Summer Renovations: Window Replacement

Windows and doors are essential to any home. Not only do they significantly impact the look of our homes, they are also the keepers between the outside world and the inside of our homes. They also provide practical benefits such as keeping heating and air conditioning in and keeping harsh weather out. Due to the importance of windows and doors it’s no surprise they can come with high price tags to be replaced and installed. When done correctly by a professional, upgrading your windows and doors can result in a better functioning home. If you’re wondering how much new windows and doors cost for your home, read through this guide to find out.

In general, the more windows you need installed in your home, the higher the installation cost will be. If you opt to have several installed at once, window installation professionals may charge less per window. If you’re only replacing a window or two, it might be more cost effective to replace all of your windows at the same time. This could end up saving you money in the long run.

Types of Windows and Their Costs

Windows are classified by how they operate. To help you decide which type of window is right for your home, consider the size and function you are looking for as well as the look of the window. Below are the most common types of windows installed.

Single-hung windows ($230-$460 per window)

  • Classic, old-fashioned, vertically opening windows.

  • Only opens at the bottom.

  • Offers slightly better insulation but not enough to make a significant difference over others.

  • Use on the ground floor only; cleaning on higher floors is dangerous as it requires leaning out of the window to reach the outside of the upper sash.

Double-hung windows ($395-$1000 per window)

  • Both upper and lower sashes can be opened.

  • Increased circulation occurs when lower and upper sashes are open.

  • Cleaning on upper floors is safe and easy; both sashes usually lean inward.

Sliding windows ($430-$1500 per window)

  • Includes two sashes — one sliding horizontally over the other, stationary sash.

  • Sliders are often used for larger windows.

  • Smaller sills and cases increase viewable area.

  • Easily removed top pane makes for easy cleaning and maintenance.

  • Use on the ground floor only; cleaning on higher floors is dangerous as it requires leaning out of an unsecured window.

Casement windows ($360-$980 per window)

  • Hinged to one side, opens like a door.

  • Casement windows open via a crank that doubles as a lock, though many models offer separate locks for added security.

  • Due to the crank mechanism, resists being blown open or closed by the wind.

  • Casement windows provide maximum ventilation as the window can swing completely away from the frame.

Common Window Repairs & Their Costs

The average price of replacing a window can range from $400 to $900 per window. This price range is for windows of the same cut and size going into an existing and structurally sound frame on a ground floor. In a typical three-bedroom, single-story home with ten windows, the average cost is $3,900 to $9,200. This cost can easily double for a two-story home.

If your window frames must also be replaced, this is called a new construction window. This can increase the cost by as much as 50% to 100%. This then raises the average cost to approximately $6,500 to $52,000.

Other factors affecting cost include:

  • The need to alter an existing frame

  • Double or triple-glazed windows

  • Insulating gases in double or triple-glazed windows

  • Exterior dressing (decorative awnings, etc.)

  • Remoteness of the job site location

  • Time demands on the service professional

  • Unforeseen structural deficiencies

Rotted Wood

Broken Panes

Broken Seals


Types of Window Frames and Their Costs

Aluminum and Metal (Average cost $500 to $1,500)

These frames tend to be strong and require little to no maintenance. They conduct heat rapidly and provide poor insulation. Adding a plastic strip between the inner and outer frame and sash creates a thermal break which fixes this insulation problem.

Composite (Average cost $1,300 to $2,000)

These frames are made from wood particles such as particleboard and laminated strand lumber. They are stable and have the same structural and thermal properties as those made from conventional wood but have better resistance to moisture and rot.

Fiberglass (Average cost $265 to $1,100)

These frames are stable and provide better insulation than wood or uninsulated vinyl. This is because they have air cavities that prevent air from escaping.

Vinyl (Average cost $660 to $1,400)

Vinyl frames are low-maintenance and moisture resistant. The vacant cavities in the barriers prevent air from escaping which makes them a better choice over standard vinyl and wood frames.

Wood (Average cost $1,000 to $1,800)

Conventional wooden frames expand and contract depending on the weather, requiring a fair amount of maintenance. This can be somewhat reduced by installing aluminum or vinyl cladding.

Reasons to Repair

If you are able to repair a faulty window frame as soon as you notice the issue, this will greatly reduce the need to replace the entire window and its frame. If your wooden frame is cracked, this may lead to exposure to weather conditions. If your window frames are drafty, they should be repaired so that your home can reduce energy costs and be more eco-friendly. If your home has wooden window frames that you do not want to maintain, consider replacing them with a different material to save maintenance costs over time.

Common Repairs for Window Frames

Broken Frame

Wooden windows are constantly exposed to the elements which can cause rotting. This is a fairly easy repair and requires the piece of rotted wood to be cut away. The missing piece can either be filled in with wood putty or the entire piece can be replaced with a new one. If you discover the wood is rotted due to termites, be sure to have an exterminator take care of the problem. If you just replace the wood without fixing the insect problem, you are only inviting the pests to continue living in your windows.

