Renovations to Improve Your Toronto Home Sale

In Toronto, attracting qualified buyers for your home sale requires thoughtful preparation. In addition to working with a local Realtor®, one of the best steps you can take to make your home stand out in a competitive market is to make strategic upgrades to the property. 

You’ve lived in your home for years, and while it may be lovingly maintained by you and your family, there are always adjustments you can make to improve its market performance when it comes time to sell. 

As a leading real estate team, we see each home as unique and cater our suggestions based on the individual factors of each property. This blog covers a few common improvements sellers can make to maximize their home sale, however, it’s not a complete list. If you find this list helpful, keep checking back for more tips in the future. 

Whether you’re selling as a downsizer or are looking to move to a larger or similar home, we can help! We’ve got years of experience selling in Toronto and can guide you through a smooth and profitable sale. Call or text us. 

Replacing Windows & Doors

One of the easiest ways to make your home stand out from the competition is by replacing your old windows and doors.

Not only will new windows help your property appear modern, but they can also prevent heat loss, making the home more energy-efficient. In Toronto, where winters can get very cold, this is a highly appealing feature in the eyes of prospective buyers.  

The same goes for the main exterior doors of your home. If you’ve never replaced your home’s doors, there’s a good chance that they will show some wear and tear. A simple replacement can go a long way in making your home look better and cutting back on heating costs. 

Depending on your property, replacing the windows or door can add up to a substantial price tag. That being said, it’s an investment that can pay dividends upon the sale of your home. 

Your home is one of the largest investments you manage in your lifetime. If you want to find success in the GTA housing market, check out these blog posts first for helpful insights.  

Adding a Home Office

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a higher volume of buyers who are looking for homes that fit a full-time remote or hybrid working lifestyle. One major home feature that caters to these buyers is home offices. Especially in neutral market conditions when buyers have a greater selection of properties to choose from, bonus features like a home office can make the difference between prospective buyers purchasing your home over something similar in your area. 

Home offices are unique in that they don’t usually need to be built from the ground up. In a lot of cases, sellers already have an existing space in their house, such as a spare bedroom, den, or walk-in closet that can be strategically converted into an office. Depending on the layout of your home, creating a home office could simply involve sourcing the appropriate furniture and decor for the space. Smaller tasks such as installing a shelf or wall-mounted folding desk may also be required. 

Believe it or not, it’s possible to over-modify your home in hopes of a better sale. While it’s important to make your home appeal to a wide range of prospective buyers, neutralizing it more than you need to can take all of the charm and homeliness out of your property. Want to know more? Click here to read our thoughts on ‘Fake Estate’ and how to avoid over-staging. 

Upgrades to Outdoor Spaces

Another high-value enhancement gaining popularity among both sellers and homeowners in the past few years is outdoor upgrades. Like home offices, this trend was also influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since facing long periods of lockdown and limited outdoor socialization, personal outdoor living spaces in the city have become a hot commodity. 

For a larger scale example, constructing a deck or patio are projects that offer a high return on investment if done properly. Once again, any major renovations you choose to undertake should be performed by a professional. If you’re unsure where to source a quality local contractor, talk to your Realtor®. If they’re experienced in the industry they’ll have a strong list of trusted professionals to recommend. 

Improving Curb Appeal

In addition to living spaces like yards or patios, simple upgrades to your home’s curb appeal can also assist you in securing a more successful home sale. Even small measures such as hiring professional landscapers to manicure your lawn, garden, trees, and foliage can go a long way in increasing purchaser appeal. In some cases, we may recommend a fresh coat of exterior paint to revitalize your home’s facade. 

Getting ready to sell your Toronto home? We can help you prepare your home for a successful sale. Give us a call.

How Much More Affordable is Mississauga Than Toronto?

How much more affordable are homes in Mississauga compared to Toronto? - As real estate agents who’ve spent decades serving Toronto, Mississauga, Etobicoke, Oakville and many other communities across the GTA it’s a question we’ve heard a lot. 

