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Preparing Your Home For Sale

Posted by Sherry Rioux on May 7, 2008

With the Spring Market now here, it’s timely to talk about getting your home ready to sell.

Did you know that most buyers make a real decision about a house purchase in the first eleven to fifteen seconds of seeing a property?  By then they will already have developed a perception of your property that will colour their feelings for the rest of the showing and perhaps dramatically affect their perceived value of the property.

You want to sell your home for top dollar as quickly as possible with the least amount if inconvenience, right?  You can start by changing your mindset from being a home owner to being a home seller.  As soon as your home goes on the market, you will be competing with other resale homes and brand new model homes for a buyers attention.  These days, it is quite a competition out there and taking the time to prepare your home for sale will pay off in results.


In my opinion, there are really two steps home sellers should consider.  Preparing and Staging.  Let’s start with the first and here are some low-cost, high-return upgrades you can do to prepare and improve the perceived value of your house or condominium:

Start With Curb Appeal:

* Plant flowers, weed and edge gardens.  Mulch can look great too
* Mow lawn and trim hedges and shrubs
* Clean driveway and sidewalks of dirt, leaves or snow
* Water the lawn extensively, well in advance of selling
* Remove old lawn ornaments, toys and play sets
* Clean and repair rain gutters, missing shingles, shutters and siding
* Touch up exterior paint or pressure wash if needed
* In winter, make sure walkways are well shoveled for easy access
* Pick up any litter
* Clean the front door and add a coat of paint of necessary
* Shine up the mailbox and house number
* Repair any broken fence boards

Now Fix and Fiddle A Little:

* Touch up interior paint and paper
* Repair cracked plaster
* Tighten door knobs and cupboard latches
* Oil any squeaky doors
* If you have foggy windows, call in someone like the Foggy Window Doctor or, have the unit replaced
* Repair leaky plumbing (taps, shower heads and toilets)
* Repair or replace tiles/seals/caulking/grout around bathtubs and sinks
* Replace burnt-out light bulbs/install brighter bulbs
* Clean furnace and humidifier
* Repair any other minor flaws

Now Tidy Up!

* Clear all countertops
* De-clutter all heavy traffic areas
* Consider renting a storage unit or storage cube
* Store surplus furniture to reduce feeling crowded
* Put seasonal clothing into storage
* Clear halls and stairs of clutter
* Make all closets neat & tidy
(and only half-full, even if this means moving items to storage )
* Eliminate strong personal statements such as personal collections, political, religious, sports or business momentos and yes, even family photos.
* Clean out and organize the garage
* PLEASE do not smoke in your home.  This can have a big impact on future resale.

Cleanliness IS A Virtue!

* Make mirrors glitter, light fixtures shine and appliances sparkle
* Remove fridge magnets, put away small appliances and move litter boxes out of the kitchen
* Vacuum, wash and/or polish all floors
* Clean and freshen bathrooms including grout and caulking
* Clean/shampoo all carpets
* Clean all windows, walls, doors and trim
* Clean out the fireplace
* Think about what a model home looks like: clean, uncluttered, new home aroma, neutral decor
* Have a clean floor mat at the entry
* Pay extra special attention to the kitchen, bathrooms and master bedroom

I think it’s sometimes hard for people to be objective about their own homes and to see things in a new light that they have looked at day after day for many years.  One of the best investments you can make might be in hiring a home stager for the next step in getting your home ready to sell.  Stay tuned for Part Two:  Setting The Stage

When it’s time to buy or sell real estate in the Collingwood, Blue Mountain or Georgian Triangle area, contact Marg, an experienced and competent Broker who’s ready whenever you are!

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