Broken Sash Interlock

Having a broken sash interlock in your window frame greatly increases the chance of leaks and drafts. You can prevent water from entering your home and causing rot and mould by glazing the sashes.

Broken/Leaking Nail Fin

Nail fins are strips that are used to attach a window frame to a stud opening. Occasionally these fins can break or corrode and will need to be replaced.

Leaking Windows

Screws in a frame can corrode over time and may need to be replaced. Sometimes alarm sensors are placed on window frames which can cause damage. This issue can be fixed by moving the sensor and fixing the damaged frame area.

When to Replace Frames

If you find your window frame is seriously damaged, be sure to call a window professional to assess the situation and replace it. There are many reasons why you many choose to replace your frames. Perhaps you want to trade in your old wood frames for a low-maintenance solution like metal or vinyl. Doing so will also help to lower energy costs and make your home more eco-friendly.

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Guide to Flooring Costs & Estimates

The right flooring can last your home a lifetime, but finding the right floor for your home and budget can be a challenge. There are many things to consider before you buy, from looks to function, but the cost is often the ultimate deciding factor on which flooring your home has.

The average cost range to install flooring is between $1,963 and $5,806, with an average price of $3,836 as reported by homeowners. The final price will depend on the type of flooring you choose and the square footage to be covered.


How Much Does Flooring Cost

How much you will pay for flooring depends on several factors. Below is a high level breakdown of the costs for common flooring types when used in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms for a total average home of around 550 square feet.

Installation Cost Considerations

The amount of money you will pay for installation depends on a variety of factors, including where you live and the intricacy of your project. Tasks such as furniture removal and replacement, repairing the subfloor and removing and disposing of the old floor will be additional charges on top. Be sure to ask your floor installer if these charges have already been accounted for in your quote. If not, you could end up paying for additional services you thought were included. To avoid unnecessary or hidden costs, be sure to always get multiple quotes from companies. You can use HomeStars Get A Quote feature to get multiple quotes from top-rated companies in your area for free.


Types Of Flooring and Their Costs

Wood Flooring

There are two primary types of wood flooring homeowners can choose from. The first is solid wood floor — these floors are generally ¾” thick and can be purchased either raw or pre-finished. This is the most expensive type of hardwood floor.

The second type is engineered wood floor. The difference is that engineered wood floors have a top wear layer, usually ⅛” thick of hardwood with more layers of plywood underneath. Engineered floors are gaining popularity due to their price point, however they do not have the same longevity that solid wood floors do.


Cost Factors

Typical factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • The type of wood you use — solid or engineered, solid hardwood generally costs more than engineered hardwood
  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Laminate Flooring

One of the great things about laminate flooring is that it is almost always less expensive than the material it imitates. Materials like real wood, stone and tile are not only more expensive to buy they are also more expensive to install. This is why laminate is a great alternative when you want the look of the real thing but cannot afford the price.


Cost Factors

Typical factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • Thickness of the laminate
  • Supplier of the laminate (some high end manufacturers do a great job at imitating more expensive materials)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things
  • Universal factors such as distance to job, work done around existing framing, testing/remediation, use of a general contractor, sales tax and permits also apply

Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

If your budget is tight, vinyl and linoleum are an excellent option to help save on both material and labour costs. Similar to laminate, they both can look like wood, stone or tile but at a fraction of the cost.


Cost Factors

Typical factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • For vinyl, if the surface you are applying it to is not smooth, an underlayment of plywood may be needed. It needs to be smooth so it will adhere
  • Linoleum’s extra cost will be in the form of a sealer. Linoleum needs to be sealed after installation and then once a year after that to maintain its luster
  • Universal factors such as distance to job, work done around existing framing, testing/remediation, use of a general contractor, sales tax and permits also apply


While not quite as inexpensive as linoleum, carpeting is a great option for any budget. When it comes to costs, you will need to consider room size, pile of carpet, labour and installation fees.


Cost Factors

The biggest cost factor for installing carpet, besides the carpet itself, is the area to be covered. There are also more materials that need to be purchased than just the carpet. For example, tack strips around the perimeter of the room are needed to help hold the carpet in place. Carpet padding beneath the carpet is not a necessity, but it will make your carpet a lot more comfortable. Installing your new carpet is fairly involved, especially if it’s a particularly large area to cover.

Other factors that will affect the cost are the standard ones for all flooring projects:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Tile Flooring

There is no shortage on tile options or their price points. Something to keep in mind is that a small per-unit cost can translate into a huge difference by the time the project is done. Installation is fairly involved and can be more expensive than the cost of materials.


Cost Factors

The same standard factors are true for tiles as they are on other flooring projects:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Kitchen Floor Options and Costs

It is common for the flooring in the kitchen to be different from that of the rest of the house. If you’re planning on adding new floors to your entire home, you should consider what kind of floors will go into the kitchen and how that will affect your overall budget. Here are the most common types of kitchen flooring, some facts and their costs.

