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Selling or Renovating: Do you Love It or List it?


6 questions to consider when deciding to remodel or sell your home
Posted: September 19, 2018 by Erin Wood

You’re probably familiar with the popular HGTV show Love It or List it, but if you have yet to check out the Canadian design hit, let us give you a little backstory. The model for each episode follows the same formula: a family is struggling with the decision to renovate their home or put it on the market. Normally the family is split in the decision—one person walking through the many reasons the home no longer suits their needs, and one person talking about the sentimental value and charm of the home or neighborhood. Bring in interior designer Hilary Farr and real estate agent David Visentin. Hilary will do her best to make the family’s current living situation work, while David will find several homes that already fulfill their wish list. After one hour, the family is posed with a question: “Will you love it or list it?”.

Sound relatable? While most homeowners rarely find their own HGTV fame, at some point, many do find themselves wondering if they should pay for a home renovation or stick a “For Sale” sign in the front yard.  But without a team of experts and a camera crew, the decision is not always so easy to make.

If you find yourself weighing the options, check out these 6 questions to help make your decision!

1.      What is the real estate market like in your area?

Understanding the current market is crucial any time you’re considering selling. How much inventory does your area have? Are homes selling quickly? For how much? Calling in a real estate professional is key. Allow them to educate you on current market conditions and give you an estimate of your home’s current value.

2.      How long have you been in your home?

Most professions recommend staying in your home for a number of years in order to break even or turn a profit, so there could be some drawbacks to selling too soon. However, if you have been comfortable at home for some time, you may need to make some repairs and updates in order to sell.

3.      What don’t you like about your current living situation?

What are the biggest problems you have? Is it a lack of storage space or a leaky roof? Is it a problem with the neighbors or location? For some problems, moving is the only option, but for others, there may be an easy or cost-efficient fix. Check your home warranty to be sure you are not missing any opportunities for repair. And when it comes to space, always ask yourself: “Do I need more room or more rooms?” Consider consulting with a designer to see how your space could be reworked to better suit your needs.  

4.      Is a renovation worth the headache?

In addition to money, a renovation can cost you time and convenience. Depending on the project, you could be without a kitchen or a bathroom for weeks or even months. You may even need to find a temporary living situation. How will this change disrupt your family’s daily lives? Pro tip: Remember to factor in additional money in the budget and time in your schedule as renovations can often stumble upon issues that put you and your crew back.

5.      How does your home compare to the neighborhood?

Whether you’re planning to renovate or sell, understand how your neighborhood home values factor into that decision. Will renovations allow your home to sell easily or will you “over-improve” and price yourself out of the neighborhood? If you were to put your home on the market today, would you be able to sell it for the value of the other homes in the neighborhood?

6.      Are there any local restrictions on renovations?

Remember that every local area will have their own set of regulations when it comes to home renovations. Will your upgrades be approved and how extensive is the process for getting those changes approved? Be sure you have all the bases covered when taking on any major home project. 

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