the greatest impact for them. However, you need to know who your buyer is so the upgrades will align with their wants and needs.” says Terry Osti, award-winning, REALTOR® at StilHavn.

Web appeal is the new curb appeal

Forbes reports that it is just as important, or more so, to have a strong web presence when selling your home as it will bring interested buyers to the door. Senior director of PR at Realtor.com, Julie Renyolds told Forbes that ads featuring walk-through tours are clicked on 150% more than ads without them.

Curb appeal still a good investment

HGTV says that curb appeal is still just as important as ever. After all, you can only make a first impression once.

Ensuring cracks in sidewalks and driveways are patched, windows and doors are caulked and door knobs, locks and hardware are upgraded are low cost ways to boost the return on investment upon selling.

Taking that extra initiative and planting flowers and perennials in the garden can also have a lasting impression and increase the value of the home. Interior designer Brittany Farinas of House of One told Forbes.com that adding some greenery can give the outdoors a whole new look.

New siding, although a little more costly, is reported to rank high on the cost vs. value report according to HGTV. According to Forbes.com, homeowners can expect to pay between $1,000 to $16,000, depending on the size of the home and the type of siding material used, but it will not go unnoticed.

Sound structure is key

Interested buyers aren’t going to be as thrilled about an upgraded kitchen if the basement is flooding due to poor plumbing or cracks in the foundation.

HGTV says that investing that facelift money into ensuring the roof is in good repair, the foundation is sturdy, the furnace is functioning properly and all electric and plumbing is up to code will ensure the asking price won’t plummet in order to compensate for the necessary repairs.

Replacing windows can cost around $15,000 for a 2,000-sq-ft home with new vinyl windows, but RE/MAX predicts a return on investment of 75%.

Focus cash on bathrooms & kitchen

The kitchen and bathrooms are where a lot of time is spent in the home and architect Steve Straughan based out of Los Angeles’ KAA Design Group says they are the areas of the home that interested buyers can tell if money has been well spent.

According to RE/MAX, kitchen renovations such as countertops are one of the top three changes that lead to a high return on investment. Countertops can be expensive, but $3,000 stones such as granite or quartz can make a huge difference. To further elevate your kitchen, spend around $5-10,000 for stainless steel kitchen appliances. Kitchen renovations typically have a return on investment of 75-100%, usually the highest ROI.

Bathrooms can often always use a facelift — and, for certain, a deep clean. Every bathroom is different, but it is one of the main focuses that buyers look for in a home. Renovations can vary, but having a vanity with marble countertops or a frameless glass shower are elements that can draw buyers. A tip recommended by RE/MAX is to analyze your bathroom and figure out the strengths and weaknesses of it. A typical bathroom renovation is between $5-$15,000 and can have a return of 62%.

Updates and remodels should focus on creating open and inviting spaces and one of HGTV’s tips is to skip that soaker tub and put in a grandiose walk-in shower — or steam shower. After all, who really has the time anymore to take lengthy soaks often enough to justify the space the tub takes up.

Creating additional space

Does the home have an attic with dimensions that would allow the creation of an additional bedroom or office space? Can you extend the deck or create an outdoor living area or sunroom? Can the basement be finished and transformed into a cozy living space? Adding more functional spaces in your home can make it look larger and eliminate any unused spaces. Forbes predicts that the average cost to finish your basement is $22,850 in 2023.

HGTV says keep other homes for sale in the area and your target audience in mind because you don’t want to renovate your home to the extent that you price yourself out of your market.

Go Green

Concentrating on making the home energy efficient with better insulation, window and door replacements can not only increase your ROI when you sell the home, but you will also notice instant savings on your energy bills. By making such upgrades, AIC says the ROI is typically between 50-75%.

Plus, as of December 1, 2020, Canada has offered a number of grants for homeowners to make energy-saving upgrades.

At the end of the day, it isn’t always the fun and sexy renovations that add the most value to the home. Sometimes it’s the dirty work that goes the extra mile when selling. But, to make sure you are getting the best return on your investment, be sure to speak with a professional Real Estate Agent who can help answer any questions you may have along the way.