Real Estate

Selling next spring - What can I do now to get ready?

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  • Jul 11th, 2020 11:51 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
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Dec 10, 2008
5039 posts
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Selling next spring - What can I do now to get ready?

I'm going to be listing my house next spring - I may or may not use an agent.

Is there anything I should do now to get my house ready for listing?
Let's hug it out
22 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
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Toronto
I think small things can make a difference as it indicates the house is well maintained. Do any minor repairs needed, do some landscaping. Make sure the lawn looks good, weed etc. Paint the window frames if necessary. Replace any broken or cracked outlet covers and vents.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
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^ As above. Appearances matter A LOT when it comes to selling a house.

If your house is older, also consider bigger renovations to make it look more modern. Basic renos of kitchen + bathrooms (not a full gut-job just updating them) can make a huge difference but not actually cost that much in the grand scheme of things. Painting is another must in most cases but do that closer to the sale date.

By basic reno I mean: painting the cabinets, replacing old cabinet hardware, replacing laminate counters with quartz, new sink (the "in" style now is a large single sink instead of a double), new faucet (sleek pull-down sprayer style). I know it sounds like a lot, but it's really not that bad and makes it look like a brand new kitchen. I sold a house recently and took advantage of the Ontario rebates to replace all kitchen appliances for cheap as well (white to stainless steel).

Bathroom same idea, replacing counter/sink/faucet can instantly make an older bathroom look modern. Other things we did were replacing doorknobs (brass knobs to satin nickel levers), replace almost all old-fashioned light fixtures to modern minimalist LED ones, and put in potlights.

Again, sounds like a lot but if you get started a year in advance you can do it all gradually and they are relatively cheap compared to the big impact these changes can make.
Jr. Member
Apr 6, 2020
109 posts
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Toronto
Increase the curb appeal with some landscaping, painting, updated fixtures/faucets, etc
GTA Real Estate Agent
Member
Dec 8, 2008
479 posts
258 upvotes
jk9088 wrote: ^ As above. Appearances matter A LOT when it comes to selling a house.

If your house is older, also consider bigger renovations to make it look more modern. Basic renos of kitchen + bathrooms (not a full gut-job just updating them) can make a huge difference but not actually cost that much in the grand scheme of things. Painting is another must in most cases but do that closer to the sale date.

By basic reno I mean: painting the cabinets, replacing old cabinet hardware, replacing laminate counters with quartz, new sink (the "in" style now is a large single sink instead of a double), new faucet (sleek pull-down sprayer style). I know it sounds like a lot, but it's really not that bad and makes it look like a brand new kitchen. I sold a house recently and took advantage of the Ontario rebates to replace all kitchen appliances for cheap as well (white to stainless steel).

Bathroom same idea, replacing counter/sink/faucet can instantly make an older bathroom look modern. Other things we did were replacing doorknobs (brass knobs to satin nickel levers), replace almost all old-fashioned light fixtures to modern minimalist LED ones, and put in potlights.

Again, sounds like a lot but if you get started a year in advance you can do it all gradually and they are relatively cheap compared to the big impact these changes can make.
What if you have a tenant living in there? Would you consider doing all of this closer to selling or start doing things bit by bit?

Thanks for your post!
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
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aiz_324 wrote: What if you have a tenant living in there? Would you consider doing all of this closer to selling or start doing things bit by bit?

Thanks for your post!
Mostly closer to selling in that case (I would probably wait until tenant moved out then spend a month renovating), however it depends on your relationship with the tenant and how accommodating they are. No harm in asking them if they are ok with renos going on--perhaps they are OK with being inconvenienced for a few days in exchange for a nicer looking kitchen, for example. Or asking them if they are ok with you going in for a few hours to replace all door/cabinet hardware or lighting fixtures, as those are easy to do.

However you do run the risk of tenants damaging new renos (e.g. they accidentally put a hot pot on your brand new quartz counter, or damage a brand new stainless steel appliance) so for that reason as well I would probably wait to do big renos.

