Tuesday 3 April 2018

Not all renovations are about ROI

Last week, we looked at the [best renovations for ROI on selling your house], but some things need to be done even if there is no significant financial return.

General maintenance and repairs are the easiest example. These type of things often do not offer much ROI, if any at all, but are more of a negative if left undone. For example, replacing one broken window may not offer much return, but if left cracked, it's an ugly eyesore that could turn buyers off - particularly if it is in a highly visible location.

My advice would be to start with the little things. Oils creaky hinges, replace broken or battered cabinet hardware (handles, etc.), tighten loose door knobs. These are small and low-cost repairs that will still help to contribute to the overall impression a buyer gets from a property.

Next, look at the more time-consuming or expensive repairs. One example is to replace a garage door if it is in terrible shape. Or at least repair it, if possible. You will almost definitely not recover the cost of replacing it, but if it is falling apart it will have a detrimental effect on the sale. Not only may it affect the prices that buyers offer, it could prevent many from even looking at the property as they drive buy and get a poor impression of the property's condition.

I actually have first-hand experience with this. A client once did everything I suggested - everything that is except changing the garage door that was falling apart in spots. They even re-painted the interior, moved furniture, cleared out the basement, and put a lot of clutter in storage. But they didn't change the garage door, even though I said that was top priority. So when I held an agents-only open house, the agents coming through commented more than once that the house was in better shape than they expected. 

The property was relatively new and actually pretty nice, but the builders had apparently used poor quality doors that deteriorated faster than one would expect (I heard from neighbours that many had the same issue).  Unfortunately, the eyesore on the exterior set poor expectations.  Showings were slow for that property until they did change the door.

So, before you start looking at renovations for resale and thinking about ROI, have a good look at the property through buyers' eyes and ask yourself if there is anything you should do on the repairs & maintenance end of things first. 

If you'd like a neutral arm's length opinion, I would be happy to have a no-obligation walk through your house with you and give my advice as an experienced professional.

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