Eddie Coleman Real Estate

Renovating to Sell

Thinking of renovating before you sell to fetch a higher sale price? Potential home buyers are often searching for properties that are in “move-in” condition, not wanting to incur added costs or take on the inconvenience of renovating their new home.

The top two renovated rooms for the highest return are the kitchen and the bathroom. Not to be overlooked are flooring and wall finishes. There are a few simple ways to improve and enhance these areas for the most impact without breaking the bank.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart or hub of the home and is often the first room that potential buyers look at when they tour a listed property. It is important for sellers to emphasis spaciousness, functionality and effective storage in their kitchen space. The kitchen should be presented with maximum appeal as a strong marketing tool.

Make a splash with the backsplash. Have some fun with this area as it’s largely aesthetic. You can add some colour or contrast with inexpensive paint, tile, glass, ceramic or even mosaic stone. The area is relatively small, but changing it up can make a big difference.

Revamp the cabinets. You can transform cabinets with a fresh coat of paint or by sanding and staining them. If the cabinet doors are dated or worn, keep the cabinet boxes and just replace the doors. This upgrade costs less than replacing the whole cabinet. New cabinet hardware plus a little crown moulding will give a more polished look.

Add or update your island. Built-in and free-wheeling islands add valuable work and storage space to your kitchen, and most buyers love them. To make the island look like permanent furniture, just add a baseboard. Featuring the island in an accent colour can enrich the look of the kitchen.

How are your countertops? A kitchen with granite countertops states richness, elegance, and quality. Besides the marketing advantage, granite countertop is also ideal for its durability, natural appeal, and easy maintenance. Less expensive alternatives to granite are available, such as acrylic and laminate, and have come a long way in terms of appearance.

Appliances with appeal. When a potential buyer sees one higher end kitchen appliance they may assume that your whole kitchen is top of the line. If you need to upgrade appliances but your dollars are limited, consider purchasing only one appliance with an impressive brand and using less expensive names for the others.

These few suggestions will enhance a kitchen in a way that even the Swedish Chef would approve of. Before tackling your renovations, you could always stop by a box store and talk to a kitchen professional. Their consultation services are usually offered at no charge.

The Bathroom

After the kitchen, the bathroom is the next room that potential buyers look at closely. Key attractions are cleanliness, low maintenance, aesthetics and luxury items. Light colours, rich textures, and extras such as water jets in the tub appeal to the senses and create an inviting, spa-like environment.

A bathroom renovation usually involves the complete replacement of existing finish and fixtures – tub/shower, toilet, faucets, sink, tile, flooring, lighting, cabinetry, and tile-work.

Cover the basics. Consider replacing the toilet/seat, buying a new shower curtain and applying new grout on your tiles for a fresh look. Warm, neutral colours usually work best to open up the space, and create a warm and desirable ambiance.

A European touch. Select flooring, countertops and tiles that look fresh and clean. Stone tiles are a popular choice in bathroom flooring as they are durable, easy to clean and offer a European or spa feel. Look for stone or porcelain tiles that offer a non-slip surface. The more rustic and rough the stone is, the more challenging it is to clean and stand on. Stone and tile flooring comes in a variety of colours.

Varied lighting. Your lighting should be planned by area. Think bright, not glaring, light by the sink and mirror, and ambient lighting over the tub for a more relaxing experience. Keep the lighting design true to the room’s decor for a consistent overall affect.

Improve the layout. Bathroom renovation can also involve the re-location of fixtures and the removal of adjacent walls to create a better layout. Enlarging a master or ensuite bathroom into an adjacent closet or laundry room can create space for a large soaker tub and separate stand-up shower. For added convenience consider installing twin sinks and extensive cabinetry.


The type of flooring in your home cannot be underestimated. The floors are one of the first surfaces that a person sees so it is very important to make a strong first impression.

Flooring should have a good flow between one room and the next and should tie in with other elements such as cabinetry, wall colours, and baseboards. Choosing the right flooring is important as it ties all the elements of your home together. It would be a good idea to consult with a design professional before tackling this job. Box stores also usually offer free flooring consultations which can be of great help in planning your project.

Hardwood versus carpet. If your home has carpet where the family room, dining room, and living room are located, it is recommended to change over to hardwood or tiles. These offer a more practical and elegant surface and the benefit of a healthier indoor environment with fewer allergens.

Wall Finishes

Walls should be smooth and colour choices should be made to appeal to the widest possible number of buyers. Light, neutral colours make rooms appear bright and spacious, while creating a warm and desirable ambiance. Painting can be an effective and inexpensive upgrade, giving a home a fresh look.

Renovations With a Return

These are a few upgrades that will no doubt have an impact on the selling price of your home. The choices for your renovation project are extensive. Always let your budget be your guide and remember the purpose of your upgrades – to sell your home for top dollar.

If you have questions about renovating your home, give us a call today. We have access to the best designers and contractors. For more practical tips on preparing your home for the market, click here.