At a recent brokerage training session, we were joined by Tonya Bruin, CEO of To-Do Done, who led a discussion on renovation projects – big, small, and everything in between– and their relation to property values in the increasingly competitive Ottawa marketplace. 

For part 1 of this article series, I thought it would be best to highlight practical, everyday solutions for the average seller. Consider this list of 5 easy home improvements if you are looking to optimize your home’s market value prior to list.


1. Paint

It’s one of the oldest and best tricks in the book: a fresh coat of paint in a colour that appeals to a wide audience is one of the best things you can do for your home. I highly recommend having a professional painter come in and paint your home a neutral Universal Grey by Deluxe or Owl Grey by Benjamin Moore. Painting doesn’t have to be limited to the walls – it can also be applied to shower enclosures, staircases, railings, cabinets, or fireplaces. The paint you choose will ultimately depend on type of surface in question, so make sure to ask your local paint store or painter about texture and priming.


2. Flooring

Nothing turns off a buyer more than a smelly, stained, bright coloured carpet. Let me tell you – 70’s orange shag carpet is most likely not making a comeback! In many cases carpet causes allergies, and if it’s stained and worn it could suggest a lack of care. These days, flooring options have become more affordable. There are new vinyl and laminate products available as affordable as $3.50 per square foot, which would only take a couple of days for install.


3. Decluttering

I cannot stress this enough – declutter and de-personalize your home as much as possible! Removing photos and personal memorabilia will not only serve you better by protecting your privacy, but will make your home easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in. Clutter detracts buyers from looking at the bones of the home, which is what you want them pay attention to. The goal is to ensure buyers focus on the key selling features, such as location, natural light, space and finishes – not your belongings, which are typically not included in the sale.


4. Changing Fixtures

Changing fixtures are some of the most significant low cost, high return modifications you can make. Light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and hardware can make a real impact without breaking the bank. If your kitchen is dated, I highly recommend changing hardware and potentially painting cabinetry to freshen up your home. Light fixtures, as well as fresh light bulbs, can brighten the space, which is especially important in winter months. Kitchen faucets and bathroom faucets are also easy changes to make.


5. Mirrors

The availability of natural light has a big influence on a buyer’s decision making. Mirrors not only enhance light but maximize views. Internal unit condos tend to be influenced most by natural light. The best way to install a mirror is to see where light is coming in and place it in a way that allows light to jump off and fill the space! Floor to ceiling mirrors can make the most dramatic impact.

Interested in learning more? Connect with Rachel.