Btw, I forgot to provide costs in my previous post. Just for reference sake here is approximate amounts we spent on renos (all costs include tax, this is for a townhouse):

- brand new 4 stainless steel kitchen appliances (fridge/range/dishwasher/OTR microwave), $2000 (got the 25% Ontario Energy rebate on fridge + dishwasher)
- brand new kitchen quartz countertops + large single sink + pulldown sprayer faucet, $3300
- kitchen backsplash, ~$500
- brand new quartz countertop + new sink & faucet in master ensuite bathroom, $650
- 8 new potlights with dimmer switch in basement, $650
- new modern LED light fixtures throughout house, ~$600
- new satin nickel lever-style door handles throughout house (to replace old brass round knobs), $200
- new satin nickel cabinet hardware knobs/handles on kitchen/bathroom cabinets and closets, ~$100

TOTAL: $8000 for a cosmetic makeover of the house, all relatively small things and not very expensive but combined, they really made the house look almost like a totally new one.

I'd recommend painting as well (we only skipped it because the existing paint still looked fine), so add on ~$3500 for that if needed. Obviously if it is a larger house with larger kitchen, costs will be higher but still very manageable IMO.

For all options I picked the cheapest option that looked nice. I also would have done potlights in the kitchen (would only cost another $400) but there were already existing ones. I also would have painted the kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets to a more modern colour if needed, but mine were fine (you can DIY this but honestly I feel my time is more valuable so I would just pay to get this done). For example paint oak cabinets (look very dated) to white. Flooring is a real pain to rip up and redo so I'd leave that unless they look really terrible.
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
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Toronto/Markham
RCGA wrote: I'm going to be listing my house next spring - I may or may not use an agent.

Is there anything I should do now to get my house ready for listing?
It's property dependent on how involved you should get before a listing, there is a fine line between a point of diminishing returns after you've addressed the basics.

That said, get a local realtor to come by and give you their 2 cents, at least you will get some helpful advice even if you decide not to use them.
RE Broker
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2011
3432 posts
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GVRD
Here come the realtors.
OP should now be getting the private messages...
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3798 posts
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Ottawa
aiz_324 wrote: What if you have a tenant living in there? Would you consider doing all of this closer to selling or start doing things bit by bit?

Thanks for your post!
Some of it could be tax deductible if you do it while you have a tenant. I guess replacing working things would need to be depreciated but still.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
1343 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote: Some of it could be tax deductible if you do it while you have a tenant. I guess replacing working things would need to be depreciated but still.
I think all renovation costs for a rental property could be deducted from the profit even if done after tenant moved out, no? Of course as long as it's in a reasonable period of time...
Jr. Member
Sep 13, 2007
148 posts
184 upvotes
toronto
RxMills wrote: Here come the realtors.
OP should now be getting the private messages...
Lol. Nope I won't be PM'ing anyone unsolicited. OP people have given you great advice here. Just remember to do your homework on price you would like to list this property at. At the end of the day you are trying to sell it and your objective is to get what you are looking for.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3798 posts
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Ottawa
jk9088 wrote: I think all renovation costs for a rental property could be deducted from the profit even if done after tenant moved out, no? Of course as long as it's in a reasonable period of time...
Even depreciable expenses which are not followed by any rental income? I am asking I don't know.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
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fogetmylogin wrote: Even depreciable expenses which are not followed by any rental income? I am asking I don't know.
I'm not an accountant but I think it would be fine if it has been a rental property. You can always argue that due to wear & tear on the house by past tenants, items are no longer in good condition for selling so you need to update it before putting it on the market. I don't imagine CRA would have a problem with that.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
3798 posts
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Ottawa
jk9088 wrote: I'm not an accountant but I think it would be fine if it has been a rental property. You can always argue that due to wear & tear on the house by past tenants, items are no longer in good condition for selling so you need to update it before putting it on the market. I don't imagine CRA would have a problem with that.
I guess either way if depreciable you will only be able to claim one year of it or if he does it now he will get two year's deduction? Maybe given the chance they ding things up better to wait anyway?
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
1343 upvotes
fogetmylogin wrote: I guess either way if depreciable you will only be able to claim one year of it or if he does it now he will get two year's deduction? Maybe given the chance they ding things up better to wait anyway?
Not sure if I'm interpreting your question correctly, but I believe you are allowed to claim the rest of all undepreciated costs as "terminal loss": https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency ... -loss.html

So in effect it doesn't matter if the reno costs are current or capital expenses, if you are selling right away the capital expenses get subtracted from your profit regardless.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2017
5230 posts
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Ottawa
Wow, that was quick thread drift. Back to topic....

As you are planning to sell next Spring, fix ups like painting can wait another few months.