Cork Floor
– Costs: $653-$1,960
– Eco-friendly
– Mildew-resistant
– Stain-resistant
– Requires regular maintenance
Ceramic Flooring
– Costs: $653-$2,614
– Durable
– Wide variety of colors
– Susceptible to cracking and chipping
Bamboo Floors
– Costs: $784-$1,307
– Eco-friendly
– Low-maintenance
– Low-cost
– Scratches easily
– Costs: $1,045-$3,267
– Eco-friendly
– Stain-resistant
– Requires regular maintenance
Vinyl Floor
– Costs: $1,307-$1,960
– Inexpensive
– Durable
– Can emit VOCs
Stone Floor
– Costs: $1,307-$3,921
– Durable
– Expensive
– Absorbs stains
Wood Flooring
– Costs: $1,900-$3,900
– Durable
– Wear-resistant
– Requires regular maintenance
Concrete Flooring
– Costs: $1,900-$5,200
– Easy to maintain
– Long-lasting
– Moisture-resistant
Slate Floor
– Costs: $1,960-$3,900
– Durable
– Stain-resistant
– Low-maintenance
– Less variety in aesthetics
Laminate Flooring
– Costs: $1,900-$5,882
– Eco-friendly
– Inexpensive
– Wide variety of styles
– Requires regular maintenance
Marble Floors
– Costs: $1,960-$5,228
– Durable
– Long-lasting when properly maintained
– Stains and scratches easily
– Costs: $5,228-$19,600
– Durable
– Long-lasting
– Easy to clean
– Expensive option

Finding the right flooring for your home can be confusing, especially if you’re not sure of what you’re looking for. Luckily, HomeStars has thousands of flooring experts who can help you with everything from selecting materials, to installation and beyond. If you’re in the need of a flooring expert, be sure to connect with one on HomeStars so you know you’re working with verified and trusted home service pros.

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The cost of a bathroom renovations 2021

Bathroom renovations are a two-in-one choice that will benefit your lifestyle and boost your home’s overall value. The great thing with bathrooms is that there is little limit to how you choose to renovate or how much to do. You can design a new luxury spa bathroom or just update the space with new fixtures and paint. Before you start renovating it’s important to have a solid game plan in mind. While there are a lot of potentials, it is just as easy to get carried away and spend far more than necessary.

With this guide, you’ll learn all you need about bathroom renovations, how much does a bathroom renovation cost, and some tips and ideas for your own.

Renovation vs remodel 

With bathroom renovations, it’s also important to know if you plan to renovate the space or remodel it. While these two words are used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.


When renovating a bathroom, the goal is not to change the physical layout of the room. Instead, it’s more about improving or updating what is already there. This can be as minimal as new fixtures and lighting or as involved as installing a new walk-in shower. It can focus on installing new tile flooring to replace an old, outdated floor. Bathroom renovation costs can also be less and don’t always need a permit for the work. Depending on the type of work as well, the renovations can be completely DIYed or left to a professional.


Bathroom remodels typically involve changing the room’s layout and design, making it more costly and involved. This can range from expanding the bathroom or altering the layout of the plumbing or cabinets. Remodels generally will need the help of a professional contractor to handle more complicated work. Plumbing or electrical changes in a remodel will always need a permit before any work can begin. Remodeling can do much more to improve the overall design and appeal of a home, especially in a poorly designed bathroom. While it may cost more, the long-term benefits and payback will be much higher.

Bathroom renovation cost Canada

Renovations for bathrooms will vary depending on the work involved, professional design services and labour, and the quality of materials. For some estimates of what you can typically expect, the following costs are averages for bathroom renovations:

Average cost: $15,000

Low-end cost: $5,000

High-end cost: $25,000+

Things such as the bathroom size, quality of materials, and the type of fixtures and finishes chosen will vary among renovations. Changing the floor plan as well, such as expanding the bathroom, will add much more to the final cost. New drywall, framing, plumbing, and electrical wiring will all need to be factored into expansion plans and budgets. For the best estimate of your renovation, hire a contractor, and have them help.

Expanding cost: $1,000 – $15,000

Fixture cost 

Fixtures can range drastically in price depending on their quality. While this can be an area to cut costs, some fixtures are worth investing a little more. Anything that is used daily, like a toilet or shower, should be of higher quality to avoid premature breaks and costly repairs. Some standard prices to expect for fixtures include:

Toilets and sinks: $200 – $1,800

Showers: $300 -$3,000

Vanity: $300 – $4,800

Countertops: $200 – $2,000

Per square foot 

Another way to get a better estimate to answer, “how much does a bathroom renovation cost?” is to start with the square footage. From there, you can decide what type of bathroom renovation to do or how much work is necessary depending on the cost.

Shower remodel 

Showers can be seen as a remodel of their own and are popularly done. The traditional shower and bathtub combination is removed in place of a single, large walk-in shower. Glass enclosure showers are a current popular trend that adds a sense of spaciousness and luxury in any bathroom. A separate soaker tub may be included for the master bathroom, but it’s a personal choice for most homeowners.

