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Should I Renovate or Update My Home to Sell It?

  • January 21, 2023
  • By Eric Palin

should I renovate my home to help it sell on the market cover

A question I’ve been asked many times by clients is: “should I renovate or update my home to sell it?” As an experienced Realtor® with RE/MAX House of Real Estate, I suggest that it can either be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ depending on your situation.

First and foremost, the most important step to preparing your home for sale is having a real estate professional perform an in-person evaluation. They will provide you with specific advice that will assist in your sale, and give you some recommendations on what you can do to make your home more appealing on the residential market.

If you own a condo, for example, the advice I give to a client may be drastically different than if they have a single-family home. Additionally, please note that the advice I provide in today's market conditions may be also significantly different than that I provide a year from now.

So, let’s go through a few different scenarios and how that advice would vary depending on the situation at hand. Also see:

Renovating Condos to Help Sell

Should you renovate your Calgary condo to sell it? As of February 2023, we suggest that it is highly unlikely you would want or need to, and here’s why.

Calgary’s condominium market rarely has an inventory issue, so spending the extra time and money can be a big risk as there are no guarantees you’ll see a return on investment.

Renovating Detached Homes to Help Sell

Should you renovate your Calgary single-family home to sell it on the market? Once again, as of February 2023, we suggest that doing so may pose an “all-risk for no reward” scenario.

Like condos, Calgary’s detached home sector rarely sees inventory in short supply. Therefore, potential buyers are likely to browse several options before signing on the dotted line – and any costly renovations you make could go unnoticed.

Renovations to Sell: A Case-by-Case Basis

It’s important to keep in mind that not every home or condo will be a solid “no” when it comes to renovations or updates to help it sell on the residential market.

In some instances, renovating your property may in fact increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. However, the cost and scope of the renovations/updates needed will depend on the condition of the home, desired outcomes, and market conditions.

Home renovations such as:

  • making cosmetic improvements to update the aesthetic appeal of a home
  • replacing outdated fixtures and/or appliances
  • enhancing your curb appeal with a well-manicured yard
  • performing small touch-ups to the interior/exterior

…can all add significant value before listing on the residential market.

Additionally, in some instances, it may be worthwhile for you to invest in energy efficiency upgrades, such as installing new windows or improving your HVAC system, which can pay off with potential buyers looking for a greener lifestyle (but not always!).

Ultimately, whichever renovations you choose to help sell your home on today’s market should be done in consideration of your finances and overall real estate goals. Also see:

What are the Best Low-Cost Renovations/Upgrades?

what are the best low-cost renovations to help your home sell on the market

Not all home renovations to help sell your home have to be expensive. Here are a handful of relatively low-cost, do-it-yourself upgrades that can help make your home more appealing to potential buyers:

  • Painting the interior and exterior - a fresh coat of paint can dramatically change the look and feel of a room, making it look new and less lived-in
  • Adding new lights or light fixtures - replacing outdated fixtures with more modern and energy-efficient options is another inexpensive way to freshen up the home
  • Upgrading outlets and switches - swapping dated outlet covers for newer and less worn ones is an inexpensive way to freshen up your home
  • Installing new hardware - changing door knobs, drawer pulls, and cabinet pulls can give your home an updated look
  • Landscaping - sprucing up the yard with mulch, plants, flowers, trees, or shrubs can make your home stand out from the competition and enhance your curb appeal by leaps and bounds

What are Costly Home Renovations/Upgrades to Avoid? 

what home renovations may be too costly to be beneficial when selling your home

On the flip side, there are also some home renovations you’ll want to avoid when selling your home, as they may be too costly and there won’t see a return on your investment. Some of those include:

  • Installing luxury items - installing high-end appliances or fixtures often appeals more to personal taste – not that of potential buyers – and may not increase the overall value of your home when selling on the MLS®
  • New outdoor features - while decks, pergolas, firepits or patios can be visually appealing, they can also prove to be very expensive and you may not see a return on your investment
  • Extensive remodelling projects - remodelling multiple rooms may not pay off when selling your home on the residential market, as once again, expensive upgrades often appeal more to personal taste than that of potential buyers
  • Window and door replacement – In many instances, a quick repaint or caulking can help seal up old windows and doors, helping you avoid the extra costs associated with replacing them altogether
  • Extensive exterior repairs – your REALTOR® may suggest making a few touch-ups to your home’s exterior before listing it on the market; however, overdoing it can be a costly venture where a return on investment may not be realized

Get the Best Advice for Your Upcoming Home Sale

Eric Palin - Calgary Realtor and Real Estate Agent - Calgaryism Team - Banner CTA

If you're thinking about renovating or upgrading your existing home to sell in Calgary, don't do it alone. Hire an experienced REALTOR® who can provide you with advice and guidance to help you make the best decisions for your transaction.

As an experienced REALTOR® with RE/MAX House of Real Estate, I would be happy to help you pinpoint which improvements are feasible and necessary to attract potential buyers to your property – and which ones to avoid.

I look forward to connecting with you and discussing your home-selling goals!


Category: Blog, Selling Tips