After years of soaring housing prices, the market in Vancouver is softening a little. While it’s too soon to tell if we will be entering a buyer’s market, both buyers and sellers appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach as they digest higher borrowing costs, inflation, and declining real estate prices.
But what does this cautious sentiment mean for sellers looking to unload property or move on to their next home?
Selling Your Home in a Challenging Market
Many homeowners who have seen the value of their properties decline are opting to upgrade their homes to attract better offers rather than accept a lower price. While this can be a dangerous and costly strategy, experts say the result depends on what improvements homeowners choose to invest in.
Home Improvements that Sell Houses
Upgrading your home to sell is different from the approach you might take to improve a home you intend to live in. While kitchens and bathrooms generally offer the highest return on investments, these renovations take time and a significant amount of capital upfront.
Instead, when planning to sell, tackle smaller, more affordable improvements that add to the appeal of your home and leave any major remodels to the new buyers. Here are five areas to focus on that offer a good ROI.
1. Exterior Painting
Hiring exterior painters in Vancouver is one of the lowest-cost-highest-reward home improvements you can make. Curb appeal sells homes, and a fresh coat of paint can completely transform the look of your property.
Cracks and peeling paint can raise red flags for home buyers. Even if there are no underlying problems, an unkempt exterior could indicate potentially hidden issues with your property, which may deter prospective buyers.
2. Interior Painting
If the walls inside your home have seen better days, why not have your exterior painters tackle both projects simultaneously? Home buyers walking into a house need to be able to envision themselves living in the space. If your current paint is in a bold colour, dirty, peeling, or faded, it will distract from the finer points your home has to off.
Livening up your landscaping is another excellent way to draw in potential buyers. A small investment in areas like your lawn, garden, and shrubs can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal. Combined with a fresh coat of exterior paint, landscaping upgrades will help your home stand out among Vancouver area listings.
4. Fixture and Hardware Upgrades
While completely remodeling a kitchen or bathroom may be out of budget, you can easily give these spaces a facelift by swapping outdated fixtures and hardware for newer ones. Lighting fixtures, faucets, and cabinet pulls are affordable fixes that can significantly impact the overall look of a space.
5. New Flooring
Home buyers almost universally dislike mismatched or dated flooring, particularly old carpets. Replacing all the flooring throughout your home can be a large project, but it will give your space the fresh, seamless look buyers crave. And with many high-quality faux-wood products available at an affordable price, replacing your flooring doesn’t have to break the bank.
Price it to Move
Once your home looks ready to sell, the next step is determining a listing price.
Attracting cautious buyers in a market roughly balanced between the number of properties available for sale and buyers looking to buy means your property needs to be priced well. Where a seller’s market generally sees homes go quickly and for over asking and a buyer’s market puts pricing power in the hands of buyers negotiating a discount on the list price, a balanced market typically sees sellers take reasonable offers close to the list price while homes generally sit for a little longer, waiting for the right buyer.
In a balanced market, sellers need to price their homes strategically. List at or near the actual market value and be prepared to negotiate.
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