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Smart City Realty Inc. Brokerage is a licensed real estate Brokerage operating in Ontario. We are a member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

We offer:

  • Professional agents, who will assist you at every step, from finding the best property at the right price to closing a deal.
  • Free valuation for sellers.
  • Choice of Traditional Commission-based Seller Services or "For Sale by Owner" (F.S.B.O.) Services. 


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Michael’s Real Estate Blog


Top 7 things to fix when selling your home. April 2022.

Homes that are ready to move in, are clean, and do not require repairs will sell much quicker, and for more money than homes that have an outdated look, and require repairs and upgrading.

  1. Declutter. Clearing out basements and Garages. When you have more open space it makes the garage and rooms look larger. This step will increase the perception of the buyer that this is clean and roomy home. Also, painting the floors and walls will increase its buying appeal. It makes the space feel cleaner and crisper. The money spent on the paint will be offset by the increase in the value of your home to the buyer. You want to show as much livable space as possible. Remember that clutter eats equity. You may also want to hire a cleaning service to deep clean your home prior to placing it on the market.
  2. Landscaping. This step is often overlooked when people plan to sell their homes. This will increase its “Basic curb appeal”. You should trim shrubs and bushes, add new much to garden beds, and possibly power wash your home. You don’t need to spend too much money in this step, but just enough to improve its visual appeal.
  3. Paint. Painting the inside of your house can yield a 2 to 1 return on your pre-sale investment. For example, a painting investment of $2500 can return $5000 or $10000 in a higher selling price.  The colour should be a neutral beige or grey. Another choice is to opt for a colour that is between beige and grey.
  4. Flooring. New Carpet, or at least a clean carpet (professionally cleaned). Sheet linoleum, ceramic tile, tongue and grove flooring are popular options. Like paint, new flooring should yield a 2 to 1, or 3 to 1 return on your investment.  It is also better to have a continuous type of flooring, rather than different flooring in each room.  If there are different flooring types in a home, this creates break in the “visual Flow” and makes the space seem smaller. When selling your home, you want to make the space look larger, not smaller.
  5. Kitchen.  Replace older handles and knobs with newer hardware, and repaint the cabinets if required.  On a lower end home, you could also paint the counter top, A skilled painter can paint the counter top to make it look like granite.  In higher end homes it would useful to replace the countertops completely. To make the kitchen look cleaner, and bigger the countertops should be free of clutter.  These steps will help your kitchen look current so that the buyer will not feel the immediate need to remodel the kitchen, or do a full renovation after they move in. You just want to do enough to get your home in “show ready” condition.  If you decide to do a major renovation of the kitchen you may not get your money back, and the time required to do this will delay putting your home on the market.  
  6. Bathroom. Like the kitchen you will want to make the room look “current”. This may mean replacing the faucets, toilet seats and repairing any cracks, damage or missing items. Then, painting the bathroom once all repairs have been done. Full Bathroom rehabs can be costly, but it should be done if it will bring you the same amount back in sales price.
  7. Furniture placement. This is a simple and effective step, and it is connected to “Decluttering”. This means removing excess furniture from the home so that it does not block your home features. Remember, less is more. The buyer is buying your Home’s Features, not your furniture, so you want to showcase the features of your home.  You may want to consider hiring a professional to stage your home, or to give you advice about how your home should be presented.


Topic: What not to fix When Selling a House? April 2022.

  1. Do not do partial Fixes. No buyer wants to see anything that is half done. It will also make them what else is not done properly in the home.
  2. The Kitchen may not have to be fully renovated. If it is not dated with older cabinets and appliances, perhaps just a new coat of paint will be all that is required to make it look appealing to potential buyers. You still might want to put in a granite counter top, or replace the cabinet doors, or even new knobs for the drawers. Minor improvements of this type can make a kitchen look modern and up to date.
  3.  Bathrooms. Again, like the kitchen, if it not dated you can improve the look of it by making sure the faucets and plumbing are working properly. If anything is chipped or broken it should be replaced. Major renovation costs may reduce the money you will make from your home sale. As well, the time required to do major renovations may delay the date when you place your home on the market. Your Realtor can give you their opinion on the market appeal of your home and what improvements may help sell your home for a higher price, and in a shorter time frame.
  4. Adding a Master Suite. Will it help sell you home for higher price? The price and delay of such a renovation may not result in a return on your investment.
  5. Doors. A new front and rear door can make you home more appealing. However, older doors can also be repainted, and their hardware replaced with new ones.
  6. Decks. Unless there are obvious structural problem with a deck perhaps just re-staining a deck is all that is required to make it look appealing to home buyers.
  7. Basement renovations. This is variable since a finished basement can make a home more appealing for buyers. However, appraisers will give less value for renovated basements because they are located below grade (ground level) and do not count towards the square footage of a home.
  8. Siding. Unless there are major problems with the exterior of the home, various smaller improvements can be done such painting, replacing cracked or damaged siding and shingles. But do not do patch work repairs on home siding that does not match the original siding. Siding can also be painted.  “If you can paint it”, consider painting as way to improve the sale appeal of you home.
  9. Roof. Unless the roof is caving in, or there are many shingles falling off, the roof will most likely not need to be replaced.
  10. Windows. Unless very dated, or the windows are broken, or do not work properly, existing windows are probably fine as they are.
  11. Heating system and Ventilation systems. If the system is operating without issue, there is no need to replace it. An exception may in homes that are electrically heated, and in those cases, it may be worth doing a conversion to another form of heating to make the home more sellable to buyers.   Putting in new duct work can be major renovation cost, which will also delay the date when you can place your home on the market. Another option to putting in new duct work is to put in a radiator system where small pipes replace the electrical system that connected to the baseboard heaters. This system will also require the installation of small boiler to heat water for the hot water radiator system.

Best return on your ROI (Return of Investment).

The best return when selling your home is “PAINT”. You will get the highest return on your home investment if your pre-sale improvements are limited to painting the rooms, and if necessary, the exterior of your home. For the interior, pick a neutral colour and stay with the same colour for the rest of the house.


Think carefully before you get your home ready for buyers. There are some things that may not be required to make your home appealing for buyers in today’s housing market.