Cost: $1,000 – $15,000

Walk-in shower remodel: $5,000 – $15,000

Master bathroom and ageing-in-place 

Master bathroom remodels focus more on the addition of luxury features, high-end materials, and large spaces. Many designs include a soaker tub, walk-in shower, double or single vanity, and custom cabinets and fixtures.

Master bathroom cost: $10,000 – $25,000

Aging-in-place renovations will vary depending on the specific needs of the homeowners. Still, some universal changes include expanding the shower and adding handrails or a bench inside. Cabinets with slide drawers are easier to open and close, and raising toilet seats makes them safer and easy to use. Nonslip floors as well are another addition for added safety. If wheelchair access is a factor, then widen the doorway and create more open floor space.

Ageing-in-place cost: $1,500 – $9,000


Bathroom permits are largely dependent on the type and scale of work involved, so not all renovations need one. Simple cosmetic updates, including new fixtures and paint colours, won’t need a permit. Building a brand-new bathroom may need a building permit, while plumbing and electrical work will definitely need one. The bathroom renovation cost in Canada and requirements for a permit will also vary by city. Before you start, check your local city requirements. If you have a general contractor, they’ll be able to handle the work and permit research for you.

Permit cost:  $350 – $1,800

Money-saving fixtures 

While bathroom renovations can become an expensive project, there are some ways to cut costs without cutting quality. For example, water-saving fixtures can cut down on energy and water use and so save more long-term.

Low-flow showerheads: These cut water consumption to less than 2 gallons per minute (GPM), compared to standard showerheads that use 2.5 GPM and more.

Low-flow toilets/dual flush: Like showerheads, low-flow toilets cut back how water is used per flush. Standard toilets use 1.6 gallons of water, while a low flow design cuts it to 1.28 gallons per flush. Dual toilets further customize how much water is used by flushing less for liquid waste or more for solid waste.

Aerators: These can be easily installed onto sink faucets to cut the amount of water flow without cutting the pressure.

Refinishing cabinets: Unless your kitchen cabinets are beyond repair, consider refinishing them instead of replacing them. Refinishing is also an easy DIY project that saves costs and still gives the cabinets a whole new look. New cabinets cost between $2,000 – $15,000, while refinishing ranges between $1,500 – $4,000.

Bathroom ROI 

Second to kitchens, bathrooms are one of the best rooms to renovate for a high ROI. If you plan to sell, then an updated bathroom will attract and appeal to potential buyers. Even minor cosmetic upgrades will see a great return, making every type of renovation worthwhile.

Midrange bath remodel: 64% recoup

Upscale bath remodel: 56% recoup

Universal design bath remodel: 62% recoup

Bathroom addition (midrange): 54% recoup

DIY vs hiring a professional 

There are just as many areas in a bathroom that can be DIYed as there are areas best left to a professional. DIYing comes down to a matter of time, skill, and quality. While a full bathroom DIY renovation may save money to start, there isn’t a long-term guarantee. Not all buyers will appreciate a DIY job, and any issues or added fees are the homeowner’s responsibility.

With a professional, even if you spend more initially, the long-term savings will be better. They’ll guarantee that the quality of work is at its best and that the project doesn’t drag on. You may even get better prices on materials through a contractor who has the right connections. The value added to your home will also be higher, and there won’t be any risk of costly repairs or mistakes. That said, some parts of a bathroom renovation can still be DIYed. Combining the help of a professional with your own skill will save money without losing quality.

DIY work 

Tackle easier jobs yourself, like painting or buying fixtures beforehand, to cut costs. High-end fixtures are a quick way to increase costs, but even a low-cost fixture will still look just as attractive. Another trick, if you have the time, it to tackle any demolition yourself. Things, like ripping out old tile or, if you’re careful not to damage the pipes, removing old tubs can be DIYed. That alone can save $1,000 in professional labour. Resurfacing where you can as well, such as countertops and cabinets, will save much more than buying brand new. In the end, the bathroom renovation cost won’t be as high, but the result will be just as appealing.


Tips for selling your home in Winter

While you might think selling your home in winter is harder, with the right considerations it doesn’t have to be! When selling your home during warmer months, the focus is typically on curb appeal and gardening, as well as having bright colours and patterns to draw out different rooms. While curb appeal should not be forgotten in winter months, the focus should be centered on creating a warm, comfortable and welcoming space. Below are some tips on how to do this:

  • Curb Appeal: If you live in an area that receives high amounts of snow, be diligent about keeping your sidewalk and driveways clear for visitors, and to keep your home looking clean for viewing. Always make sure to sweep any fallen leaves or debris.
  • Keep it Cozy: Ensuring your home is sufficiently heated during showings will also go a long way to making it feel more comfortable; a steady 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during showings is ideal.