The best thing you can start to do now is go through all your stuff and start throwing out all the things that you don't need or won't be moving with you. Simply cleaning and organizing a house can have a huge impact. Pay close attention to all closets, the garage and the clutter pit otherwise known as the basement. Go through the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw out all not used and not needed items.
Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
1343 upvotes
skeet50 wrote: Wow, that was quick thread drift. Back to topic....

As you are planning to sell next Spring, fix ups like painting can wait another few months.

The best thing you can start to do now is go through all your stuff and start throwing out all the things that you don't need or won't be moving with you. Simply cleaning and organizing a house can have a huge impact. Pay close attention to all closets, the garage and the clutter pit otherwise known as the basement. Go through the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw out all not used and not needed items.
Great advice, which I neglected to mention as I figured it was a given, but on second thought may not be that obvious. All main living areas (plus walk-in closets and linen closets) need to be as clutter-free as possible. (By the time you sell, there should be virtually nothing on any counters or open shelves to keep the house looking clean and minimalistic.) However, my agent did tell us it was fine to store things in the garage and unfinished basement storage areas as people don't expect these places to be clutter-free anyways, so we definitely stored all our things in these areas and it did not seem to affect the appeal of the house.
Deal Addict
Mar 2, 2017
3235 posts
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Toronto/Markham
skeet50 wrote:

The best thing you can start to do now is go through all your stuff and start throwing out all the things that you don't need or won't be moving with you. Simply cleaning and organizing a house can have a huge impact.
Great advice, will also highlight additional areas that might need to be addressed now rather than surprising you at the 11th hour.
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Member
Sep 12, 2018
388 posts
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Did you get these numbers doing it yourself or did you hire someone to do it?
jk9088 wrote: Mostly closer to selling in that case (I would probably wait until tenant moved out then spend a month renovating), however it depends on your relationship with the tenant and how accommodating they are. No harm in asking them if they are ok with renos going on--perhaps they are OK with being inconvenienced for a few days in exchange for a nicer looking kitchen, for example. Or asking them if they are ok with you going in for a few hours to replace all door/cabinet hardware or lighting fixtures, as those are easy to do.

However you do run the risk of tenants damaging new renos (e.g. they accidentally put a hot pot on your brand new quartz counter, or damage a brand new stainless steel appliance) so for that reason as well I would probably wait to do big renos.

Btw, I forgot to provide costs in my previous post. Just for reference sake here is approximate amounts we spent on renos (all costs include tax, this is for a townhouse):

- brand new 4 stainless steel kitchen appliances (fridge/range/dishwasher/OTR microwave), $2000 (got the 25% Ontario Energy rebate on fridge + dishwasher)
- brand new kitchen quartz countertops + large single sink + pulldown sprayer faucet, $3300
- kitchen backsplash, ~$500
- brand new quartz countertop + new sink & faucet in master ensuite bathroom, $650
- 8 new potlights with dimmer switch in basement, $650
- new modern LED light fixtures throughout house, ~$600
- new satin nickel lever-style door handles throughout house (to replace old brass round knobs), $200
- new satin nickel cabinet hardware knobs/handles on kitchen/bathroom cabinets and closets, ~$100

TOTAL: $8000 for a cosmetic makeover of the house, all relatively small things and not very expensive but combined, they really made the house look almost like a totally new one.

I'd recommend painting as well (we only skipped it because the existing paint still looked fine), so add on ~$3500 for that if needed. Obviously if it is a larger house with larger kitchen, costs will be higher but still very manageable IMO.

For all options I picked the cheapest option that looked nice. I also would have done potlights in the kitchen (would only cost another $400) but there were already existing ones. I also would have painted the kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets to a more modern colour if needed, but mine were fine (you can DIY this but honestly I feel my time is more valuable so I would just pay to get this done). For example paint oak cabinets (look very dated) to white. Flooring is a real pain to rip up and redo so I'd leave that unless they look really terrible.
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Deal Addict
May 23, 2017
1357 posts
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Justonemore wrote: Did you get these numbers doing it yourself or did you hire someone to do it?
Big stuff we hired out, little stuff we did ourselves.

Hired people:
- electrician to do potlights
- company to do quartz counters and sinks
- handyman to do kitchen backsplash

We did:
- installation of kitchen appliances
- replacing faucets
- replacing light fixtures
- replacing door/cabinet/closet handles/knobs

Honestly you could hire a handyman to do all the little things too and it wouldn't cost that much more. But we were happy to do it ourselves.

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