29 Jun What is the one thing to best boost property values ?

A survey of more than 750 real estate agents across Canada has revealed the top things home sellers can do to maximize the value of their home.

The Royal Le Page poll found that the often-favored kitchen renovation is the best way to add value; an average of more than 12.5% according to more than half of respondents.

More modest gains can be made with a finished basement or new bathroom which can add between 2.5% and 12.5% to a home’s value, depending on the investment.

But some things that sellers may think could give them a better price could actually work against them.

“To financially benefit from a home improvement project, you need to keep potential homebuyers in mind,” said Tom Storey, real estate agent, Royal LePage Signature Realty. “While updating a kitchen should increase your sale price, a pool can actually deter families with young children or those who are looking for less maintenance.”

It’s what’s inside that counts
Ideally, a home will look great from the outside and continue to impress inside; but faced with a choice the Royal Le Page experts say getting the interior right is key.

“Curb appeal is important but more time is spent indoors at the open house and that is where buyers typically fall in love with a home,” added Storey. “When renovating with the potential to sell, the most important thing to remember is to use colors and materials that are popular and not too personal.”

How much will sellers invest to boost values?
The survey shows that sellers will invest less than 2.5% of a property’s value for renovations and repairs pre-sale. That equates to around $15K on a median value home.

Boomers are most likely to spend on renovations and are also likely to have the funds to do so.

“Baby boomers run the risk of their property selling for a lower price or languishing on the market for longer than expected if they held their property for a long period of time without updating periodically,” said Storey. “Although many buyers can see themselves making home improvements themselves, it’s very hard for a buyer to get excited or imagine living in a space that is run down or the decor reflects another generation.”

Popular Home Improvements

Rank Project Potential increase to home’s selling price Respondents
1 Kitchen Greater than 12.5% 54.7%
2 Bathroom Between 2.5% and 12.5% 50.8%
2 Finished basement Between 2.5% and 12.5% 60.0%
4 Eco-upgrades (ie, windows, heating) Less than 10.0% 60.0%
4 Basement apartment Less than 10.0% 55.2%
6 Landscaping Less than 7.5% 60.2%
6 Interior painting Less than 7.5% 60.2%
8 Exterior painting Less than 5.0% 54.9%
9 Deck Less than 2.5% 55.0%
9 Pool Less than 2.5% 66.4%
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