Top 7 Tips on Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

1. First Impressions
Initial impressions are always important, and the outside of your home is the first thing a buyer will see. You’ll need to focus on two areas to ensure your property makes a favorable first impression: the yard and the home itself.

For the yard, start by removing any obstacles from the driveway, pathways and steps, and ensure all three are clean. Repair or paint any damaged areas of your fence. Remove any fallen branches, leaves, weeds and dead plants from the yard. Have a freshly watered and mown lawn, and trim hedges and any unruly shrubs. Consider adding a few colorful hanging plants near the front door and around the porch area, as these can work wonders.

Power wash the exterior of your home, and ensure your windows, shutters and gutters have been cleaned. If your current screens are showing wear, consider replacing them. Remove all clutter from the porch area, and clean the deck, front door and doorknob. The exterior paint condition of your home is very important. Most buyers are looking for a nice home to move into, not a fixer-upper. If the outside of your home looks like it needs painting, consider having it re-painted prior to sale.

2. Cleanliness Counts
Cleanliness is a major factor in increasing buyer appeal. So ensure that all rooms have been cleaned, including walls, floors, blinds, windows, and furniture and countertop surfaces. The kitchen and bathrooms are the most important, followed by the front hallway. A good clean is inexpensive or even free if you do it yourself, and more often than not it will lead to a faster sale at a better price.

The condition of your carpets is also very important, as is the removal of any odors, including from pets or tobacco. At the very least, have your carpets steam-cleaned and shampooed. If they are worn, consider replacing them.

3. Less is More
Your personal effects might make your home more homely to you, but excess clutter generally leaves a poor impression upon buyers. The more free areas you can create by removing clutter and any excess furniture, the more space each of your rooms will appear to have. This same rule applies to your storage areas including closets and cabinets. Try to arrange your items neatly within them to give an appearance of sufficient space.

4. Repairs
Make sure that everything in your home is in good working order. Running or faulty toilets, dripping faucets, loose doorknobs or broken light switches can easily convey a poor impression and diminish the value of your home in the eyes of a buyer. Consider spending a few hours correcting any issues, or hire a local handyman to fix them. A small investment in repairs could pay big dividends at offer time.

5. Lighten & Brighten
Poor lighting and dimly lit rooms are a surefire way to leave a poor impression with buyers. So make sure that the windows are clean, open all drapes, and remove any obstacles that might be blocking natural light from coming in. Clean skylights inside and out, and remove debris such as leaves and dead insects. In rooms where natural light is low, switch on all light fixtures during showings.

6. Little Things Count
There are many small and easy things one can do to improve the appeal of each room in your home. For the bathroom, position fresh, neatly folded towels and ensure the sink, shower and tub are squeaky clean and free of hair and stubble. Leave a bowl of pot-pourri on the vanity.

For the kitchen, neatly arrange your best clean cookware near the stove, and position a few attractive items on your counter-tops. Leave plenty of free space, but arrange items as though you were about to do a photoshoot for "Better Homes and Gardens".

For the other rooms in your home, consider adding fresh flowers and neatly stacked logs in the fireplace, ensure the beds are made, and consider replacing worn curtains and rugs. Visual appeal is extremely important, and many sellers don’t pay attention to these finer touches. If you do, your home will compare more favorably to the others that your buyer will likely visit.

7. Pull Together
Print out and review the tips on this page with the other members of your household. Teamwork will make your job much easier to get – and keep – your home ready for showings at short notice during the sales period. If each member of your household can get into the habit of tidying up their own room each morning, and keeping common rooms clean, the chances of maintaining your property in “ready to view” condition will improve significantly.

For further tips on preparing your home for sale, checkout our article on the "Top 10 DIY Home Improvements to Maximize Your Sale Value", or go through our 16 part video series entitled "Is Your Home Fit to Sell?" For more personal advice, feel free to call us on 1-888-884-3396 or complete the form towards the bottom of our Free Home Value Estimate webpage. We will be happy to share our advice and insights regarding your sale plans – obligation free. We are always ready to help out with a smile and we look forward to working with you soon.

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