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Selling Your Home…Where To Begin   arrow

Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What features did you find most appealing? Now that you’re selling your home you’ll need to look at it as if you were buying it all over again.

First Impressions
An attractive property grabs a potential buyer’s attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels taken care of. Your house becomes more appealing to buyers and stands out from the competition. A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It’s not just the way your house looks, but how it feels and smells to potential buyers, how they imagine it would be to live there. With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab their attention and help them see why your house is right for them.

Plan Ahead
Make a list of what needs to be done. Consider what your property looks like to people driving by or walking through your door. What needs fixing, painting, cleaning? What can you improve? Your efforts don’t need to be costly; even inexpensive improvements and minor repairs go far toward attracting serious buyers. But remember, those seemingly insignificant problems you’ve learned to live with can actually discourage potential buyers. Here are ideas for increasing your home’s appeal in order to sell it quickly at the best price.

Interior


Clean Everything 

Buyers expect a spotless house, inside and out. So clean everything, especially your windows and window sills. Scrub walls and floors, tile and ceilings, cupboards and drawers, kitchen and bathrooms. Wash scuff marks from doors and entryways, clean light fixtures and the fireplace. Don’t forget the laundry room.

Cut the Clutter
People are turned off by rooms that look and feel cluttered. Help them picture themselves and their possessions in your home by making your rooms feel large, light, and airy. Pack away your personal items, such as pictures, valuables, and collectibles, and store or get rid of surplus books, magazines, videotapes, extra furniture, rugs, blankets, etc. Consider renting a storage unit to eliminate clutter in your garage and attic.

It’s hard to get rid of possessions, but cleaning and clearing out the clutter can really pay off in the end. Packing away your clutter also gets you started packing for your next move. Make your garage and basement as tidy as the rest of your house. Simple little tasks such as storing your tools and neatly rolling up your garden hose suggest that you take good care of your house.

Closets
They’re an important consideration to many buyers. You can’t actually build additional closets in your home, but you can show the buyer that you have enough closet space for your stuff. Go around to each closet and systematically remove half of everything inside the closet, particularly if the closet is overstuffed. Once you’ve removed half your clothes, half the linens and towels, and half the toys from the kids toy closet, refold and reorganize what’s left. Your closets should look neat and spacious.

Paint
A new coat of paint cleans up your living space and makes it look bright and new. To make rooms look larger, choose light, neutral colours that appeal to the most people.

Carpet
If it’s worn, consider replacing it. It’s an easy and affordable way to help sell your home faster. Again, light, neutral colours, such as beige, are best. If you don’t replace it, you can suggest to potential buyers that they could select new carpet and you’ll reduce your price; buyers like to hear they’re getting a deal. At the very least, have your carpet cleaned.

Repairs and Renovations
It’s best to avoid major renovations just to sell the house since you’re unlikely to recoup those costs. Make minor repairs to items such as leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, gutters, loose doorknobs, and broken windows. Make sure repairs are well done; buyers won’t take you seriously if your home-improvement efforts look messy, shoddy, or amateurish.

Leaks and Moisture
Water stains on ceilings or in the basement alert buyers to potential problems. Don’t try to cosmetically cover up stains caused by leaks. If you’ve fixed the water problem, repair the damage and disclose in writing to the buyer what repairs were made.

 

Exterior

 

Curb Appeal
The “Wow” factor — that first visual, high-impact impression your home makes on potential buyers — can turn a looker into a buyer. To determine your property’s curb appeal, drive through your neighbourhood and note other properties; then approach your own house as if you were a potential buyer. Does it “wow” you? Will its curb appeal attract buyers? Note what needs improving, such as trimming trees, planting shrubs, or painting gutters. Little things convey that you’ve cared for your home, and this is your opportunity to sell that important message to buyers. To get them through your door, do what you can to make your property look like someone’s dream home.

Paint/Stain
If it’s peeling or blistering and you can’t remember the last time you painted it, your house needs some attention. That also goes for stain that is significantly faded. A newly painted or stained exterior will help sell your house faster.

In the Yard
If your house looks inviting and well-maintained from the street, people will imagine that it’s attractive on the inside, too.

The Front Door
An attractive entry catches a buyer’s eye and says, “Welcome,” so highlight this area of your house with decorative touches, such as a wreath on the door or new shrubs and flowers around the steps. For an even grander entry, clean and paint your front door. Don’t forget to fix and polish doorknobs, repair torn screens, and then put out that new welcome mat.

Find a Home Sellers Checklist here to help keep you organized.