Today I am going to touch on one of the more challenging projects we had in the past year, yet also one of the most rewarding. It was a husband and wife with 2 young children, and they were planning to separate so getting the most amount of money from the sale of their property was a must. The good thing was that the home was located in a very desirable area, however the challenge was that the home was older, and needed work to achieve a top dollar price.

Initially it was a slow process getting started; the sellers were understandably under enormous amounts of stress deciding how to move forward on the house and ensuring their children were managing with everything as well. I didn’t push the situation, as I knew it had to come together in its own way.

Stephanie conduction an initial consult

Stephanie conducting the initial consult

Despite their current stress, they did ask for Stephanie, our team’s designer, to come in to give them a proposal of what to do renovate their house for sale for the best possible return. In certain areas of Mississauga, such as Clarkson / Lorne Park, a strategic investment can absolutely bring in great returns. As is sometimes the case, the sellers were not 100% in agreement as to what needed to be done to reach their goal, the husband wasn’t fully convinced but the wife wanted to try. They had bought the home 10 years earlier with the goal to fix it up, but life got in the way and many of the fix ups never happened. Our main challenge in selling was this:

If they were to sell as is, they’d mostly attract investors.

Kitch Before C

On the other hand, if we could bring the house up just enough to a level where we could attract homebuyers, we could avoid bottom-barrel offers from investors looking to flip the home and get a fair price for our clients, keeping the money in their pocket.

Kitchen Before B

Again, In the vast majority of cases, I don’t think home renovation is worth doing to sell and I won’t recommend it unless you can get at least 2-3x times the return on your money. The proposal was for the sellers to invest $10,000 into the most important areas of the home in order to bring the selling price up by $30,000. If you have ever done a renovation before, I’m sure you know that $10k doesn’t go very far and the challenge was we had a kitchen and bathroom to deal with. There was a second bathroom that also needed help, and the floors would have benefitted from re-staining, but we had to focus on priorities and what things would make the greatest impact to improve the home and attract the family buyer. Style By Stephanie, my wife’s design company came through.

Living Room Before

Stephanie coordinated a contractor who gave a complete face-lift to the kitchen and bathroom in 2 weeks. She also gave our clients a paint plan to give the living/dining room some drama, and had them update the lights. It did not go easily. There was a problem getting the counter that quickly, the original choice of backsplash was out of stock, they didn’t have enough stock for the bathtub surround; gears were shifted and changed all the way through that furious two weeks. But we stayed with them, to problem solve and manoeuvre through it all. When they were ready to quit and cut things out of the plan, Stephanie encouraged them to take those last two steps to the finish line, so that the home truly felt finished. To this day I am so impressed that they chose to do the reno’s despite everything they already had on their plates.

This is why I believe it’s critical to develop trust and strong relationships with my clients,

So that they know that my team and I have their best interest in mind. When they were stressed out, I wanted them to let me know and we could talk about it. When they had too many worries or conflicting thoughts in their head, we could hash it out logically and get back on course. This is the value of a successful sale, and it starts with great relationships.

And was it all worth it?

I think its important for me to keep my clients grounded in reality, so that they don’t get caught up in hopes and emotion. I told them not to expect anything more than then the $30,000 additional to the selling price, although in my head I was privately hoping that we’d see offers a little higher. The house felt completely transformed and with all of our client’s hard work I wanted to see a big win for them. We received multiple offers, and they ended up accepting an offer for $60,000 higher than what the home was originally worth. That was $60,000 that would have gone into a home flipper’s pocket.  So for around $10k and some hard work, we commanded at least $60k more than what it was worth 3 months prior.

Kitchen 4

Dining room Clarkson Truscott

Living Room 2, Clarkson Real Estate

Living Room Dining Room Clarkson Lorne Park Real estate


The premium neighbourhood played a big role in making this feasible, and no I don’t think this would happen for any house in any area. Every home and situation is different and that’s part of my job, to design a custom strategy to make the most money for every individual home based on the unique circumstances of every homeowner.