Home improvements can mean an easier sale

If you’re gearing up to put your home on the market, then you probably have home improvements on your mind.

Doing a whole-home renovation in anticipation of selling is not recommended, as you can’t guarantee a 100-per-cent return on investment. Small repairs, however, can positively impact your bottom line without breaking the bank.

When it comes to minor issues such as outdated tiles, wall scuffs, missing trim, or cracked porcelain, potential buyers have a critical, discerning eye. There is a subconscious aspect to buying a home, and much of that comes in noticing little problems that can lead buyers to believe there are larger problems beneath the surface.


When it comes to small home repairs, always address them before listing your home for sale. And if you don’t have a DIY instinct, consider calling in a professional handyman service: The small investment can make all the difference in getting the price you want for your home.

Here are some common problems to consider correcting before putting your home on the market:

Dated fixtures

Do your kitchen counters or the hardware on the bathroom cabinets look like they belong on the set of The Brady Bunch? If many of your home’s fixtures scream of another, less stylish era, it’s time for an update!


Potential buyers judge the kitchen more than any other room in the home, and bathrooms aren’t far behind. Make these repairs and replacements a priority by upgrading from vinyl flooring to stone tiles, giving cabinets a facelift with a fresh stain or coat of paint and new handles, and replacing the backsplash.

A backsplash might cost you $600, a fresh coat of paint much less. Minor kitchen remodeling may give you only an 80-per-cent return on investment, but the refresh just might make the entire kitchen look better to a potential buyer, and that would make it worth it.

It’s all about the details

If the trim around the doors and windows looks the worse for wear, if the baseboards are in bad shape, or if your doors have outdated brass knobs, these will be noticed. Are the light switch covers looking faded? Is the patio door screen broken? You may not notice these details, but potential buyers do. Some of these repairs are easy DIY fixes, but others – like trim and baseboard replacements – may be best left to those with special skills.


Plumbing and other systems

It’s imperative that the plumbing, HVAC system and electrical systems are all functioning properly and also show that they’ve been maintained. Any leaks, issues with the toilet, dripping faucets or old hot water tanks should be repaired or replaced. If there are any non-functioning electrical outlets, light fixtures or even burned out bulbs, ensure they are replaced and functioning when it’s time to place your home on display.

Aside from replacing burned light bulbs, licensed electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians should always be used for this type of work so you can trust the job is done right.

It’s important to keep in mind that potential buyers always view your home through a very different lens than you do. Be critical of your home and focus on what should be repaired. It can make all the difference between your home sitting on the market for ages and a quick sale at the price you want.


Originally published July 24, 2017


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About the Author

Tonya Bruin

Tonya Bruin heads up Ottawa’s trusted handyman team, “To Do – Done,” and when she’s not fixing up her old house, she’s working with handy professionals to fix up yours! You can reach Tonya and To Do -Done at or through



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