Getting ready to sell your home, no matter if it is your first home or your home away from home, is an exciting and emotional process. After price, the condition of your home is the largest factor in determining how fast, and for how much, your home sells and first impressions can sometimes be a deal breaker.
Many potential buyers struggle to visualize the potential in a home. They need to see what it could because they can’t look past what it is. If the home is too personal, potential buyers can’t see themselves living there, if the carpet is stained or the paint needs updating, “all the work” that will be required can be a roadblock.
Luckily you can dramatically improve how your home shows with my checklist for getting your home ready for sale.
Getting rid of any extra furniture can help make rooms feel more open and spacious, especially if it is large or bulky. Of course, you don’t want to get rid of all of your furniture – just any unnecessary pieces that will help you show off more of your space. So, move that extra dresser and hallway table into storage.
Give it away, throw it away, or store it away. It doesn’t matter which, just get it out of your house. Clear off your kitchen and bathroom countertops to show off how much space there is. Take photos and artwork off of the fridge. Put all toys, clothing, etc. away in their designated areas. Recycle the stack of newspaper you keep by the fire and remove all the ‘stuff’ you have accumulated over the years of living in your home.
This point goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Potential buyers are looking for places that help them visualize themselves living in your home rather than thinking about who lives there now. They want to buy their new house, not someone else’s home. So de-cluttering and removing family photos, mementos, and other personal items will help them do just that.
4. Clean, scrub, vacuum, and clean again
Inside and out – a clean home matters. A lot.
From the floors to the doors – clean absolutely everything. Doing one deep clean before you put the home on the market means that you will just have to do a quick clean and tidy before each showing. Make sure not to miss your windows as everyone will be looking out them to see the view and neighbourhood. Don’t underestimate the power of professional cleaners!
5. Do minor repairs
This is the best time to go through that ‘honey-do’ list and check things off. Wipe away scuffs on the walls (I recommend using a Magic Eraser), refresh the paint, fix leaky faucets, put some WD-40 on squeaky hinges, check that all your lights work, replace any broken appliances, removed old or stained carpets/furniture, etc.
6. Fix up your curb appeal
There is no need to splurge on landscaping but a few minor improvements can make a world of difference.
In the winter, make sure that your driveway is plowed, your stairs are shoveled, and that there is no ice. Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to get into your home.
In the summer, mow the lawn, pull out any major weeds, and add a nice welcome mat and some colourful flowers or a hanging basket to warm up the front of your home.
Regardless of the season, make sure that all your exterior lights are in working order. If there are a few branches blocking the view consider having them trimmed.
7. Consider Staging
Staging can be especially effective if you have already moved out and your home is sitting empty. Potential buyers often struggle to visualize the space when there is no furniture. That said, staging can make a world of difference in all homes and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have a home staging professional come in and do your entire home, or just a room or two. Some stagers will also do consultations where you do all the work, but they provide advise and recommendations.
All this may sound overwhelming but you don’t need to do it overnight and just think of it this way – everything you remove, clean, or repair puts money in your pocket.
I am also always available to walk through your home with you and provide advice about what should be done to help improve your home’s marketability and raise the value of your property. I also have a list of service providers, from handymen to cleaners to stagers, who can help you so contact me anytime.
Finally, here is a complete selling checklist.