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5 Upgrades to Make Your Home Stand Out During COVID-19

If you’re planning to sell, you might be thinking about doing a few upgrades to give your home the edge over the competition. But in seller’s markets like we’re seeing in many parts of Canada, demand is high enough that it may not be necessary to invest loads of time and money in big-ticket areas like kitchens and bathrooms – besides, yours might be in great shape already. If you’re looking for some fresh ideas to make your home stand out like a domestic oasis to buyers during the pandemic, here are five of our favourites:

Front porch with paitned railings and pillars

1. Finesse the front porch

We don’t need to tell you how important curb appeal is to your sale, but in times like these, the front steps or porch aren’t just for show – today’s homeowners consider all outdoor spaces to have potential for use and enjoyment! Consider making yours all the more inviting by springing for a new front door with a decorative glass panel, replacing dated wrought iron hand railings with wood-framed ones, and for a crowning touch, add a gable roof above the door with painted pillars.

Furnished deck with carpet, swinging seat, flowers and lush greenery

2. Dial up the deck

As we get used to spending more time at home, decks and patios a great area to invest your energies (and despite what you might be thinking, many contractors take on deck projects all year long). When planning your improvements, try to make the deck an extension of the living space, with enough room for outdoor furniture, a roof or frame for shade, electrical outlets for lights and appliances, and aesthetic touches like built-in planters and patterned deck boards.

Smart thermostat attached to a wall with nearby stair case

3. Fine-tune with a smart thermostat

Who knew being home all day (and all year) would impact our heating and cooling bills so much? Many Canadians are looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency, so upgrading to a smart thermostat can give your home an appealing edge. Not only will buyers be able to control temperature from their phones or smart-home system, but some devices come with sensors that limit how much energy is directed to spaces that aren’t being used. Just be sure the smart thermostat you choose is compatible with the existing HVAC system – if your furnace is less than 10 years old, you should be okay.

Young man holding a phone, on the screen are controls for the room's lights

4. Dazzle with smart lights

Okay, upgrading to smart lights isn’t going to push your home price into the stratosphere, but it could give your home a little extra pizzazz that your competitors lack! Like smart thermostats, smart lights allow homeowners to control energy consumption from their phones, plus, you can dim them without installing dimmer switches and change their colour. Why might this matter to current buyers? Because these days, the rooms in our homes are pulling double duty as offices, classrooms, studios, and more, and lighting can effectively shift the ambiance – an energized home office, for example, can be dialed back to a soothing bedroom just by softening and warming up the light. 

Comfortable, finished basement with turquoise, white and brown colour scheme

5. Give your basement a boost

While buyers are clamoring for more spacious homes, large- or small-scale basement upgrades could be a strategic move. If you’re not prepared to build separate rooms like additional bedrooms or a home office, consider touches that will make the basement feel like a full extension of the home rather than an afterthought: richer paint colours and wainscoting can add charming warmth, good-quality laminate hardwood can add some polish, and plenty of recessed lighting (ahem, smart lights!) can offset the dimness of smaller windows.

Whenever you’re selling, it’s important to consider your specific market and plan your upgrades accordingly. But it’s not often we see so many buyers motivated by the same thing – the desire for more space and homes that can accommodate all of our daily activities. By putting yourself in this mind frame and making these savvy upgrades, you could bump your home to the top of buyers’ wish lists.

When your home is ready to hit the market, Purplebricks is ready to help. Our local REALTORS® use the latest market data to price your home, and our professional team is with you through every step of your sale. Plus, with our low fixed fee, you can save thousands of dollars in commission! Buyers can also benefit from choosing us: when you purchase a home with one of our agents, we’ll give you $2,000 in cash back!* Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more.