Deciding to sell your home is a big decision that takes time and consideration. What you might not realize is that it takes a lot more than putting up a For Sale sign to get the job done. In this day and age where image is everything, getting your house ready to sell is more work than the actual move itself. No longer is a simple clean up job going to do the trick. Now people get rid of their furniture and family photos, repaint, and hire a stager to make sure their house looks magazine perfect and sells for the right price. If you’re in the process of selling, consider these tips before you have your first open house.
Repair anything that’s broken or not up to par.
While you may have learned to live with your home’s quirks, prospective buyers do not have any interest in them. Call in plumbers, electricians, and furnace specialists to fix any leaky toilets or taps, light switches and furnace or air conditioning problems you might have. Fix doors and windows that may have been painted shut. Contact a stone mason to repair loose or missing stones in your walkway.
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.
How are your walls holding up? Are there scuffs marks or little hand prints all over the place? Did your cranberry dining room actually turn out raspberry and you never bothered to change it? Now is the time to give your house a fresh look. Paint is the most cost effective way of improving your home’s appearance. If you’re doing the job yourself, take fabric swatches into your local paint store for colour advice. If you can’t spare the time, hire a painter and ask for their advice on colour. While it might not reflect your personal style, a neutral colour scheme is best and attracts the widest audience.
Less furniture and knick-knacks make any room feel more spacious; this includes the basement and storage closets. If you’re not sure what to do, hire an organizer. Book a storage locker or hire a portable storage container (the container is dropped off at your door and picked up when you’ve filled it), sell anything that’s too good for a garage sale at consignment shops or online. Give away goods and clothes to rummage sales or other community reuse centres. For junk that is truly un-usable use a junk hauling company or a moving company to take your stuff to the dump. Hold a garage sale if it’s during prime season (spring or fall), but don’t expect to price your items too high, garage sales are really more about getting the stuff out of your house than making money.
Clean from top to bottom.
Now you can clean your house from top to bottom, including the basement and the attic if they have usable space. Hire a cleaner if you’re worn out from all the prep work so far. Don’t forget about getting carpets cleaned, windows washed and the even the exterior of your house power washed if it’s been a particularly snowy or rainy season. The outside of the house reflects the inside and should be as impeccable as indoors.
Increase curb appeal.
Now that you’ve gone through the inside and outside cleaning, you should think about having your garden spruced up. If your home usually does not have some greenery outside, try adding seasonal flowers or plants to give some life to your home. Consider updating the numbers on your house or replacing your old mailbox as well. Anything that will draw attention to your house in a positive way is a good step towards attracting potential buyer’s eyes. You could try painting your front door a nice colour to draw more attention.
Hire a stager.
Depending on what your goals are, how much time and money you are willing to invest, and what the maximum return will be on your house will help you determine whether or not you need a stager. If you’re unsure, ask your real estate agent. An agent will advise you as to whether it’s necessary depending on factors such as your neighbourhood, your target market, and the current state of your home.
You’ve finished prepping your home, the open house is coming up, and you’re completely exhausted and frazzled from all the work you’ve done. If you can swing it, take a mini holiday or go stay with family or friends for a few days — especially if you have kids. Imagine trying to keep your now picture perfect home clean and tidy with little ones under your feet. Being out of the picture will take an enormous stress off of you and the family.
We wish you the best of luck with selling your home. Be sure to write a review if you hire any home professionals to help make your home ready for sale.