  •  Light and Inviting: With days being shorter and darker during winter, ensuring your home is well-lit and inviting can make a big difference. In some cases, you may consider repainting the walls before listing your property.
  • Declutter: When selling, it is important to declutter your home so that it looks its best and gives room for people to imagine their own belongings in your space.
  • Define Property Boundaries: If you are showing your home in the middle of snow season, be sure to mark the four corners of your property so that potential buyers can see exactly what they are getting.

While there is some extra work with selling your home in the winter due to the weather conditions, it can pay off! Buyers tend to be highly motivated and often there is less competition for sales during this time giving more focus to your home.


7 Ways to Make Your Toronto Home Attractive for Buyers

The process of buying and selling a home is a financial as well as emotional process for both the seller and the buyer, so if you have decided to sell your home, the look and feel of the house is a critical factor in attracting potential buyers. It’s important to keep in mind that first impressions count, so your property must have curbside appeal, including a clean and well maintained lawn and house exterior. Along with having the ideal curb appeal, here are 7 other ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers.

Clear the Clutter

When selling your house, it should feel like home to potential buyers, which means they want to “picture” their belongings in the space. Removing the clutter, including oversized furniture and personal items, such as photos, magazines and mail will make the house appear larger and allow them to picture themselves in the house.

Paint the Walls

Painting the walls with a neutral shade will not only help it look clean and fresh, but it will make the rooms appear more spacious. Freshly painted, open walls also gives potential buyers a blank canvas, so they can visualize what they can do with the rooms. Remember to apply a coat of paint to the baseboards and stain or paint the doors as well.

Give the House a Good Scrubbing

The quickest way to turn off potential buyers is by showing a dirty house. Even small things, such as dishes in the sink and dusty tables can be a distraction to a potential buyer. It’s essential that you give your home a good scrubbing. Along with cleaning the tub and toilet, some of the most overlooked things that need cleaned are the carpets, cabinet fronts, and ceiling fans.

Do Minor Repairs

Small problems that you have gotten used to can stand out to potential buyers. Most buyers don’t want to spend money or time making repairs to a house they have just bought. Before you put your home on the market, walk through the house and take note of any minor problems, such as broken tiles, holes in the walls and scratches on a wood floor. Making minor repairs will help your home appear well-maintained and the fewer problems your house has, the more appealing it will be to buyers.

Take a Close Look at the Kitchen

When it comes to ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers, keep in mind that kitchens sell houses. So, if you only have a small amount of money for improvements, spend it on the kitchen. You don’t have to completely remodel the kitchen, but a few upgrades and repairs can make a big difference when it comes to offers. Some things to consider may include upgrading the counter tops, painting or re-facing the cabinets. If the appliances are old and worn, consider renting appliances to use until the house sells.

Improve the Lighting

One of the best ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers is by brightening it up. The more natural light there is the better. Remove old blinds and curtains and replace them linen or cotton ones that are tied back to allow natural light in. Replace all burnt out light bulbs and use lamps to add light to dark spaces, such as in the corners.

Address Pet Issues

Everybody loves their pet, but it’s important to keep in mind that many people may not be used to animals, or they may have allergies. If you have pets, there is a good chance your home has odors, stains or both that you may not be aware of. These issues can be a deal breaker for some buyers, so make sure to get rid of stains and odors before showing the house and you should make sure your pets aren’t in the home during a showing.

It may seem overwhelming, but taking the time to do a few things around the house can make a big difference when it comes to getting potential buyers. If you aren’t sure exactly what changes to make or need advise on ways to make your Toronto home attractive to buyers, be sure to talk with your real estate agent for suggestions.


6 Tips for Millennial Home Sellers in Toronto

People who are part of the millennial generation were born between 1980 and 2000. That means they are now 19 to 39 years old. Many millennials are just now thinking about buying their first home. If you are a millennial who is selling their home, you are a rare breed, unless you got the property from an inheritance.

This guide will help any first-time sellers to know what to expect from the process of selling a home and gives some tips for millennial home sellers in Toronto.

Tips for Millennial Home Sellers in Toronto

1. Work with a Real Estate Agent

2. How to Price a Home for Sale

3. Stage a Home Properly

4. Allow Plenty of Time

5. Conduct Due Diligence on Offers

6. Be Willing to Negotiate

Work with a Real Estate Agent

It is possible to sell a home without using a real estate agent; however, for first-time sellers, this may not be the most effective method. A professional real estate agent knows how to market a home and understands the process of closing the sale. It is probably better to ask a bit more for the home, to help pay for the help of a professional, than trying to do everything without one.

How to Price a Home for Sale

Research the prices of homes that are similar to the one that will be sold to help figure out a fair price. Look up the records for the actual recorded sales prices because those will be the actual prices paid, which are usually lower than the asking prices. Those are the two figures that are very useful for a seller to know. What to ask for and what to settle for in the negotiations with a buyer.

