Ask the Experts: Realtor

tscharf0878-webLocal realtor Tara Scharf has a passion for real estate.

Before she became a real estate agent with Royal LePage in early 2012, Tara not only held a full time office position in the private sector—but she was also a real estate investor, buying and selling rental properties with her husband.

“I really enjoyed it, so I went and got my real estate license,” says Tara, who is now a full time realtor specializing in residential properties. “My passion turned into my profession.”

Tara knows a thing or two about renovations and working with a contractor as well, especially when it comes to putting your home up for sale.

Check out some of Tara’s valuable advice below.


Best renovations/upgrades to maximize resale

Kitchens & Bathrooms

If you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale, it’s no surprise that kitchen and bathroom renovations are the number one and number two most valuable projects to undertake, respectively.

However, if a full upgrade or renovation isn’t in the budget, there are a lot of ways to make your kitchen or bathroom look great—whether you upgrade your hardware (ie: faucets), countertops (granite, or a cheaper option, laminate), put on a fresh coat of paint, or install a new backsplash.


Ceramic flooring is in, vinyl flooring is out. According to Tara, buyers are not looking for vinyl flooring anymore, nor are they interested in carpet on the main floor of the home. Carpet nowadays is relegated mainly to the basement and the bedrooms.

Everyone wants hardwood on the main floor, she adds, but there are actually a lot of less-expensive laminates that look like hardwood.

“The beauty of these new laminates is that they don’t dent and scratch as easily, and are more durable,” she says.


According to Tara, landscaping is another great way to maximize resale value. Whether you invest in a larger-scale landscaping project, or simply add some outdoor furniture, potted plants and hanging baskets to the exterior of your home, curb appeal is the first thing a potential buyer sees, and will undoubtedly draw interest.


Working with a renovator: a team approach to sales


Working alongside a contractor covers all the bases, says Tara. She believes that a team approach to sales is more holistic, and benefits everyone, especially the client at both ends of the sale.

“It’s certainly easier to sell a home if you can say that it has been professionally renovated or upgraded,” she says. It also makes it much easier for her to focus on her own clients, knowing they are in good hands with a reliable contractor.

“I need to know that a contractor is going to take care of my client,” she adds.

Professionally-completed jobs are better all-around for resale purposes as well. Clients have peace of mind when it comes to safety and security, and this is key, particularly in renovations such as bathrooms and kitchens that can involve tricky electrical and plumbing issues.

“It’s important that safety standards are met,” Tara states. “Being able to say a home is professionally finished means that I can assure my clients that all the correct permits are in place, nothing illegal has been done, and all wiring and plumbing are up to code.”

The same goes for any outdoor renovations, such as railing height codes and fencing.

“Safety codes exist that can cost the seller when it comes time to do a home inspection,” says Tara. “This can potentially be an added expense if these codes are not met, so it’s best to get it right the first time and work with a professional.”

So if you’re already looking for some winter projects to get your home professionally ready for a spring sale, give us a call today!  We look forward to hearing from you.

Visit next week, as we unveil a new video showcasing a professionally-completed job the guys recently finished.

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