Prepare your home for sale

Posted: October 1, 2009 in 1, General Information, Home Reno's & Decor, Mortgages, Sellers, Videos
house-cleaning

Break out the mop and the paintbrush. It’s time to give your home a mini-makeover. Here are all the little things you can do to attract the big offers.

Time to see your home through a buyer’s eyes

Over the years, you’ve grown quite comfortable with your home’s little imperfections; the hole in the screen door, the chipped paint on the baseboards, the mess in the basement. Grab a clipboard and take a tour of your home taking a buyers attitude. Would I buy this house the way it looks. Go room by room and make notes of what could be changed.  Once you’ve done that also check out the 27 Seller Tips that I have to offer and see how that compares with your notes.

Get rid of the clutter

Your house will feel a lot bigger and more inviting when you get rid of all the non-essential stuff lying around your house. Clear out those closets, remove bulky, unused furniture and rearrange the remaining pieces to make the best use of space. Fight your inner-pack rat at every turn. If you haven’t used something in the past year, toss it, donate it to charity or sell it in a yard sale.

Clean everything

Cleaning is the single most cost effective way to make your home more attractive to buyers. Floors, windows, walls, doors, baseboards… everything! Give extra care and attention to the two most important rooms in a buyer’s mind: bathrooms and kitchens. Once it’s clean, keep it clean! You never know what time or what day your ideal buyer will visit.

Repair as much as you can, within reason

During your “home tour” identify anything that’s broken, half-finished or simply doesn’t work. Fix all the little things like leaky faucets, doors that squeak or that don’t close properly and small cracks in the ceiling.

Some repairs are absolutely vital, like a leaky roof or basement. Nothing kills a sale faster than signs of water damage. If there’s an unsafe electrical problem you must fix this too, for the good of the sale and the buyer’s safety (not to mention your own).

Depersonalize your home

Remember, you want buyers to walk through your house and feel like it’s their home, not yours! People just don’t have good visual imagination. They won’t see past your cluttered wall of family portraits, your collection of curling trophies or your ‘eccentric’ home decor. These things are guaranteed to prevent buyers from emotionally placing themselves in your home. Remove everything that’s too much about you, and don’t be afraid to ask me for help deciding. I’ve probably seen more homes in my years as a Realtor than most people will see in their lifetime.

Never underestimate the power of paint

Strong colours on the walls or wild wallpaper make it hard for buyers to imagine their furniture in your house. Consider repainting your home in bright, neutral colours that will enhance a room’s size and look more inviting. Next to cleaning your home, paint is the most cost-effective way to increase your home’s appeal, and attract offers.

Add some beautifying touches

Replacing tattered old curtains with some fresh draperies may make a world of difference. Mirrors on the wall will help rooms feel far bigger. A few new houseplants will add undeniable appeal. Pay special attention to the outside of your home. Trim the trees, weed the garden and consider planting a few new flowers. Your home needs to make a great first impression with some serious “curb appeal”. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a big difference.

Weighing the cost of improvements vs. the potential return

Don’t get so carried away with prepping your home that you forget why you’re doing this, to get more money! You need to consider two things before making any improvements.

  1. Will this make my home more desirable to buyers?
  2. Will this increase the value of my home more than it costs me to do it?

Painting, minor repairs and modest landscaping work are prime examples of improvements that really pay. There are many home improvement shows that focus on people improving their homes for sale. Watch them and learn. I can also help you to get in contact with stagers who are experts in their fields and can help in prepping your home.

Your hidden problems

You must disclose any major problems that won’t be obvious to potential buyers. A basement that floods every spring, a shower that backs up when someone flushes the toilet, unsafe wiring… let me know everything and discuss your options. Denying problems now will lead to a much bigger problem later, often in the form of a lawsuit. People love honesty and many buyers are happy to fix a problem if your home’s price is adjusted fairly.

  • If you are selling your home you owe it to yourself to contact Dale Dyer first. To find out what your home is worth CLICK HERE.
  • For Mortgage questions CLICK HERE. Dale is an approved Mortgage Agent with Mortgage Alliance of Canada.
  • To Search Real Estate Info CLICK HERE
  • For a Complete Video Serie on how to get your home ready to sell CLICK HERE for Re/Max’s “Fit to Sell” program
  • Still have questions? Ask a Realtor – CLICK HERE
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