Heather Scott is a real estate agent and construction company co-owner. Her advice to would-be home sellers? Renovate to gain a cost-effective avenue to a quick sale and an enhanced selling price.
- Real estate agent Heather Scott says today’s home buyers are looking for turnkey properties, not fixer-uppers
- Homebuyers, therefore, should consider investing in home upgrades before they sell
- Trusscore products are cost-effective materials that deliver enhanced value to a home, helping ensure a home earns a quick sale, and top dollar, at resale time
In the 10 years that Heather Scott has spent working as a real estate agent in Ontario’s Muskoka region, she’s learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to selling property.
And one of her tried-and-true pieces of advice for homeowners looking to achieve maximum resale value for their homes is to upgrade key components of their house. If done smartly and thoughtfully, the return on investment, or ROI, at selling time almost always exceeds a home renovation cost.
“Buyers don’t want any pain,” says Scott flatly.
“They don’t want anything that might cause them to wait to enjoy their home. They want to buy the house, move in, and be done. What we’re seeing is fewer people who want to buy a fixer-upper. They just want to see a turnkey home and move in. And they’ll pay a premium for that.”
The moral of the story? Fix up your house.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, it was clear that renovations and upgrades enhance a home’s resale value. In 2019, a new roof, for example, recouped 107 percent of its cost at resale, according to the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors. New wood flooring? 106 percent. Other renovations – new kitchens, bathrooms, garages, etc. – don’t typically generate a return that is quite as high, but on average, they recouped 66.5 percent of the sunk cost. On balance, that makes for an inexpensive upgrade.
Once the pandemic and lockdowns took hold in March of 2020, homeowners North America-wide began working on home upgrades, funneling money that would otherwise have gone to travel or vacations into household repairs or improvements
Simultaneously, the real estate market began to heat up. In fact, home prices in Canada have increased $100,000 in the past six months, according to the Financial Post.
Scott, who in addition to working as a real estate broker, co-owns a small construction company with her husband called Lepard Construction, says the current shortage and high price of building materials mean buyers are even more warry of purchasing a home that they’ll have to renovate or fix.
“People don’t want to wait,” she says. They want to know what’s in the home, and that it’s new and fresh and ready to go.”
In other words, she says, if you do the work now, rather than passing it on to the buyer of your home, you’ll likely be rewarded with a quick sale, with little debate about the price.
Trusscore products – of which Scott has become a recent fan – offer ideal solutions for many home-improvement upgrades. Trusscore Wall&CeilingBoard is a perfect retrofit for basements, garages, workshops, mudrooms, closets, kids’ playrooms, closets, and the like. It installs quickly easily – far more quickly than drywall – with a clean, bright finish, enhancing natural light. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, and immensely durable – features that are attractive to buyers.
Lepard Construction used Trusscore Wall&CeilingBoard in a Muskoka boathouse project last July, leveraging its water-shedding properties. And Scott and her husband selected Wall&CeilingBoard for a home basketball court/workshop at their own home, completed last February.
Would she recommend Wall&CeilingBoard to her real estate clients?
“Absolutely. It’s such a durable product. It’s kind of a one-step, instant cleanup of a room.”
Scott particularly likes Trusscore products for garage improvements. Wall&CeilingBoard can be combined with Trusscore SlatWall to create garage wall storage solutions, delivering enhanced functionality and a crisp, showroom-quality look.
“The garage is often the last place anyone thinks about when they’re selling their property,” she says. “It’s really one of the most important parts of your home. I think people get tired by the time they've got the house cleaned up and ready to sell, and they've needed somewhere to stash everything, so it just all hides in the garage.
“But having a nice, clean, tidy garage actually makes a big difference.
She says when she shows a house to a client that has a clean or newly finished garage, the positive reaction is immediate.
“It just feels like it's one more thing where people say, “Oh, okay, I don't have to worry about that. It’s clean. It’s fresh. It’s ready to go. People will see that as value. And it's often totally overlooked.”
Scott’s lesson? Don’t overlook home renovations before you sell.
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