Stage a Home Properly

Staging is getting the home in the best possible condition that makes it very attractive to buyers. Staging includes cleaning, repairing, removing many things, and adding others to make the house look its best. Work with your real estate agent to get help with staging.

Allow Plenty of Time

If you want to get a good price for the sale, do not be in a rush. Price the home for sale at the average price for a similar home. Do not sell the home at a price that is very low unless you have an emergency need to sell the home quickly.

Conduct Due Diligence on Offers

Offers are more than just the dollar figure for the purchase. An offer’s strength also depends on the ability of the buyer to secure financing. A buyer who has a pre-approved loan commitment is stronger than one without a lending commitment. A pre-approval based on credit history and score of the buyer is the next best thing but is not as strong as a lender’s written commitment to lend.

Be Willing to Negotiate

By knowing what similar homes sell for and the ultimate prices paid by the buyers, give the negotiation room. If an offer comes in that is too low make a counteroffer that is less than the listing price but not your final price. Save your last price for the second round of negotiations with a motivated buyer.


By following these tips for Millennial home sellers in Toronto you will become a seasoned home seller and ready to do this again. Not only can you buy another home, when you sell one for a profit, if you are clever you can build up a real estate portfolio that is made of quality investment properties.


Six Tips for a Fast Sale of Your Home

Selling a home comes with mixed emotions. Change can be both exciting and intimidating, and there’s certainly a lot of work that goes into the selling process. Regardless, no one wants to have a home on the market indefinitely. That’s why you need these six tips for a fast sale of your Toronto home.

Change the Layout

Staging is often considered one of the best techniques for selling a home. If you’re still living in yours, that makes staging a little more complicated. It’s common for people to move furniture against the walls and do unique configurations that accommodate your lifestyle. When it’s time to show the house, presentation is everything (you’ll hear this again). Try to conform to modern layout trends. Put some furniture in storage if you must. An open, pretty staging is your best friend.

Clean it Again

Obviously. You clean your house to show it. But, since presentation is everything, you should clean it again. Make the place sparkle. Or, in less ambiguous terms, you need to remove every aesthetic decorator possible. This means no pet hair. Stubborn stains that have plagued you for years have to be managed. The place needs to look like an absolute showroom.

Make the Cheap Improvements

Not every problem can be scrubbed into submission. In some cases, a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, a new rug or a little landscaping can do what cleaning can’t. You don’t have to spend thousands on upgrading the home, but spending a few hundred on major aesthetic upgrades will pay for itself very easily.

Learn Some Marketing

People shop for houses online. Sure, you’ll have pictures and online listings, but that’s where this begins. Use social media for all it’s worth. More importantly, build your online marketing around mobile users. For the most part, potential buyers will see your house for the first time on their phones. Cater to that. A good mobile experience is how you get people to your house. It’s the first step.

Learn the Market

So far, we haven’t mentioned the listing price. There’s a lot you can do to sell a home quickly without slashing your listing, but there are limits. You have to do your homework and know the value of your home in your neighborhood. The price you want to get for your home and what it’s worth today won’t always agree. This is the hard part, but there’s no getting around it.

Get Help

By all means, real estate agents have a lot to offer. More than that, you can get feedback all the time. Start with friends and family. They’ll help you notice small things you can change to improve how you show and market the house. Don’t stop there. Plenty of people should be looking at your house. Only one will buy it. All of those non-buyers have reasons for their decision. You should ask about those reasons. Plenty of them won’t lead to changes you make, but some will.

Follow these tips and your Toronto home is sure to sell faster without you having to slash the asking price.


6 Best Practices for Being Patient During Escrow

Are you looking to buy a home in Toronto? That’s exciting! There are a lot of things you can enjoy about the process, but there will also be issues that test your patience. Never is that more true than during escrow. These six best practices for being patient during escrow will help you avoid some common mistakes and get you into your new house a little faster.

Make a Checklist

The worst way to delay escrow is to miss something easy and set back the whole process. A thorough checklist will keep on point, up to date with your paperwork and focused on the next step instead of the final step. Work with your realtor or bank to make sure you get everything you need in the list. Just a few items to get you started are an insurance timeline and an inspection schedule. 

Cram the Inspections

It’s not always possible, but when it is, cram as many inspections into a single day as possible. It might feel gruelling in the moment, but you accelerate one of the biggest holdups in escrow. If you spread out the inspections, you may find yourself renegotiating after each. That’s painfully slow and keeps you out of your new house.


You did great saving up your down payment. You did even better searching for a mortgage that you can reasonably afford. You have a great budget. But, you’re not done yet. The closing process has plenty of

unexpected expenses. Do you know how much your title fees will be? What about escrow property taxes? There are lots of hidden expenses. When you make your checklist, ask about hidden costs to help with your budget. This way, you won’t hold up the process waiting for the next paycheck to get through a closing fee.

