| Renovations

One of the most common questions we get asked when we show homes and/or prep homes for sale is “… what renovations should we do to increase the value of our home? …” – and it’s one of our favourite questions to answer!

Notwithstanding a massive budget to do a full gut and rebuild, most of us tend to have a set budget in mind and would like to know where those dollars are best spent to ensure our largest investment (our home) yields the largest possible return at the time of sale.

So, with the latter in mind, here are our thoughts on the Top 5 Renos you should consider prior to Selling your home, to increase its value & ensure maximum ROI (Return On Investment):



  1. Why? The kitchen is by far one of the most commonly used & important spaces in any home (condo or house).  We eat, entertain and some of us (Amir, for example) even works out of the kitchen – daily!  It is the heart of any home!!
  2. What? It all depends on your budget – naturally, you can do a full gut/rebuild of a kitchen (including cabinets, backsplash, accessories, fixtures, flooring etc.) OR you can simply spruce the kitchen up (we call this “fluffing”) to refresh and modernize it.  Fluffing would include work such as painting the cabinets, replacing fixtures & handles, swapping out a countertop, adding or modernizing a backsplash etc.
  3. How Much? $3,000 to $30,000 – depends on the scale of the reno.
  4. ROI? 1-1 minimum or 100% (so, for every dollar spent, you are likely to see a dollar back).


  1. Why? Some might argue that bathrooms are actually used more frequently than kitchens!  I have friends who read the morning news, scroll through their social media & even answer emails while using the bathroom (I know, ewwww, gross!) – but it’s true!  So, wouldn’t it be great if this space was a Zen-like space to retreat to and take some time for yourself – whether on the toilet or taking a hot shower/bath at the end of a day!
  2. What? Once again, totally budget dependent.  If you’re going all out, you can naturally rip & replace and even remodel (to create a more functional space/layout).  But, if you’re fluffing, then your focus should be on refreshing the old and creating a bright, open and inviting space.  Like what?  Like replacing the vanity, the mirror, the tub surround, the shower fixtures, or perhaps a shower curtain swapped for a glass door ($$).  Even something as simple as redoing all the caulking, painting and a few new fixtures can make a big difference!
  3. How Much? $500-$20,000 – depends on the scale of the reno.
  4. ROI? 1-1 minimum or 100% (so, for every dollar spent, you are likely to see a dollar back).


  1. Why? By far – painting your home, top-to-bottom, is the singular best investment you can make prior to selling!  Top-to-bottom means, doors, baseboards, trim, ceilings etc. – especially if you’ve not refreshed the paint, ever!  Painting your home completely changes the look and feel of every space – making them feel brighter, larger and simply put … clean & inviting.
  2. What? Some people opt to paint only parts of their home – and that’s ok if the walls are, for the most part, ok.  However, if you’re finding that you’re using magic eraser all over and you can see variations of colour when looking at walls at different angles/lighting – you are likely better off just biting the bullet and painting everything.  What colour?  Don’t be adventurous – some may disagree, and that’s ok.  But our experience shows that taste is very subjective – so keep it neutral to ensure you appeal to the masses (whites, light beiges, light greys etc.).
  3. How Much? $1500-$8000 – depends on the size of the home.
  4. ROI? 1-1 minimum or 100% (so, for every dollar spent, you are likely to see a dollar back).

Storage Solutions

  1. Why? Because, you can never, ever, have enough storage in a home!  Especially if you have kids – and we just had our first 8 months ago, little Benji – he has more stuff than us combined!  Remember, this is especially true in more urban areas as space is limited and storage is expensive!!
  2. What? There are so many ways you can create more optimal storage in a home.  If you have the space, you can add in closet solutions – you can go custom OR general (i.e. IKEA PAX).  However, if you don’t have the space, what do you do?  Organization and storage is not just about adding closets – it’s about minimizing, de-cluttering and adding solutions to optimize the existing storage in a home.  For example, shelving, dividers, jars, hooks, labels etc.  Don’t underestimate the value of showcasing how a space should be used vs. how it is being used today.
  3. How Much? $200-$20,000 – depends on the size of the home and how much storage/solutions you’re looking to add.
  4. ROI? 1-1 minimum or 100% (so, for every dollar spent, you are likely to see a dollar back).

Exterior / Outdoor Space(s)

  1. Why? I cannot stress how often the exterior of a home is overlooked by Sellers – and it makes SUCH A BIG difference.  The exterior of a home, whether the front façade or the backyard, are key differentiators.  The front of the home is the first thing any Buyer sees – so, it is imperative that you make a good first impression.  The backyard (or the balcony in the case of condos) is part of the home and yet so often underutilized – when Sellers use balconies as storage lockers and yards as dog parks filled with poop and unused, dust-covered patio furniture.
  2. What? Here, regardless of your budget, you can easily spruce up the front & back to ensure both are inviting and add value to your home.  Naturally, with both the front and back, you can go all-out and consider things like landscaping, hardscaping (stone work etc.), lighting, irrigation etc.  But, it doesn’t have to be that intense if you’re limited on budget and/or time.  Why not consider painting the old, tired looking brick façade of a home?  Not your style – you love brick?!  How about power washing it?  A run to the nearest nursery to add some plant/vegetation, a new mailbox, new house numbers, a new doormat etc. The backyard is the same deal – maybe a new deck is overkill/too much to handle – so consider lighting, planter boxes, grass etc.  Regardless of how you slice and dice it, you must remember, your front & backyard spaces are PART OF YOUR HOME and you and any potential Buyer are paying for these spaces – so, present them such that they are extensions of the interior space, thereby making the home feel larger!
  3. How Much? $500-$100,000 – depends on the scale of the reno & the cost of the home.  A full hardscaping front/back is $100k+, minor renos to a typical Toronto semi can run you $500-$3000.
  4. ROI? 1-1 minimum or 100% (so, for every dollar spent, you are likely to see a dollar back).


Hope this helped you!  And remember, if you’re looking to sell and need guidance or even someone to manage/hold your hand through the renovations, that’s what we do!  With dozens of major & minor renovations under our belts, we specialize in using your budget/timeline & ensuring every dollar is squeezed to the last penny to maximize your profit!


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