With a lot of real estate in the city coming at a premium cost, plenty of buyers set their sights on suburbs like Mississauga in hopes of more affordable property. While in some instances these communities may have a lower cost of living compared to downtown, we believe buyers should approach their home search based on what will actually suit them best. 

Some homes in Mississauga, Oakville, or Burlington may have a smaller price tag, however, if you end up purchasing a home that doesn’t fit your needs or lifestyle, it could actually lead to you spending even more money in the years following if you’re unhappy and choose to sell. 

If you’re preparing for a home purchase and want to take every step possible to stretch your budget (such as living away from the city centre) we’ve got some insights to help you make the right decision. 

Working with an experienced local Realtor® is the best way to maximize your home purchase. Learn more about how to find the best real estate professional for your needs here

Suburban Living 

Purchasing a home in a suburban community has several advantages, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re considering a move to Mississauga simply for its affordability, you should take some time to learn what everyday life there entails, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. 

Keep in mind, suburbs are not one-size-fits-all. Just like Toronto, Mississauga is made up of a variety of distinct and diverse neighbourhoods, each with a unique atmosphere and identity. The neighbourhood you choose to buy in will directly impact your lifestyle. 

Consider how your lifestyle may need to adapt if you relocate to the suburbs. While Mississauga does offer easy access to the city by car or transit, it doesn’t have certain big city conveniences. For instance, most errands will require a car and businesses can close earlier than they do in the city. If you’re accustomed to an urban Toronto lifestyle, moving to Mississauga could bring certain unpleasant surprises. 

Other Cost Considerations

One area where buyer savings can be directly attributed to suburban relocation is land transfer tax. In Toronto, home buyers are subject to a city land transfer tax. If you buy in Mississauga, you are not subject to this cost, which is a significant save on cost. 

Another factor to consider is your commute. For transit riders, there are several great options for getting in and out of Toronto, however, these services come at a cost - particularly for those living furthest away from the city core. For instance, utilizing GO Transit on a daily basis can add up to several thousand dollars a year. 

If you drive to work, the added distance and increased traffic will lead to you spending more on gas than you're accustomed to. Not to mention, you may see an increase in monthly insurance payments as a result of your extended commute. 

Are you hoping to buy your first home? It helps to get familiar with the process of obtaining a mortgage before you head to the market. Have a look at these blog posts to learn more. 

Finding The Home You Need 

Purchasing a home is a significant process, one that comes with a host of options and variables.  While finding a property that fits your budget is undeniably important, it’s equally important to ensure your new home meets your overall needs. 

First, ask yourself why you want to buy a home. To upgrade to a larger house? To stop paying rent? Do you plan on raising a family? Your primary motivations for home buying will play a big role in finding the right property. 

Next, it’s time to build out a specific list of what kind of home you want, separating the “wants” from the “must haves”. Start with size - how much space will you need? Do you require a one-level home or are stairs suitable? Is your ideal home move-in ready or are you willing to do some fixing up?

Think about where you really want to live. Start with a broader area such as a city, and narrow it down as much as possible, your end target could be a specific area, neighbourhood, or even school district. Consider nearby amenities like parks, grocery stores, and fitness or community centres. Don’t forget to ask yourself how far you're willing to commute. 

Looking for more real estate insights about the GTA’s suburban communities? Check out these blog posts. 

Make Your Budget Go Further - Work With a Realtor®

If you plan to purchase a home the best place to start is with an experienced and qualified Realtor®. As a dedicated expert, a great Realtor® will work hard to make the process of purchasing your home a smooth and enjoyable transaction. Starting with your home wishlist, they can help you find a home that actually meets your needs, is priced well, and suits your budget. 

In addition to helping you find the right home, a Realtor® can walk you through each stage of preparation for your purchase and the myriad of details attending the transaction. 

Ready to buy your next home in the GTA? As trusted local Realtors®, we can help you! Get in touch. Call Nancy at 416-985-1486 or Dave at 416-894-4079.

What You Need to Know About Conditional Offers

We’re not going to sugar-coat it, real estate in the GTA is just not the seller’s market it once was. 

