Retiring: Will you reno before you sell?

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Will you reno before you sell?

Years spent planning for retirement involve careful saving and investing. As you get closer to wrapping up your working years the time comes to make important decisions about real estate. Will you stay in your current home or downsize?

Prepping your home before you list

A recent survey by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the organization that regulates real estate professionals in the province, found that almost half of Ontarians intend to downsize as part of their retirement plan.

While downsizing offers the opportunity to add to your retirement nest egg, 47 per cent of retirees said their homes will require updating before they sell. It can be tough to determine what renovations you should invest in to get the most value for your home. If you aren’t careful, renovation costs can add up without moving the needle on selling your home for top dollar. Just as you consult a financial advisor to protect your financial future, seeking the counsel of a real estate professional can help you decide which renovations will help your property shine and, most importantly, sell for the price you’re looking for.

Whether you decide to upgrade your kitchen with new cabinets or enhance your home with a few cosmetic touches, if you’re hiring a professional for the job, you’ll need a written contract.

In Ontario, any agreement with a contractor worth more than $50 must be in writing. Make sure your contract includes: contractor’s name and contact information, a copy of the written estimate, the total cost and payment schedule, the deposit amount and a work schedule that includes start and completion dates. For more information about hiring a contractor, visit Consumer Protection Ontario.

Get to know today’s real estate market

A lot has changed in the real estate world over the past few years. Understanding those changes can come in handy for anyone entering the market for the first time in a while.

  • Buyers and sellers have more access to information. Real estate advice and trends are easily available online at any time. Besides learning about the sales and listings in your area, you’ll also want to take the time to learn about your rights and the protections available to you during the real estate process.
  • Real estate professionals are more accessible thanks to cell phones and mobile technologies. When advice is needed, real estate professionals can be quicker to respond.
  • Commerce can be conducted electronically with electronic signatures on contracts, offers submitted via email, and money transferred electronically.

One thing hasn’t changed: the knowledge and experience of a registered real estate professional is valuable when you’re buying or selling your home. They adhere to rules and a Code of Ethics and are obligated to treat you with fairness, honesty and integrity through the real estate transaction.

Take the time to get informed

Downsizing to a smaller home, or selling the family home, can be an emotional experience, especially if you’ve owned the home for a long time. Give yourself some time to prepare for the sale and become informed about the buying and selling process. Doing so will allow you to know the right questions to ask throughout the process. A good resource is RECO’s guide to downsizing, designed just for Zoomers It provides information about the costs associated with buying and selling, common mistakes to avoid, tips for navigating real estate paperwork and more.