Don’t Marry Your Closing Date

Most of these tips are practical. This is the hard one, and it’s possibly the most important. Things will happen that throw off your initial closing date. It’s inevitable. Maybe inspections find something that has to be fixed before you can close. Maybe it’s something else. The thing to remember is that the initial closing date is there to push things along. It is very likely to ultimately change, and anticipating that can save you some hair-pulling frustration.

Stay on Top of Contingencies

If you aren’t familiar with the term, contingencies are conditions written into the contract. Some of them will come from you; some will come from the seller. You want to make sure you’re on top of any contingencies that require something of you. It’s easy to agree to something minor during negotiation and then forget about it later. You know what? Make sure your contingencies are in that checklist. That should do it.

Triple Check Paperwork

Home sales require some intense paperwork. There’s plenty of legalese mixed in there, and it’s easy to make a seemingly innocuous mistake that stalls escrow. If you need a lawyer, get one. Then, triple check everything. That will remove the final barriers to closing, and you can get into your new house.

These best practices for being patient during escrow are sure to remove a few headaches and obstacles during the process. Still, your best friend is experience. If you aren’t an expert homebuyer, take advantage of a professional who is.


5 Tips for Millennial Homebuyers In Toronto

More millennials are buying their own homes than ever before. As a matter of fact this age group (22 - 37 years old) have now surpassed the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in making this major life decision. Here are some helpful tips for Millennial homebuyers in Toronto:

1.  Reduce Your Debt: One of the challenges facing millennials in Toronto is paying down their debt. Student loans, credit card balances, car loans, and other debt accumulates to the point that buying a home is impossible. Buying a home is one of the most expensive financial commitments you will make, so being debt free is a good idea before seeking financing. Make sure you pay your bills on time so your credit rating is high and consider a budget to help you maintain expenses. 

2.  Save For A Down Payment:  Most millennials get a mortgage to pay for their home so a down payment is necessary for the bank to grant the loan. Most lenders require between and 10 and 20 percent down. Due to other financial obligations, saving for a down payment is challenging. Some millennials use gifts from family members to supplement their savings. Experts suggest saving as much as possible before starting a home search because it could take a few years before you are financially ready.

3.  Look For An Affordable Home:  Resist looking at homes in Toronto neighborhoods that are out of your price range. There is much more to consider than just the price of the home. Taxes, insurance and other fees will affect the cost of living and it will vary from area to area. Do your homework before falling in love with a house that you can't afford yet. An experienced realtor will help you find the perfect home within your budget.

4. Learn The Buying Process:  Hire a real estate agent who you are comfortable with and can trust. Make sure they have at least four years experience in the industry and are willing to share their knowledge. They will listen to you and learn about you so they can find the perfect home with you. Make a list of questions and get to know the buying process. A good real estate agent becomes your partner and mentor in this process. 

5.  Go The Extra Mile:  When you finally save enough for a down payment, understand the buying process, and find your dream home, chances are someone else is bidding on it, too. To stand out, get preapproved by a bank before you make an offer. This demonstrates how serious you are about buying the home and put you on the top of their list.


5 Ways To Determine If You are Ready To Sell Your Toronto Home

No matter if you're selling your house for the first time or the eighth, the question still comes up. You're wondering if it's the right time or if you're ready in the first place. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when selling. We’re going to talk about five ways to Determinin If You Are Ready to sell your Toronto Home.

1: Do You Have Equity?

Under most circumstances, you can tell if you're ready to sell your home if you have equity. If you have negative equity or not enough, then you'd find yourself in a position of owing than what your home is worth. You can work with your mortgage company to determine how much equity your home currently has.

2: Do You Have Financial Stability?

What story are your finances telling you? Have you paid off or paid down your nonmortgage debt? Do you have between three to six months of expenses put away in an emergency fund? Think about how you’re answering these questions. That way, you know for sure if you’re ready to sell your Toronto home or not.

3: Is Your Current Home Meeting Your Everyday Needs?

If you need another bedroom or bathroom, then your current home isn't meeting your everyday needs. The same is true if you need a larger kitchen or living room, or other upgrades to accommodate your growing family. Under some circumstances, home renovations aren’t enough for the accommodations you may need to meet your everyday needs.

4: Are You Emotionally Ready?

Besides letting your finances tell a story, what are your emotions telling you? A lot of work goes into preparing your home for house hunters. You'll have to commit to showing your home for weeks or even months. Hardball negotiations will occur, and some potential buyers may be upfront about why your home isn't perfect for them.

5: Are You Ready to Handle the Inspection Process?

Before your home goes under contract, it may be a good idea to go through the inspection process. That way, you can handle any issues that typically occur during the offer and contract phase. Otherwise, you may find yourself undergoing some surprises that may lead to undue stress. If you’re not ready for that, then it may be best to hold off on selling for now.

Selling your home is a significant life change. Working with a real estate agent is more than scheduling showings of your home. They'll work with you regarding how to stage your home, make updates and repairs, and get the best selling price. When you're trying to determine if you are ready to sell your Toronto home, speaking with a real estate agent should be the first step you take.


