10 Top Reno’s: Checklist When Selling Your Home

When getting ready to sell your home, it can be hard to know what renovations will get your property sold the fastest and for the most amount of money. These top 10 renos are a good place to start creating a checklist when selling your home.

Should you replace your furnace or redo your kitchen? How about gutting a bathroom vs. adding a new one? What about replacing a roof over buying new appliances?

Or you might wonder what the small inexpensive things are that make a substantial difference to upgrading your home. Most importantly, how much money are you going to recoup on the listing price if you do make the investment?

Items for Your Checklist When Selling Your Home


Return: 90-100%

Painting is one of the easiest, fastest and cheapest ways to get your home ready for the market. And the best part is that you might actually make money by doing it! Most painting jobs add more than 100% back of what it costs to the list price, so it is well worth your time to push your furniture to the centre of the room and add a fresh coat of paint to your home.

And remember when it comes to getting your home ready to sell, you want it to be neutral, clean and modern. Painting a living room or a bedroom a bright or unusual colour may suit your tastes but won’t necessarily suit those of your prospective buyers.

Garage Doors

Return: 90-100%

Curb appeal is huge when it comes to buying and selling real estate. So getting the outside of your home in tip top shape can lure in the most amount of buyers.

Simple things like landscaping or new potted plants can aid in the outside appeal of your home but one of the biggest things you can do with almost 100% return is replace your garage doors.

As they make up a large percentage of the outside of your home, and are one of the main points of view when driving up to your house, having them in perfect condition will do wonders to the perceived state of your property.

And the best part is you will likely get very close to if not all of your money back on it! This is a must to add to the checklist when selling your home. It’s a win win for both buyer and seller.

Entry Door

Return: 90-95%

It seems like a minor upgrade but can make a huge difference when getting your home ready for the market. Again, as with painting, you will want to look for neutral colours that blend well with the outside facade of your home. You want clean lines and a fresh feel to your front porch, as prospective buyers first impressions are crucial.

Additional Square Footage

Return: 70%-80%

Most homeowners want more space. And adding an additional room or two will make your home a lot more appealing on the market. Plus you get a large percentage of the investment back. So if your home is on the smaller side, especially when it comes to comparables, then it might make sense to add additional space.

And, a 2005 study for the National Association of Realtors found that every 1,000 square feet, upped a homes sale price by 30% or more.

Bathroom Remodel

Return: 60-70%

You have two options when it comes to bathrooms, you can renovate the one you have or add an additional one. For most families, one bathroom might be a deal breaker, so from both a logical and financial perspective, it would make the most sense to add an additional bathroom.

If you already have a sufficient number of bathrooms, then rather than add a new one, remodel the ones that need it most. This will be money well spent.

Most articles will tell you to forgo the tub and get a walk in shower. This adds space to the bathroom.  However, it is good to have at least one tub in the home. Most people do use them at some point. Add bathrooms to your home sale checklist.

Do your research and find out how many bathrooms are in the other homes in the area. If you are one less than the average on the market, then it will be a deterrent for buyers to view your property.

checklist when selling your home

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Return: 70-80%

There is a big difference between a minor and a major kitchen remodel. Most minor kitchen remodeling with run you around twenty to twenty five thousand and a major one could be double that. And doing the lower end of the remodeling can still leave you with a really nice kitchen.

Minor remodeling includes new countertops, cupboards, flooring and fixtures. Larger ones would mean replacing appliances, light fixtures, sinks and refacing cabinets.

Check with your real agent to find out comparable properties in your neighborhood to see if this is something you should consider.

10 top renos for home sellers

Window Replacement

Return: 70-80%

Energy-efficient windows improve insulation, lower utility costs, and enhance the overall aesthetic of the house. This covers a number of reason why home buyers will love your house. From curb appeal to home efficiency this is a good upgrade to make if your windows need replacing.


Replacement Roof

Return: 60-70%

Being able to add ‘new roof’ to your listing can add a lot more credit than you think. And you may only recoup the cost of close to 70% of the expense, but have a worn out or leaking roof can deter buyers and leave you house sitting on the market.

And remember, the function of your home is going to be buyers top priority. It is best replace the roof over the kitchen counter if the roof is not in good condition.

Deck Replacement

Return: 70-80%

Your home may already have a deck in which case replacing the wood or refurbishing it may be all that’s needed. But if you do not have a deck and decide to add one before you sell, then you will likely get close to three quarters of the cost back. And any additional space that has been added when you are selling your home is going to increase the value.

Finished Basement

Return: 60-70%

In the article Finished Basements Add Space and Home Value they recommend that you shouldn’t spend more than 10% of the value of your home and better to stay between 5% – 10% refinishing a basement.

But as with adding square footage or a deck, a finished basement adds livable space to a home. That is a big part of buyers decision making when looking for what fits their needs.

Again, assess the market, and see if it makes the most sense in terms of where to put your money for upgrades.


You have to think like a buyer.  First and foremost, hire a local real estate professional who knows the market in your neighborhood. Your agent will help you prioritize the work that needs to be done to get the best results.

Make a checklist when you are selling your home. A beautiful kitchen is not going to make up for a broken furnace or a leaking roof. One beautiful bathroom will not make up for the overall lack of bathrooms. Make sure you are not overlooking the simple things like curb appeal and that you’re prioritizing function over aesthetic.

Most buyers plan to do upgrades themselves once they move into a new home, so don’t overemphasize how it looks over the actual structure.

In addition, the percentage you get back is based on a number of factors. This includes the price of your home, the average price of the neighborhood, the city you live in and how hot the market is. Assess what needs to be done in your home. Opt for the projects that you are going to make the most amount of money back on.

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