So, you’ve decided to sell your home. That means you’ve also likely tossed around the idea of a home renovation to bring in a buyer, faster and for a higher price. Here are four home renovations with the biggest pay-off at the offer table.


It’s the beating heart of the home. This is the most-significant and most-expensive room to renovate, but it also gives you the highest return on your investment. There are a few reasons for this. Kitchens are a pain to renovate, from the inconvenience of functioning without a kitchen for weeks (or months) and the effort required to coordinate or complete the work. That means buyers are often willing to pay a premium for a home with a brand-new kitchen. Always put quality over quantity – a cheap or poorly done renovation can actually decrease your home’s value.


Much like the kitchen, bathrooms are a pain to renovate and many homebuyers will pay extra for the convenience of having it done for them. Spa-inspired bathrooms are a common upgrade in older homes, when the bath was considered a utilitarian room versus a feature space, as it is commonly viewed today. A bigger, brighter bathroom with custom elements, such as vanity and counter tops, unique tile work, fabulous lighting and extras like a steam shower, make-up area or a meditation zone can bring in the bucks on resale.

Income Suite

This is a biggie – especially in pricey urban housing markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, where young home buyers often look to tenants to help them pay off their hefty mortgage, and multi-generational households can reside together with greater cost-efficiency and privacy. Look at second suites for rent in the area to get a feel for what those units look like, and how much rent they can yield. This will be a great selling point for your home.

Here are some more tips to help sellers keep their eyes on the prize:

Renovate for your target buyer, not for yourself. Your Realtor can advise you on the types of renovations that will resonate with buyers in your area and for the type of home you’re selling.

Work with an experienced contractor who’s familiar with the type of work you’re planning. Check out their portfolio, ask for references and contact them.

Before any work begins, ensure your contract stipulates exactly what work is being done, what materials and products are being used, the budget and the timeline for completion.

Do it by the book. Don’t try to save on costs by skipping the permits or taking short-cuts in the work. This will only end up hurting your bottom line, not helping.

In the current seller’s market, a fairly-priced home shouldn’t stay on the market for too long. But if you’re looking to get the biggest bank for you buck, and the quickest possible sale – which translates to even more money in your pocket. Work with your Realtor to determine what renovations make sense in the current marketplace, and for some tried-and true advise on how to get ‘er done.