Improving your home before putting it on the market can generate more buyer interest, but knowing which upgrades to make is a challenge. While extensive remodels don’t always pay off, a few strategic updates can help modernize your space—and ensure that it makes the best impression possible.

If you’re wondering how to grab the attention of contemporary home buyers, doing away with outdated design is a great start. Here are five old-fashioned features that are worth overhauling before you sell…

1) Linoleum flooring

There’s no shortage of flooring materials for homeowners to choose from, but linoleum is one of the least popular options. Despite this fact, it’s still found in many homes across the GTA—and if yours is one of them, it might be wise to replace it before listing. Whereas linoleum floors have a reputation for being low-quality and unattractive, hardwood remains in high demand among buyers. For a more cost-effective (but still on-trend) option, consider cork or bamboo.

2) Popcorn or textured ceilings

There was a time when having some texture on your ceiling was considered stylish. That time has long passed. Many home buyers see this once in-demand feature as an unsightly blemish, which means removing it is worth your while. While that might sound like a big job, it’s actually fairly straightforward if you have access to a sprayer and floor scraper. Tackle it on your own if you’re handy, or hire a professional if need be—either way, those out-of-date popcorn or textured ceilings have got to go!

3) White appliances

If you want your kitchen to make a great first impression, having the right appliances is key. For many sellers, that used to mean white plastic—which has the advantage of being easy to clean. Unfortunately, this material is now more likely to appear dated than impress potential buyers. For a more modern look, consider chic-yet-timeless stainless steel. Whether you replace your major appliances (like the fridge and microwave) or your smaller ones (such as the kettle and toaster), this simple upgrade will go a long way towards modernizing your kitchen.

4) Closed-off kitchens

If you’re preparing to sell your home, a bit of remodelling may be worth the effort. Opening up your closed-off kitchen is a great example. When it comes to the heart of your home, a layout that feels cramped will do little to capture the imaginations of buyers. In contrast, a spacious, well-lit kitchen is always in style. If you decide to create one, the process will likely include the removal of a non-load-bearing wall. Given the remodelling work involved, you’ll want to think carefully about the appeal of your current space before undertaking this step (your real estate agent can help).

5) Fluorescent lighting

If you have fluorescent lights in your home, now is the time to get rid of them. Replacing bad lighting is one of the easiest ways to make your living space feel more inviting when buyers come calling. Start by opting for warmer illumination through the use of white LED bulbs. Better yet, layer ambient, accent, and task lighting to optimize the stylishness and functionality of your living space. To achieve the right effect, consider talking to a professional stager or lighting designer.

Preparing to put your home on the market? For over 30 years, our clients have trusted us to minimize risk, offer unbiased opinions, and ensure their best interests are served. Contact us today to talk about your needs, by emailing us at or calling us at 416-441-2888 ext. 772.


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