Seller's tips and tricks - preparing your house to hit the market

Selling your home does take some preparation and the better you prepare, the faster it will sell. Here are some tips for preparing your home to sell.

The first impression of your home begins outside.

The first impression of your home is a key ingredient so let’s make it shine. Often overlooked but of great value is your home’s curb appeal. The first impression of your home begins outside.

Lawn and Gardens

Ensure that your lawn and garden beds are looking their best. Keeping up with mowing for the duration of the listings is important and giving the yard a bit of extra love will go a long way for your pocketbook. Also, remove all unnecessary items that may make the yard look cluttered. If it is the winter and we happen to be blessed with some snow, remember to make entering your property safe by shoveling or de-icing the driveway, walkways, and all stairs.  

The Front Door

This is the first welcome into your home. It should be clean, tidy, and inviting. The lock should be easily opened with the key and the door should swing openly freely inviting the potential purchaser into what could be their new home.

Gutters

Besides being a very important task to complete on a regular basis for overall “home health”, it is also advisable to attend to your gutters and clean them of debris when you decide to sell. This rounds out the exterior look of your home and ensures that it is presenting the best it can.  

A little TLC can go a long way.

Walls

Walls see no end of passing traffic. Children, pets, visitors, and even the sun can cause damage to the walls in our home. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the walls and filling in all visible holes or damaged spots. If your walls have seen a lot of life since the last touch up, they may require a coat of paint to let their beauty shine through. Remember, the goal is to appeal to the highest percentage of your potential buyers so, even if it is not to your taste, neutral is always the best option. If you are not comfortable painting, be sure to hire a professional as sometimes a bad paint job can look worse than if you didn’t attempt it in the first place.

Flooring and Baseboards

Replacing flooring can be an expensive exercise. Unless it is in very bad shape, do what you can such as getting the carpets cleaned, polishing hardwood, and doing a deep clean on grout if you have tiled floors. Pet odors are an absolute no-no and taking care of the flooring is a good first step to ensuring your home smells its best.  

Don’t forget to wipe down the baseboards. This adds to the home generally appearing cleaner and well maintained.

Clean Versus Tidy

The cleaner your home is, the better it will present to an interested buyer. A deep clean of your home prior to listing will make it easier for you to maintain it during the selling process. Most times you are still living in the home while trying to sell it. No problem! Plan for how you will keep it clean during the time that showings will be happening. Often, you will get last-minute showing requests, and being able to meet the buyer's needs will ensure more eyes see your property. A daily cleanliness checklist will help you facilitate this.

The focus should be placed on the kitchen and bathrooms. Potential buyers want to see clean appliances, tubs, showers, faucets, and mirrors. The eye is drawn to the surfaces of these things so ensuring they are sparkling clean will leave a positive and lasting impression.

De-clutter

The goal is to enable a potential buyer to picture themselves living in your home. That is very challenging if it is full to the brim with all the things you love but they mean nothing to the person you want to buy your home.  

A professional stager can be worth their weight in gold. The amazing transformative work that a professional can do in a home without breaking the bank is nothing short of a miracle. Staging and de-cluttering your home is one of the easiest ways to increase its value.

Squeaks Be Gone

Buy a can of WD-40 and if it squeaks, spray it. This includes doors, windows, handles, and sliders. Nothing puts a potential buyer on high alert faster than squeaks.

Windows and Coverings

Clean your windows inside and out and when preparing for a showing, fully open the blinds or curtains. Natural light is calming and makes your home feel more alive and welcoming so you will want to let as much natural light into your home as possible. There is no guarantee that the lights will be on when the potential buyer walks through the door so do your best to make your home as welcoming as possible.

Lights

Even though it can be a bit challenging, cleaning all the light fixtures, including the bulbs can make a tremendous difference to the feel of your home. Make sure to remove the fixtures so you do not risk breaking them and do this during the day so that you will not need to turn them on during the cleaning process. This will ensure that they are cool to the touch. 

Follow Your Agent’s Advice.

There are strategies to selling a home quickly and your Agent should inform you of what behaviours you can adopt to help the process along.

Some important pointers to keep in mind are:

  •      Allow your home to be shown without being present – your presence will detract from the comfort level of the potential buyer.
  •      Allow your home to be shown without your Agent being present – their presence will also detract from the comfort level of the potential buyer.
  •      Provide as much availability for showings as possible
  •      Allow evening showings and leave lights on for them when they are scheduled. This will allow buyers into your home quickly and will not force them to wait until the weekend.
  •      Remove all pets during showing times.
  •      Put litter boxes outside and out of sight during all showings.
  •      Make sure your home is warm but not uncomfortable.
  •      Avoid cooking anything with smells that linger while selling your home.
  •      Avoid the use of scented air fresheners as they make buyers believe you are trying to hide something. 

Remember, your Agent is working for you and their goal is to get your home sold as quickly as possible for the most amount of money. If you don’t trust your Agent’s advice, you and your Agent may not be a good fit.