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To renovate or not to renovate?

If an honest appraisal of your home leaves you shuddering, chances are, buyers won’t like it either. Maybe major renovations are in the cards before you expose your home to the open market.

One big mistake I see lots of homeowners make is letting things go – they buy a home, live in it happily, and ignore routine repairs until things get so bad that they cost thousands of dollars to fix. If that describes you, you might have to put a lot of work in just to make your home sale-able (everything can be sold for a price, but you want a good price!). Consider this:

According to a  Canadian survey, the top three renovations that get you the most money are:

  1. Bathrooms (75 to 100% return)

  2. Kitchens (75 to 100% return)

  3. Interior and exterior painting (50 to 100% return)


Other renovations and their average rate of return (the value they add compared to what they cost) include:


  • Replacing roof shingles (50 to 80%)

  • Replacing the furnace and heating system (50 to 80%)

  • Renovating the basement (50 to 75%)

  • Adding a recreation room (50 to 75%)

  • Installing a fire place (50 to 75%)

  • Up-grading floors (50 to 75%)

  • Building a garage (50 to 75%)

  • Replacing windows and doors (50 to 75%)

  • Building a deck (50 to 75%)

  • Installing central air conditioning (25 to 75%)


Of course, you don’t have to figure out which of these things are necessary vs. which are not – you probably already have your own budget, time constraints and ideas. The figures above are just a general guide to look at before we meet in person. If your home hasn’t been updated in a long time, unless you have the means and time to fully gut it, you will want to pick your battles! For instance, an aging condo can really benefit from hardwood or laminate flooring being installed instead of carpeting. That would, in my experience, bring a much larger rate of return on the investment than renovating the bathroom.


That’s my job – to provide you with concrete direction based on my experience. During our thorough consultation in your home, I’ll walk through taking extensive notes on everything from the improvements you’ve already made to the brands of your appliances. My job during our consult (in addition to explaining the selling process and our cutting edge marketing plans, legalities, and discussing your goals and plans) is to catalogue all the things that make your home special and all the areas it could be better, and give you my professional opinion. How else will I be able to help you properly price your home and advise you on what repairs, renovations and fixes will bring you the best return?


Shortly after meeting with you and touring your home, I will:


  • Recommend a competitive price based on your home:

    • The way it is now;

    • With minor improvements/cosmetic fluffing;

    • With major renos done (if applicable) so you can decide which option suits your timelines and budget


I’ll also:

  • Develop a custom marketing strategy to bring in as many qualified buyers as possible

  • Follow up with you to chat in depth about timing and all your options going forward

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