As market conditions tilt towards the middle, home buyers are experiencing greater power and flexibility during the buying process. One of the most significant developments in today's market is the return of conditional offers. 

Whether you’re buying or selling, neutral market conditions mean navigating a myriad of new factors along your real estate journey. Thankfully, we can help! Call or text us. 

Conditions Are Back

During the seller’s market heyday, buyers were frequently competing against other people on the market. As for-sale homes typically received multiple offers from those interested, buyers began foregoing conditions (also called contingencies) in an effort to be competitive. Despite creating risks and challenges for buyers, this trend stuck. 

In 2022, the GTA’s buyer pool has shrunk noticeably compared to years past. With an overall reduction in buyer competition, conditions have finally returned to GTA real estate. This is good news for buyers as they’ll be better protected during their home purchase. 

What’s In A Condition?

First and foremost, conditions will always come with a deadline. The process of buying or selling a property can be very stressful, and no one wants to spend weeks or even months trying to finalize the sale. Therefore, each condition included in an offer will come with an established timeline. These timelines, among the other details within each condition, can be negotiated between the buyer and seller before settling on an agreed deadline. 

Conditions must also be distinct and easily measurable. As a legally binding contract, there should be no grey areas or conditions where the results or outcome are up to interpretation. 

We pride ourselves on offering our clients top-quality advice and insights. Want to learn about more ways to find success in GTA real estate? Check out these blog posts. 

Common Conditions

Buyer Financing

Buyer financing is one of the most common offer conditions in today's market. Essentially, this condition prevents the deal from being finalized if the buyer can't secure adequate financing for the home. 

While this condition has been picking up steam lately, we always advise receiving mortgage approval before anything else. This can help you avoid the heartbreak of finding the perfect home and making an offer only to have the financing fall through. Your bank or financial lender will check your credit, employment, and downpayment savings to determine whether you qualify for a mortgage (and for what amount).

Home Inspections

For buyers, home inspections are an essential step in evaluating potential risks that may come with the property you’re interested in. During the peak of Toronto’s booming buyer’s market, some buyers would unfortunately bypass home inspections in an attempt to be more competitive. Thankfully, this important condition is making a comeback. 

When you receive the inspection report, it is critical that you sit down with your real estate agent and carefully review it. Be ready to ask clarifying questions about any repairs and related expenses that are required.

Are you planning on buying a home in Toronto? Click here to check out our list of 5 home buyer mistakes to avoid.


Tenant conditions apply to certain properties that have renters living in them at the time of sale. These conditions typically ask that any tenants be removed or evicted from the property by the date of possession. In Ontario, these conditions can be somewhat complicated as renters have pre-determined rights regarding evictions. Usually, these rights boil down to providing sufficient notice to the existing tenants, with a legally-adequate eviction timeline being established within the condition. 

If the buyer is purchasing the home for investment purposes, they may also have the option to assume the existing tenants. 

Buyer’s Home Sale

Although they’re not very common in the GTA, conditions pertaining to the sale of the buyer’s home are worth taking into consideration as you could run into them at some point in your real estate journey. 

Also called an “SOP” or Sale of Property condition, this contingency stops the purchase from going through if the buyer’s existing home does not sell within a specific time frame. As this condition introduces additional risks to the seller, it’s relatively easy to see why it’s unpopular. However, if a property remains unsold for an extended period of time, an audacious buyer may attempt to include an SOP condition in order to create a financial safety net for themselves. 

Escape Clause

SOP conditions often include an escape clause, which allows sellers to continue receiving offers while the buyer’s home is still for sale. If the seller receives a better offer, buyers have the option to drop the condition or simply break the deal and move on. 

What to Know About Conditions & Condos

In the GTA, condos are subject to several of the same conditions as homes and other properties with a few key additions, such as status certificates. Status certificates are documents which contain important information about the condo unit, condo building, board and corporation. They cover essential details like condo fees, upcoming building upgrades, legal disputes regarding the building or corporation, and the size of the reserve fund. 

Are you looking to buy or sell distinctive real estate property in the GTA? We can help. Give us a call.