Need to sell; can’t afford to update. What can I do?

One of my blog followers contacted me to say she has to sell and can’t afford to renovate. She writes:

I would like to sell my terrace condo but due to a sudden financial crisis,  I can’t renovate the home prior to sale. Do you have advice or suggestions for me?

I think if you can’t afford to update your unit to get it ready for sale, then you shouldn’t worry about it. After all, you can only do what you can do and you’re under enough stress as it is if you’re dealing with a sudden financial crunch without adding to that burden.

Besides, most of the time, unless you spring for a brand new kitchen and bath, you won’t get 100% of your money from renovations anyway. Do what you can and price the property accordingly. A well-priced, well-presented home will sell, even if it needs updates.

Sometimes I represent elderly clients who simply don’t have the resources to make the changes I’d like them to . Often all we can do is make sure the home is clean and de-cluttered, although I will sometimes bring over new art or toss cushions to try to give the place a boost. Your realtor can help.

Be sure your home is clean and that it sparkles. I’ve been inside newer homes that were complete turn-offs because of all the dirt and clutter.

Sometimes just a few hundred bucks in paint and new lighting  can make a huge difference. I’m always picking up light fixtures at Kijiji for $ 10 or $ 20; sometimes that small change alone can transform an out-dated room. Here’s an example of a dining room I transformed for a client by hanging a piece of art and a new light fixture (I brought the dining room chairs and accessories from home):

95 bronson light fixture oldIMG_0902

Talk to your realtor–there may be some inexpensive options to show your home at its best without having to make any major investments. Good luck!


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