With housing prices soaring across Canada, and politicians on every side of the political spectrum pontificating on how they plan to cool the market, perhaps now is a good time to think about selling yours. Especially if you’re in a place in your life where that makes sense. Perhaps your kids have left your home and it’s time to downsize. Perhaps your home is part of your retirement strategy to cash out and fly out to the retirement spot of your dreams. Congratulations! You’re in the right place and time to make the most of that opportunity.
But first, let’s talk about equity.
Equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and what your home is currently worth. For example, if you owe $100,000 on your mortgage loan and your home is worth $800,000, you have $700,000 worth of equity in your home. That’s the equity you have in your home to do any of the things I mentioned above. As you pay down your mortgage, the amount of equity in your home will rise.
So now that you understand what equity is, here are some easy things you can do to further boost the equity of your home before selling it. These are all relatively quick fixes, and they don’t require a huge investment. Well, beyond what you’ve already paid into your home. These improvements have the potential to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers and even help secure a higher purchase price.
#1 - Beautify The Front Door
You’ve likely heard many times that “curb appeal” and first impressions are very important when it comes to selling a home. This is especially true for the appearance of the front door. Usually, this will be one of the first places where a home shopper will pause for a moment and have a look around, often while the real estate agent goes about the task of unlocking the home for viewing. Making your front door pretty, welcoming, and bright, is key to setting the stage for a great showing.
- Pro Tip: Add a “pop” of colour by painting the front door and then adding a colour-coordinated doormat, a pretty wreath, sign, or flower arrangement.
#2 - Add a Smart Device
Many home shoppers are looking for high-tech home upgrades. Listings that have these in place tend to stand out during a showing. It can often be quite easy and relatively inexpensive to add one or more of these sought-after gadgets in the “smart home” category to your existing home. Some of the more popular options include a smart doorbell, a front door lock or garage door with wireless app access, or even smart lighting that can be controlled with a smartphone or other devices, like Apple Home or Amazon Alexa.
- Pro Tip: Look for tech upgrades that work well with your home’s internet and that are compatible with multiple brands of devices and phones.
#3 - Do Some Painting
A fresh coat of paint, if done correctly, will always make a home show better. It can also be an inexpensive way to update and renew an older home. Some specific colours have even been shown to boost a home’s value! For living room spaces, neutral colours are usually best since they will fit with a variety of styles and furnishings. According to a *Zillow report, you should avoid bold colours like red or yellow, especially in the kitchen.
- Pro Tip: If you want to add some colour, do it with curtains, rugs, or possibly a small painted accent wall. This way, if a buyer wants to make a change, it is much easier to do!
#4 - Clean Everything
When a potential buyer walks into your home, the last things you want them focused on are dusty blinds or a stain on the rug. While you may not be able to remove every imperfection, a good deep cleaning of your entire home is a great idea. If you have carpeting, consider hiring a professional steam cleaner to come and work their magic. Invest in a wood touch-up pen to make scratches on woodwork or hardwood flooring less noticeable. Dust, mop, clean baseboards, remove cobwebs, shine faucets, and wipe countertops.
- Pro Tip: To keep exterior glass surfaces and outside windows looking clean longer, use a Rain Repellent additive like Rain-X!
The milestone of selling a home can have a huge impact on your financial well-being. Some home upgrades are good to do before selling, as they will yield a relatively high return on investment. Others though, will not help your home sell and can actually be a waste of money. It’s always wise to consult with a financial strategist to determine a reasonable and smart improvement budget specific to you, and then where to use those funds to build the most equity in your home.
At CleveDoesMore, the best part of our job is helping people make informed choices to minimize their risk while building equity and wealth for their future.
*Is your bathroom light blue? Your home could be worth nearly $5,000 more than its competitors: A survey of recent and prospective homebuyers reveals several colors that may lead to higher offers, Courtesy Zillow Group Research (pub. July 15, 2021)