You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it’s the first impression that really counts! When a potential buyer views your home, they know within minutes whether it meets their needs or not. This usually occurs when they first step through the front door.
The following pages contain proven ways that you can help your home sell quicker and, perhaps, for a better price.
Please consider the recommended changes. Your real estate agent can bring in the prospective buyers, but the “saleability” of your home is your responsibility.
- The condition of your home’s exterior is most important when it comes to buyer appeal. Touch up trim paint on doors, window frames, fascia, etc.
- If your lawn shows no signs of life, a little fertilizer and some water will do wonders for its colour. Mow and edge the lawn frequently until the home is sold.
- Overgrown shrubbery should be cut back to show as much of the exterior as possible.
- A low-cost investment in seasonal flowers or ground cover will add a personal touch.
- Replace missing shutters, gutters, and downspouts and remove any debris.
- Inspect the roof for necessary repairs and any visible broken shingles or tiles.
- Cracks in the driveway and sidewalks can be easily repaired with ready-mix cement.
- For excessive stains, there are easy-to-use cleaning agents at your home repair store.
- Stucco water stains can be repaired using a mild bleaching agent.
- Fences should be mended and painted.
- If the street sweeper does not come every week, make sure the area in front of your curb and driveway are clear of debris. Wash it down with the hose.
- Wash all windows inside and outside.
- All of these suggestions may also apply to your back yard or child’s play area.
- Clean your home from top to bottom.
- Put all valuables in a safe place.
- Repair any cracks or holes in walls and touch-up paint.
- Doors should be cleaned and touched-up as well. All torn screens should be repaired or replaced.
- Avoid repainting the entire house unless current colours are very loud or offbeat. White or light pastels are the easiest for new homeowners to work with and they make your rooms look larger.
- Have carpeting and draperies cleaned.
- Carpeting should be vacuumed throughout the house the day your home is being shown.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure all tile is in good condition, the screen is in good shape, and the hearth is clean.
- Lubricate squeaking doors, windows, and cabinets.
- Put deodorizers in each room and closet.
- Store out-of-season clothes so closets do not look cluttered.
- Pre-pack items, which may clutter your home and make rooms appear smaller.
- A few colourful plants will help liven and add colour to the interior.
- The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. Keep the counters clean and clear of appliances. All appliances should be clean and neatly organized. An open appearance with sunlight and green plants here and there will make the room a focal point. Make it light and bright!
- Never leave dirty dishes in the sink.
- Clean and wax the kitchen floor. If the floor looks old and dull, consider replacing the flooring.
- Clean fans and vent hoods.
- All bathroom appliances should be thoroughly cleaned. Remove stains from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs.
- Replace old caulking around bathtub and sinks.
- Repair or replace leaky faucets.
- Unclog and sanitize drains to remove odours.
- Clean all mirrors.
- Keep all toilet seat lids closed.
- Fresh towels should be in the bathrooms at all times.
Garage, Basement & Attic
- Have a garage sale to dispose of any unwanted items. Family heirlooms, which you will take with you, should be boxed and stored in the garage until you move.
- Degreasers are available at your local home repair store to remove stains from the garage floor.
- Remove any cobwebs.
- If the basement or attic is a functioning part of the house, make sure the area is clean and in good repair.
SHOWING YOUR HOME
- Dust and vacuum the whole house thoroughly.
- Lightly clean and straighten up living areas.
- Open all drapes and blinds to let in as much light as possible. Turn on lamps and other lights as necessary to brighten each room.
- If you are planning to move around the same time you are selling your home, try to arrange showings while the furniture is still in the house.
- Any household or children’s items should be stored away. This includes toys, bikes, skateboards, etc.
- Turn television sets off. Turn on a radio with soft music at low volume.
- While your home is being held open, arrange to spend the time away from the house, especially if you have small children. If this is not possible, go for a walk, visit a neighbour, or keep children quiet when your home is being shown to prospects.
- Keep pets away from potential buyers and keep pet areas clean.
- Your agent may request to serve refreshments. If not, feel free to suggest this.
- Try baking chocolate chip cookies or brownies just before the open house. A pleasant aroma means “home” to many people.
- Once the open house begins, let your agent do the job. Do not try to assist unless asked by the agent showing your home.
- If you are trying to sell any household items, do not bring this up, unless you are asked. Remember to keep your valuables in a safe place.
- Should a buyer stop by when your not having an open house, refer all inquires to your agent. Feel free to answer questions the buyer might have, but again, refer as much as possible to your agent, as he/she will be able to answer in the most positive manner.
- Save visiting agents’ business cards for your agent. Write down the date on the back of the visiting agent’s business card and indicate if the agent had buyers with them.
- Notify your agent if you’ll be out of town and how to contact you. Timing is EVERYTHING!