Why you should get a Property Evaluation even if you’re not ready to sell

by BW Group on Friday, November 4, 2022

Are you looking to maximize the value of your real estate investment? Look no further, as this is exactly what can be achieved with the Property Evaluation offered to members of the Homeowners Advisory Club!

When it comes to our homes, investing in the right decisions is vital for shaping not only the way we live our lives, but also how we protect our net worth. After all, for the majority of us, our home is our greatest asset. Therefore, protecting and maximizing the value of our real estate investments is something that concerns us all.

However, after you’ve purchased a property, there isn’t a lot of support out there for homeowners. What regular maintenance needs to be performed? When is a crack in the wall just cosmetic, and when is it a foundation issue? Likewise, you may be in a quandary – which renovations will add the most value? Or, if you’ve outgrown your home, do you extend or move? What’s the right decision for you and your family?

We’ve all seen the HGTV shows like Love It or List It that compare renovating a home with upsizing to a new home. But if you’re not lucky enough to star in one of these shows, how do you know which decision is right for you?

Introducing a unique new service for homeowners

Here at the BW Group, we understand real estate. We know what buyers are looking for in terms of layout and design. What’s more, our brokers regularly accompany building inspectors on home inspections, so we know what issues could potentially impact a sale. 

Having witnessed homes not realize their full potential due to poor renovation decisions, as well as distressed sellers scrambling at the last minute to perform remedial repairs, we realized there had to be a better way. A way for homeowners to be better informed, and prepared to sell when the time was right for them, and at the best possible price. This is why we created the 
Homeowners Advisory Club

What is the Homeowners Advisory Club?

This unique membership service is free to join, and provides ongoing support for homeowners, advising them on routine maintenance tips as well as recommending experts to help with renovation decisions. All this is done with an eye to maximizing the value of their real estate investment, so that when they’re ready to sell, their home is ready for sale.

Becoming a member of the HOAC provides a number of benefits, including:

- Free ongoing property evaluations every two years
- Access to our Service Provider Directory
- Exclusive access to educational content

In this article, we’re going to focus on the first element – the Property Evaluation. 

Why undertake a Property Evaluation? 

The market changes quickly and most people have no idea what their home is actually worth. This is vital for financial planning – maybe there’s equity that you could use to maintain, repair or renovate your property, thereby improving its value? Or maybe you can use that equity to invest elsewhere, for example buying an income property? As you can see, understanding the value of your property is a vital component of your wealth management and life plan.

How does the Evaluation work?

There are two parts to the evaluation: 

First, there’s a Property Evaluation Checklist. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete if you’re well organized and have your receipts and invoices handy. This ensures we have all the necessary information about your property. Questions cover all aspects of the home, from the type of home and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, to the age of the roof, type of heating, landscaping and information about kitchen, bathroom and basement renos. 

Secondly, after the Checklist has been completed, we’ll perform a walk-through visit. During this visit, we get to know your home, and can talk to you about your life plans and aspirations. This part of the process takes about 30 minutes; and within 1-2 weeks you’ll receive a comprehensive Report with some suggestions and recommendations. You can either come into our office to discuss the Report, or simply have the Report e-mailed to you. 

What does the Evaluation Report tell you?

The Evaluation Report is tailored specifically to you. It provides the following:

A summary of market trends
- Comparable properties within your neighbourhood that have recently sold
- The projected market value of your property
- Maintenance tips, advising you on what requires immediate attention in order to protect the value of your real estate
- Suggestions on how to maximize the aesthetics of your property and referrals to 
professional designers and contractors
- Guidance on which renovations will add the most value to your property, depending on how long you want to remain in the home

The feedback we’ve received from our members is that understanding what renovations to undertake is of particular value. Depending on when a homeowner wants to sell will determine how they should invest in a property. So by collating this information in the Evaluation Report, our members can make well-informed decisions about whether to invest in that new kitchen or pool. Also, if they’re planning on selling, knowing how to improve curb appeal can make all the difference on how long their property will take to sell. 

How an Evaluation Report can help – a Case Study

As an example, we were recently contacted by a couple who have outgrown their home. However, as they love their neighbourhood they were trying to decide whether to expand their renovated bungalow or sell it as is and upsize to a new home. In order to help ensure they make the right decision, we did our homework and prepared a Property Evaluation Report to help them weigh up their options. 

We did this by walking them through the process they’d go through if they decide on the renovation route – which included a second story addition, and the addition of a garage – and how much it would increase their market value. We were also able to recommend service providers (architects, designers and contractors) from our Directory to help them plan the necessary home extension. 

To balance this with the option of selling, we advised them of the current market value of their home, and the demand for their type of property. We also advised them on which updates would increase the home’s curb appeal if they do decide to sell. 

In this scenario, the homeowners were considering remedial as well as cosmetic work to improve their chances of selling their home, and we were able to advise them that the remedial work – unblocking the soffits and installing a new gutter system – was a better use of their money than the cosmetic – repainting the beige brick. This is because the soffits and gutters would definitely be flagged by a building inspector; whereas the colour of the brickwork was down to personal choice and wouldn’t put off potential buyers. We also recommended they update their front porch and walkway, as first impressions definitely count. As a result, they were able to balance up the relative costs and market value impact, and come to the right decision for their family. 

How often does the Evaluation take place? 

We perform an evaluation every 2 years. This gives enough time for the market to shift, and is a great timeframe for following up on the recommendations given, and understanding whether life plans have changed. 

The Evaluation Report as a Financial Planning Tool

As you can see, the Evaluation Report is an incredibly useful resource for homeowners. It gives you a financial summary of your property – including maintenance tips to preserve value, as well as design and renovation tips to add value. It can help guide you on the right investment decisions depending on your future plans, and is a fantastic financial planning tool to share with your wealth management advisor as part of your retirement planning process. 

To find out more about joining our Homeowners Advisory Club, click here. It’s free to join and you can subscribe in a matter of seconds. Sign up today and start enjoying your membership privileges!