Real Estate News

Renovate before reselling? Some tips from RECO


So your retirement plan is in place, and the first step is to downsize your home.

For many of us, preparing a home for sale can include spending some time and money on upgrades or repairs.

Whether you’re interested in installing new kitchen cabinets or making necessary repairs to your roof, if you’re hiring a professional for the job you’ll need a written contract.

In Ontario, any agreement with a contractor worth more than $50 must be in writing. This means that you should have a contract even for small home renovations or repairs. And, if the contract is signed in your home, you are also entitled to a 10 calendar-day cooling off period. Within these 10 days, you may cancel your contract without having to provide a reason or pay a cancellation fee.

Make sure your contract includes:

    • The contractor’s name, address and contact information.
    • A thorough description of the project, including the materials to be used.
    • A copy of the written estimate.
    • A clear description of any warranties.
    • The total cost and payment schedule, including the deposit amount. We recommend keeping down payments at no more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the contract.
    • A work schedule, including start and completion dates.
    • Avoid falling into the temptation of “paper-free” deals that sound too good to be true. Remember that no receipt means that you have no proof of purchase.

These tips have been provided by Consumer Protection Ontario, a consumer awareness program from the government of Ontario. Visit to learn about your rights and responsibilities before you get started.

The above article is excerpted with permission from REConnect, the newsletter produced by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). 

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