Sep 23, 2021 / Selling

​​5 Best ROI Home Improvements For Sellers

Heading into the season of change, most people involved in the real estate industry are gearing up for what always promises to be an active fall market. As people return from their holidays and children head back to school, the world begins to resume its regular routine, and so does the real estate market.

With that idea in mind, many homeowners eager to sell wait until the fall to list their homes as, traditionally speaking, more buyers recalibrate their focus on addressing their living situations. Knowing this, many of those homeowners eager to sell use the downtime in the late summer and early fall to make improvements to their homes in order to boost their property’s value.

We’re big fans of this idea, and recommend all of our sellers do the same ahead of listing their homes on the market — no matter which season it is.

So, to give you sellers some guidance and inspiration, here are our top five home improvements for maximizing ROI ahead of your upcoming sale.

1. Address Your Glaring Weak Points

While this point might feel somewhat underwhelming, it’s probably the most important on the list. It’s all well and good to go about improving your home overall, but if your property has a few spots in particular that have pretty prominent issues, those really should be addressed first.

What do we mean by glaring weak points? Well, things like a leaky roof, cracks in your foundation, unfinished rooms on your main or upper floors, or non-functioning home systems like heating, cooling, electrical, or plumbing.

While none of these improvements will be very ‘glamorous,’ they’re the ones that home evaluators, buying agents, and touring buyers will notice first — and more importantly, will be among the first things to detract from your home’s market value.

Our advice is to fix these first ahead of time so that when it comes time to have your home evaluated for safety and functionality, you won’t be hit with any surprises.

Real estate’s action-packed fall market is right around the corner — here are 5 Ways You Can Get Ready For The Busy Fall Market Now!

2. A Kitchen Remodel

As they say, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and for that reason, it’s among the first rooms in your home that buyers will want to see. That’s why a kitchen remodel is so important.

Although it sounds like a big job, you can make it as simple or complex as you want to. The main focus is that you improve the look, feel, and functionality of this high-traffic, hard-wearing space in your home.

If you want to keep things low-budget, consider doing things like repainting your cabinets a neutral colour like white and updating the hardware with something more stylish and sleek. Perhaps you can lay down some new budget-friendly flooring or even update a few smaller appliances like your microwave.

If you’re ready to take things to the next level, consider replacing your countertops with a more modern material like marble or a cost-efficient alternative. Then, add even more useful counter space with a kitchen island — if you’ve got the room, that is! Update as many of your old appliances as possible with stainless steel substitutes. And if you’ve got room left in your budget, update your backsplash with a simple neutral tile while you’re at it.

Curious to see how your neighbours’ listings have performed on the market recently? Look for comparable homes to yours on our Sold Properties page to find out.

3. A Bathroom Remodel

The same sentiment as completing a kitchen remodel can be applied to your bathroom, another high-use, hard-wearing room in your home. Bathrooms in older homes were also among the first to go out of date as well, with features like vanities, toilets, sinks, and tiles all susceptible to frequent stylistic and functional changes.

If you’ve got the means, replacing dated larger fixtures like sinks, tubs, toilets, and vanities always make an instant impact. If you don’t necessarily want to spend that much on your bathroom improvements, you can alternatively replace smaller aesthetic features like faucets, showerheads, and tiles.

Older wallpaper patterns in bathrooms should always be taken down and either replaced with wall tile or a bright, neutral shade of paint. Any chipped or broken tiles, especially obvious ones on the floor or within the shower should definitely be replaced too.

Lastly, any torn or mouldy caulking around your shower, tub, or sink should always be stripped away and replaced as well, especially seeing as it’s one of the simplest home improvement projects to do. Simply pick up a caulking stripper and caulking gun and flick on a YouTube how-to video — there’s nearly no way you can mess this one up!

Looking for some more transformative tips on how you can make your home look its very best? Read up on our 3 Creative Tips To Make Your Old House Look Brand New here.

4. A Deck Addition Or Revamp

If your home doesn’t already have a deck, porch, or patio in your outdoor space, building one is among the most sought-after additions to your home you can make, and the best part is, the costs involved aren’t that strenuous on a budget.

All it takes is some pressure-treated lumber and a few trips to the hardware store to gather all the materials you’ll need, plus the cost of having an outdoor space specialist install everything for you.

If you do already have a deck or patio space, improving it with some sandy, refinishing, or repainting will give it a welcome facelift ahead of listing. You can also opt to add more visually interesting elements too, like planter boxes, modern fencing, or ambient lighting to add even more value to your outdoor oasis.

Not sure whether you’re quite ready to sell your home just yet? Read our related blog post “Is It Better To Sell Or Rent Your House?” here to help you make up your mind.

5. Finish Your Basement

When the COVID-19 pandemic initially forced strict lockdowns across the country, many Canadians were left feeling cramped and uncomfortable having to spend extended periods of time at home. With offices, gyms, schools, and daycares all forcibly shut, even modestly-sized homes began to feel like their walls were closing in.

This was one of the biggest motivating factors for who the real estate industry calls ‘upsizers’ to enter the market and seek larger homes. For this reason, adaptable bonus spaces like attics, lofts, spare bedrooms, and most of all, basements, became highly sought-after. And, it’s exactly why there are substantial returns to be made when selling a home if you spend some time and effort upgrading your basement space.

Having the potential for designated office space in your home is one of the most highly valued features among homebuyers today. Learn all about Setting Up Your Home Office here.

Whether your basement isn’t entirely finished or it just needs a few touch-ups here and there, putting in the work to get it up to a liveable standard will provide your home with some enormous ROI come closing day.

No matter if you stage it as a home office, home gym, spare room, or even a separate apartment-style income suite, the eyes of today’s buyers will light up when they see your home already has a basement ready for action from move-in day.

Keen to get your own home sale up and running? Read our guide on how to sell your home in Ontario below, then learn how to set up a no-obligation selling consultation with us by clicking on the ‘Sell Your Home’ link.


Interested in learning more? Send us a message here and we’ll be in touch with you soon after.

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