5 Ways to Tactfully Back Out of a Real Estate Deal When Selling

When selling a home, it is very important to exercise caution when accepting and signing a written purchase offer. This is a legally binding contract. There are serious consequences, which may include financial damages, for backing out of the deal.

Why would a seller want to back out of a deal to sell a home?

Life can take some surprising turns. The most common reason that a seller wants to back out of a deal is that after accepting one offer, a better offer comes from another buyer. This is a greedy reason. Most buyers will not accept this reason easily.

Unless the seller can create a situation that causes the buyer to back out of the existing deal, taking another offer just because it is at a higher price is going to require compensating the buyer under the purchase agreement. Breaking a contract without compensating the damaged party will likely result in a lawsuit.

Another reason that a seller may want to back out of a deal is that some personal circumstances change.

Imagine that the house was put up for sale because the couple that owned it is getting divorced, and they change their mind, calling off the divorce process. Perhaps, they want to keep the home while they try to rebuild their marriage.

The buyer who signed the purchase agreement may be more sympathetic if the cancellation is not for a financial reason.

How to Back Out of the Deal

There is no penalty for backing out of a deal before signing the purchase agreement.

No matter if the reason is financial or personal, here are some ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto when the purchase agreement is already signed:

1. Tell the buyer your attorney does not approve of the agreement. Usually, most people will accept the need for an attorney review with a review period of three to five business days.

2. If the purchase agreement has a cooling-off period, you can cancel the deal quickly during the cooling-off period. A cooling-off period is allowed under Canadian law to be in a purchase agreement and is required to be 10 days for the purchase of a newly constructed condominium.

3. Be open, honest, and tell the buyer you changed your mind.

4. Rely on contingencies in the purchase agreement. Common contingencies for the seller’s side are the need to be able to buy another home before selling the existing one. On the buyer’s side contingencies are passing inspections and getting financing, which may come up in any deal to block it.

5. Offering to pay compensation to the buyer for breaking the agreement is one of the strongest ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto.


Only use these ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto when necessary because there is a strong chance of creating a legal liability and the risk of being sued for damages by the aggrieved party.

If the buyer agrees to accept the cancellation of the deal, make sure to prepare and sign a written cancellation document that states the purchase agreement made on a certain date between the named parties is null, void, and of no further effect.


How to Back Out of a Real Estate Deal as a Seller


The 5 Step Process for Saving for a Down Payment on Your First House

One of the first steps of buying a home is saving for the down payment. Typically, in order to qualify for a mortgage to buy a home you will need to have between 3 and 20 percent of the sale price in cash. The larger your down payment is, the less your mortgage will be, so the sooner you begin saving, the more you will have for a down payment. Saving for the down payment may seem like a fairly simply process, but there are things you can do to make the process less stressful and maybe even quicker. Here is an easy to follow five step process to help you get started saving for a down payment for your first house in Toronto.

1. Determine How Much to Save Each Month

A general rule of thumb is to put aside about 28 percent of your monthly income to save for a down payment. For instance, if your monthly income is $4000, you would have $2880 per month for your current housing expenses and $1120 to put aside for the down payment. One of the best ways to have a better idea of how much you will need for future house payments is to talk with a mortgage lender about average mortgage rates for the price you are intending to pay. This will give you a clearer understanding about how much you will need to save for a down payment as well as what you can expect to pay for housing.

2. Determine How Long it Will Take

Once you have a better idea of how much you will need to save, you’ll need to determine how long it will take you to save the full amount. For instance, if you plan to buy a home for $100,000 and you need a 20 percent down payment, you will need to save $20,000. If you want to buy a home in two years and the amount you have been saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto is $1120 per month, you will have $26,880 saved, which will provide you with the down payment as well as some for extra fees.

3. Develop a Budget

It is extremely important to create a realistic budget. You will be setting aside a large amount of your monthly earnings to save for your down payment, so you will need to monitor every dollar you spend. If it becomes too difficult t live on the amount that you have setting aside for housing expenses, you will need to find a way to add additional income to your budget. It may be stressful, but getting a side job will allow you to achieve your goal and maybe even allow you to achieve it quicker. When creating your budget, be realistic in what you make and what you must spend and keep in mind that emergencies happen so allot for them.

4. Pay Down Debt

It may sound ridiculous to pay down debt when you are attempting to save for a down payment, but it’s really better. For instance, if you are currently paying for 20 percent interest on a maxed out credit card and are only earning 2 percent interest on a savings account, you’re paying 18 percent more than you are earning. Paying down your debt as quickly as possible will go a long way towards saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto. Paying off debts will also improve your credit scores and you won’t be dragging a lot of heavy debt with you when you do purchase a house.

5. Choose the Best Method for Saving

The money you are saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto should come from low-risk avenues, such as a savings account. It may seem like a good idea to try to double your money by gambling or investing in stocks, but these are high risk investments, so you may end up losing more than you already saved and it will take you longer to save for the down payment.