PREPARING YOUR HOME TO SELL:
First impressions are lasting impressions...
- The potential buyers may have looked at many homes already both on-line and in person. Yours needs to stand out amongst the crowd!
- Be familiar with other homes for sale in your price range and neighbourhood.
- The most important items that influence the buying decision are general cleanliness, appealing kitchen and bathrooms, lots of storage and a feeling of spaciousness and light.
- Many buyers these days are very busy and probably will not be wanting to do any major renovations. The better your home is maintained, updated and clean, the easier it will be to sell.
- Remember that potential Buyers may have driven by your home already and will also be coming in the front door. Your family may use the rear door or garage so ensure this area is in perfect condition.
- I suggest a fresh coat of paint on the front door, a nice new door mat and make sure that the door opens easily with no squeaks.
- Ensure that the driveway is clear, clean and swept...the gardens are neat and tidy, hedges trimmed and lawns freshly cut.
- Hanging baskets, fresh colorful flowers look and smell great...all this will look good in the photos as well.
- It is a good idea to touch up the various trim boards on the exterior and to power wash decks, walkways and the drive way.
- The roof is very important as well. It must be clean, including the gutters and downpipes and all necessary repairs done. If you have copies of the warranty or recent work, this will really help. Have a look around your neighbourhood and see what other home look like both good and bad....then have another objective look at yours as if you have never seen it before. Would you buy it? What does it need?
- Finally ensure that all garbage, recycling, toys, etc are out of sight.
- Once inside, the first impression has to be the Best that it can be....The house has to look bright, spacious, clean and tidy plus smell good.
- What do you see when you walk in the door? Is it appealing? Bright? Uncluttered? Could it use some colorful artwork? Fresh flowers? Baking?
- Too much stuff...creates the wrong impression....Once you have decided to sell then start getting ready to move...Buyers will look in cupboards, closets and the kitchen especially so they need to see lots of empty spaces.
- Time to put away the family photos, fine china, vases, candles, etc and anything that is jammed close together.
- Now is a good time to downsize some of the furniture to create better traffic flow and to replace worn out rugs, pillows, artwork.
- Clean, Clean and Clean – windows, doors, counter tops, finger marks.
- A fresh coat of paint in neutral colors will work wonders to freshen up your home and make it smell great. Time to repair any small cracks or dents.
- Hardwood or tile floors need to be spotless and carpets freshly cleaned.
- The kitchen and bathroom are The Most Important rooms in the home – these rooms sell homes.... Appliances must be squeaky clean and working properly. No leaky taps or loose knobs or hinges.
- Clean the counters off completely and pack away those items that you rarely use. A good time to get rid of hardly used cooking items and food.
- Bathrooms need to be super spotless and uncluttered. Tubs and showers need to be mould free and old shower curtains replaced.
- Buyers will look under sinks and into cabinets so the cleaner and more open the better.
- Ensure that there are no odors from musty rooms, furnace areas, pet bedding or dirty dishes. Garbage cans must be empty on showing days.
- Replace all burnt out light bulbs. Replace fluorescent bulbs with incandescent bulbs in lamps, dining room and kitchen fixtures. Be sure to clean the lamp shades in all the rooms and check for spider webs.
- You can be sure that the Buyer will ask for a home inspection prior to purchasing so it is best to be proactive.
- The inspection will go through the whole home inside and out. Starting in the basement and checking the furnace, hot water tank, central vacuum, etc. Please ensure that they are all working well and clean. Foundations, electrical panels, water lines, gas lines all get inspected. Attics, roofs, skylights, chimneys and fireplaces all need to be accessible and in great condition.
- Remember to keep copies of all manuals, warranties, operating guides and invoices for all work done on the home from the day you moved in.
- A survey plan, building plans, engineering reports, permits, etc are valuable sales tools. Your realtor will do his utmost to show the positive aspects of your home and defer attention from areas that are not as appealing but can only do so much. The more work you do to prepare your home to be sold, will come back to you in a quicker sale, with less subjects and more money!