Home buying help

What increases home value the least?

Leaving a property in a dirty or messy state can greatly impact the value of your property. Avoid imagery or things in your home that are controversial, polarizing, or explicitly religious, sexual, or political, as they can decrease home value.

Things to avoid when it comes to:

  • Window coverings. Avoid heavy, dark window coverings (roller blinds are better as they make spaces feel larger). The large, heavy baroque circa 1970s window coverings with big valences are outdated and should be upgraded.
  • Paint. Avoid bright, polarizing, or extreme colours like black, red, or dark blue. This will help you appeal to the broadest audience, despite your personal taste.
  • Flooring. Avoid parquet flooring unless you’re an interior designer and are doing something special. Inexpensive laminate or carpet can look cheap, plus off-gassing, low-quality laminate and carpets make people sick and they smell bad.
  • Furniture. Avoid big, dark, tall, and overstuffed furniture.

4 things to avoid when selling

What types of improvements or renovations should be avoided?

For the purposes of a sale, don’t spend a huge amount of money on a big renovation unless you’re a professional who can get discounts on material and labour. Don’t leave things unrepaired: anything that’s unsafe, worn out, or broken should be fixed.

Avoid making a narrow appeal. In order to get top dollar, avoid appealing to only one group or a specific culture. This could turn off other buyers or may not connect them with the property. However, if you’re in an area with one predominant cultural group, it may be okay to appeal to that group with a specific style. But be careful, as this may not work for many people. If you neutralize your home, it will appeal to the broadest possible group and sell quicker.

Other tips to increase your property value

  • Make your home accessible so people can see it in its best possible light. If you’re not a good cleaner, hire one. Get help if you need it. Clear out the clutter.
  • Remove anything that shows your personal information. You want to depersonalize your home and maintain your privacy (e.g. family photos, degrees or qualifications with your name should be put away).
  • Make sure the lawn is mowed and kept in good condition, and the exterior is painted, for single-family homes. Curb appeal matters!
  • Repair and paint dings and nicks on walls. Your entire property should be in good working order.
  • Prepare for property showings. Make sure you’re not home for showings and when preparing for them, put personal items away. Seeing stuff all over the place makes people uncomfortable. Think about a buyer’s perspective and make them feel comfortable and at home.
  • Ensure you have great photos of all aspects and areas of the property in your listing.
  • Be upfront about issues. If there are problems with the property you won’t be rectifying in advance of a sale, disclose these issues so they don’t surprise (and annoy) potential buyers later.
  • Think of yourself as a salesperson in the business of selling your home. This will help take the emotion out of the whole process and attract the broadest possible pool of buyers.