Is your home ready to show? Investing a bit of time and elbow grease into bringing your home up to top-notch condition has great value. Take a weekend to complete all those odd jobs that keep getting put off – the projects your eye has become accustomed to may stand out like a sore thumb to a prospective buyer! Remember to look objectively at your home – it’s the little things that will make a big difference when it comes to the bottom line of how much your home will sell for. Prospective buyers will be calculating as their Realtor is telling them about how great your home will look “with a little work” – keep those declining calculations out of people’s minds!
First Impressions – Your front door and entry should be clean and fresh. A new coat of paint can go a long way in achieving this. Your lawn and landscaping should be well manicured and trimmed. Remove fallen leaves or branches when necessary, as well as ice and snow from walkways during the winter months.
Fresh Decor – Outdated wallpaper, faded paint, and worn woodwork can reduce the appeal of your home. When possible, touch up the scuffs, nicks, and wear on your home. Keep paint colours neutral to appeal to the majority.
Sparkling Clean – Your home should be in its optimal state when presenting it to potential Buyers. Get rid of those dust bunnies and be sure to keep carpets as clean as possible. A top to bottom clean throughout the house and especially in the kitchen and bathrooms will go a long way to create a lasting impression. Don’t forget the mirrors, windows, baseboards, faucets and sinks. Oh – and keep that toilet seat DOWN!
Kill the Clutter – Clear dirty dishes from your sink and ensure that everything from toothbrushes to laundry is stowed away and out of view. Beds should be made, toys put away, and shoes stored in a closet. Remove small appliances and large canisters from the counter. Floors should be kept clear and tidy – get rid of everyday odds and ends that others don’t care to see! Create a space that looks open and spacious by removing bulky unused furniture and arranging pieces to make the best use of your space.
Behind Closed Doors – Think you can hide your mess behind closed doors? Think again! Nothing is off bounds when Realtors are showing your home. The medicine cabinet, linen closet, basement storage, and kitchen cupboards – all these spaces should be kept clean, neat, and organized during the time your home is listed. Not only do prospective buyers want to avoid a startling avalanche of “stuff,” they’re interested in seeing the size of available storage within your home.
Personal Items – If you don’t want it to be seen, hide it! If there’s an item in your home (ie. lighting fixture, window dressing, fireplace grate) that you would prefer to keep, put it away to avoid negotiating it out of the condition of the sale. Don’t let a deal fall apart over something sentimental that caught the Buyer’s eye! It is not necessary to strip your home of your memories, lifestyle, and personality, but be mindful of excessive photos, trophy collections, and memorabilia. Balance is key.
Hire a Handyman – Tighten those loose knobs, replace burned-out bulbs, secure that leaky faucet, replace unsightly caulking, and patch nail holes in the walls. Get those minor flaws fixed! Though small details, they’re easily noticed and may deter buyers.
Scents – Keep the smells in your home as neutral as possible. Personal preferences and allergies ought to be considered. Although your lavender candle might be appealing to you, a potential Buyer might disagree.
Lighting – Make sure that your space can be seen! Lighting greatly impacts atmosphere, so be sure to open drapes, pull blinds, and turn on lamps prior to a showing.
Felines, Canines, and other Friends – You may love them but potential buyers might not! Keep your pets contained and out of the way of prospective Buyers who might be allergic or fearful.
Some Special Touches – A mirror to replace outdated décor, a new houseplant, a crisp shower curtain, or a clean rug are some inexpensive ways to freshen up your space and make a great first impression!