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My 5 Most Recommended Fix Ups Before Listing Your Home

The following 5 updates are the ones that I most often recommend that homeowners focus on prior to listing their homes for sale. In no particular order...

1. Update Your Lighting - This doesn't have to cost you a fortune! I troll sites like kijiji.ca & varagesale.com on a regular basis looking for lighting options for my clients. Why? Because it can greatly contribute to the overall sense of value that a home offers.

I recently picked this one up for $30 to replace a typical 80's fixture that was original to the home...it was such a score because it was just perfect for the spa feeling I envisioned in this bathroom! Other changes we made were to swap out the vanity light from the older-style Hollywood strip light to something more modern looking, and remove the wallpaper border. I'd really hoped that we could deal with the border without having to repaint the bathroom... but that's a story for another day :)


Spray painting fixtures is also a really inexpensive option...I recently gave a pair of spotlights (track lighting) that were a really shiny gold a quick spray with some matte black and that's all it took to give them a modern update!


I also pick up lights when it's too good of a deal to pass up, knowing that I'll find the perfect spot for them eventually! Like this one that I bought last summer for $15 which eventually found its way into this master bedroom to replace a ceiling fan, 6 months later!



2. Repaint Trim & Doors - This instantly freshens everything up! Are you familiar with the domino effect? A good example of this can be when you repaint a wall...the wall looks wonderful, but all of a sudden the trim & doors look terrible as a result. And then you have to repaint those as well and now you've doubled the work you need to do...but if you start with the trim & doors, it can often make enough of a difference that it's the only painting that you'll need to do! I originally thought I'd recommend a couple of my favourite colours, but that's not necessarily going to get you the best result! Read THIS article about how to pick a trim colour, because there are a lot a variables to take into consideration and they're all based on your individual space!

3. Clean Up Your Curb Appeal - This is such an important one! What you're able to do is going to depend on the season, but for most of the year mulch is going to be your new best friend if you've got garden beds! It's like the trim paint that I mentioned above, it's an instant refresher! It creates clean lines & if you throw in a few new plants, it's an easy & very impactful update! Of course you can never go wrong with some pretty seasonal planters too!  I wrote this post on the value of curb appeal HERE


4. Create Your Wow Factor - If you don't have wow factor to highlight already, then create your own! In this open concept space, the kitchen was the first thing you saw when you walked in the door. And we needed to make that first impression as good as it could be without renovating. We started off with honey oak cabinetry, older appliances & country decor touches. Bringing in a more modern look was the way to go to maximize the value of this home. Based on my recommendations, the homeowner added the backsplash which incorporated all our colours & newer used appliances. I had suggested black, but the white appliances definitely work too! We made specific and intentional choices in order to bridge the gap between the existing style and the one that we wanted to portray through the staging plan. By carefully incorporating the honey tones into the rest of the space, we were able to create flow and an overall updated look and feeling. Unfortunately I hardly ever remember to do before & after shots so we just have the after...

5. That One Thing That's Left To Do - Whatever it is, do it! For example, in this home the kitchen cabinets had been painted by the previous owners & my clients added really nice high-end appliances while they lived there...but the countertops were still original and they were green. Like really green... I suggested that they replace the countertops to continue the neutral palette that flowed throughout the rest of the house. Witness the evolution of this kitchen through MLS® pictures, lol:


 And then there was this one...this was a whole house project that took months to bring to the market. Towards the end I really felt that there was no way that we could leave the bleached oak kitchen alone...not when there was veneer that didn't match in some places! Not to mention the fact that by creating some contrast, it improved the look of the blah countertop & also made the very nice backsplash pop a little more! Once again, the changes we made here created the all-important flow with the rest of the house:



So many stories, so little time to find more pictures to go along with those stories, lol...but I think you get the idea, right? If you want your home to command top dollar, it's details like these that will help take you to the next level! Remember what they say...the devil's in the details!

Create a plan ~ Make smart purchasing decisions ~ Reap the rewards when you sell ~ The End

Honourable mentions also go to: toning down strong paint colours, small repairs that you always meant to get to but never did, fixing previously done bad repair jobs & decluttering and/or purging as much as possible!

I offer a variety of options & services to my selling clients in order to help them maximize the value of their homes. If you're interested in finding out more about the options available to you or to discuss what projects would get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to your home, then reach out to me at 905-447-4077 or Kelly@HomeInDurham.ca & let's talk!

Have a fabulous day!


Not In My Backyard!



Investors, Developers, Custom Home Builders who want to build spec houses...everyone wants a piece of our HOT market here in the Durham region!

I'm not saying that I think it's necessarily a bad thing, I work with a number of investors & this past summer I even helped clients get their bungalow approved as a legal 2-unit dwelling in order to maximize the selling price. This was the Highest & Best Use for the property as demonstrated by the $72,000 increased selling price over the similar, but non-duplex property a few doors down which had sold a few days prior to our hitting the market. But this home was located in an area that was popular for rentals & it totally made sense!

Show Me The Money! All About Deposits!

More & more these days we're hearing about deals being jeopardized or even falling apart due to the deposit. Or rather the lack of a deposit...or shenanigans of some sort or another surrounding the deposit. There are also lots of misconceptions around what happens to the deposit if a deal falls through. So here's a little primer on a few different aspects of the deposit.

I just love this movie! :)
In real estate, the deposit is like a downpayment on your downpayment. A show of good faith. Typically an Agreement of Purchase & Sale is signed both under seal & offers a deposit. Depending on what area in Ontario you're purchasing in, it can be anywhere from $500 and up. Typically here in the Durham region we see deposits start at $5000 and go up from there, often the amount is dependent on the purchase price of the home. The expectation is, the higher the purchase price, the higher the deposit. In Toronto, it seems to be the norm that deposits are a minimum of 5% of the purchase price. Fun fact: we bought our house 18yrs ago with a $500 deposit! Times sure have changed, lol!