Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

Steve Caswell

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.


Prepping to List on a Budget

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:28:53 PM)

Do you ever watch those shows on tv where you see a before and after of the exact same house and are absolutely in awe that it is the same place?

The major “wow” factors are typically when a house has been gutted to the studs, walls have been removed and full renovations to kitchen and bathrooms have taken place.  This type of over haul can cost thousands and thousands of dollars and a considerable amount of time to complete.  Both of which, many sellers, simply do not have.

Unless you’re in the business of flipping houses, renovations like this are typically done by a home owner/buyer for their own personal enjoyment and not to turn around and sell it for someone else to enjoy.

When preparing to list your house, although those types of major changes above can often lead to a nice return on your investment, I strongly believe that you do not have to spend that kind of money to make a “wowing” first impression on buyers.  There are ways to spruce up a home on a much smaller budget and it will still have a great impact!

As mentioned in my last blog, decluttering is a very inexpensive way and great start to getting your house ready for market.  But, if you do have some extra money to spare, I firmly believe you can have an even larger impact on buyers by going one step further.  This should lead to less days on market and most importantly, a higher sale price.

Some of the following can easily be accomplished on your own but I would recommend, and in some cases it could be mandatory, to hire a capable handy man or a licenced professional to tackle a few of the items I address here.  Here are a few general ideas that could really help the sale of your home:

  • Fresh Paint. Cannot express this one enough.  Whether it be changing out a bold colour into something more neutral or touching up a wall that has been beat up over the years, neutral paint colours are the only way to go when selling.  It is amazing how many buyers are unable to see past paint colours and devalue a home based on such a small cost upgrade!  There are some inexpensive brands out there and if you have never tried, please don’t be intimidated, it is very easy to do.  I’ve got plenty of experience painting and would be happy to show you how to get started!
  • Changing out hardware on bathroom or kitchen cupboards. Some hardware might have worked in the 70s/80s/90s, but times have changed.  Sometimes all your cupboards need is some new “bling”.  This is a simple change as long as you buy the right hardware where no additional drilling is required!
  • Refacing or painting your cupboards. Sometimes hardware might not be enough. Refacing your cupboards by replacing the doors and leaving the existing casings could have a huge impact. 
  • Replacing a kitchen or bathroom counter top. There are some inexpensive and neutral tops out there and, even with installation tied in, still very affordable…. while you’re at it, adding a backsplash will make it look even better!
  • A decorative mirror in the bathroom. Instead of the boring, frameless mirror that seems to be standard in most homes, why not replace it with something more attractive or create a frame around an existing mirror.
  • Argh – Old Sliding Shower Doors. Getting rid of the old, brassy, glass sliding door to your bathtub/shower (ya…you know the one!) and replacing it with just a rod and a shower curtain.  So simple and what a difference!
  • Switching out a light fixture or chandelier. Some tend to be quite dated and honestly, a pain in the butt to clean.  Try changing it out for something more in line with today’s style.  Remember, dealing with electrical should be done by a professional. 
  • Window treatments. Many older homes don’t seem to have a lot of natural light that buyers seek and a lot of it has to do with what is covering their windows.  Get rid of all of it and just simply replace it with a basic curtain rod and paneled drapes. 
  • Accessorize (my favourite!!!!).  Make a few purchases to go along with your new drapes!  Whether a living/family room, dining room, or bedroom, I cannot say enough about accessorizing.  Area rugs, throw blankets, decorative pillows, table/floor lamps, center pieces, art on the walls, etc.  Staging a room with these items can have a massive impact, even YOU will want to spend more time in this space.  Keep in mind though, don’t go overboard.  Remember, less is more!
  • Chair or couch coverings. You might not want to spend the money quite yet on new furniture but recovering chair seats or purchasing a neutral coloured slip cover for your older couch is an easy way to have that furniture tie in with your newly purchased accessories.
  • Front Door. Paint the exterior of your front door if it is looking tired or, in extreme cases, replace it.  You can change the handle or even your address numbers to something a little more appealing.  Finish it off with a decorative front mat and add some plants/hanging flower baskets.  After all, the front door is the second thing people will see when entering the property.
  • A little landscaping. This would be the first thing people will see, so give your home a little curb appeal!  Dig up some of those wild beds that have now been taken over by weeds and dead shrubs.  Replace them with some dirt, the odd rock or small plant/shrub and cover with a layer of dark mulch.  (Please go easy on the garden gnomes though.)  Trust me, this is a little bit of hard labour, but the cost is minimal and the difference will be worth it - I promise!

Spring is in the air and the marketing is hot.  If you are thinking about selling, we would love to meet with you to discuss and to provide advice on what you can do to add that extra wow factor before going to market so you stand out against all the competition!

Our service always includes helping you from start to finish.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to come over and discuss these items or even to see how you’re making out with all the recommendations above.  That’s what we’re here for!  Pop us an email at and let’s set up an appt to get your home ready to go for this hot spring market!

Contributed by:

Michelle Caswell

Cell - 705.507.1229


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at


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