Deep clean throughout, with special focus on the kitchen and bathrooms, and attend to any unfinished home improvement projects.
Remove family photos and move personal items and possesions out of sight. This helps buyers picture themselves in your home instead of being distracted by your stuff.
Highlight architectural features of your home, such as a fireplace. Have minimal furniture to showcase the scale of the space, and make sure to define the function of each living area.
Intentionally decorate the space to help buyers picture how their new life would be in your old home. Artful details such as lit candles and flowers can help buyers connect with the house.
25 IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO BEFORE PUTTING YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET
Before you think of putting your home on the market, call me and ask for a brutally honest discussion of issues that you think should be addressed in your home before listing. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that might help you on an ongoing basis so the staging portion of our listing presentation is kept to a minimum.
- Remove all clutter. Visually simplify each room. Let a purchaser imagine their decor in your home. You limit your market if your home is too strongly decorated.
- Check your home for obvious issues like water spots on the ceiling or squeaky doors and get them fixed. They will tip off Purchasers or Inspectors to a problem that may no longer exist.
- Repair everything that needs to be repaired...do not renovate! Try to paint all major areas to brighten your home. Remember that most purchasers will want to see your home during the day but light is an issue by 5pm in winter in Toronto, right around the time when everyone is done work and out house shopping . If the home needs too much work, then don't "throw good money after bad".
- Make sure that all your appliances are in good working order. Most offers will ask that all appliances be in good working order. A four-burner stove should actually have four burners that work.
- Clean the house and keep it that way. Make it sparkle! Yup, most agents and purchasers will indeed move the bath curtain to see whether you have mildew on your bathtub!
- Do everything to make it inviting. Check your lighting. Make sure all your light bulbs working and make sure their levels set higher than normal. Remember that you are not preparing for a romantic evening ....it's a showing!
- If exterior sounds are an issue, leave some music on. However, if you are a buyer and you hear music playing make sure that it is not covering some problem.
- Be careful of dog or cat smells...clean the litter box everyday and make sure that there are no 'presents' in the back yard for anyone to step in.
- Wash all windows inside and out. Please hire professionals to do it. This is a big job and should be done safely with the proper equipment.
- You may want to call a Building Inspector like Carson and Dunlop or another reputable inspection company, and depending on size, you could have your house pre-inspected for as low as $400.00. This will help invite more people to bid on offer day, should you be holding back on a date, as all the cards are on the table and people are more comfortable bidding on something backed by papers and a few experts.
- If your home has unused "knob and tube" wiring, have it removed. It will save another issue on a building inspection and insuring for any new purchasers.
- Leave enough areas for people to wipe their shoes. Removing shoes can be an issue for some purchasers. Put a welcome mat in the front, outside and inside.
- Clean your yard front and back, wash down all decks and out door furniture.
- Buy flowers for the showings and keep them fresh. You'll enjoy them too.
- Wash your house outside with a strong spray. Sills have a tendency to collect dirt and debris.
- Check that all outdoor bulbs are working and provide enough light for agents to open lock boxes. When you list your home, these lights must be on every evening.
- If you have a forced air furnace, get the ducts in your house cleaned, your furnace and air conditioner serviced and a new filter exchanged. It will bring down the dust and show you as a vendor that performs general maintenance on a regular basis.
- Flowers in baskets outside are lovely. Pungent spring flowers like hyacinth are great. Don't over do it though, as some purchasers are also allergic.
- Keep an eye on your windows and skylights. Lots of homes have very interesting rooflines. Keep debris off skylights and make sure that they and all your windows are being caulked on a regular basis and certainly checked ever year.
- Go through the whole house, especially the basement and search for cobwebs. Sweep down the walls and the high ceilings and corners for spider webs. They look bad, send the wrong message especially if a purchaser walks through them.
- Make sure that all hallways are well lit and very easy to navigate. You may walk those halls in the dark, don't expect buyers and their agents to.
- Cut back the rose bushes in the garden. Make it easy for people to walk in your back yard and not kill the Purchaser or their agent.
- Make sure that the property's parking spots are clearly visible, shovelled and/ or de-iced. Parking is an issue for most Purchasers and if you have been using the parking as a garden, it is time to pull the grass and put the gravel back. It adds major dollars to your downtown house!
- Don't wait until you think of selling before applying for front pad parking or re-converting the back pad in the yard off the laneway. If it is a potential, make it a reality.
- Don't cover your home with post-it notes. All issues should be dealt with and self-evident. If you have to cover your home with post-it notes to point out its advantages, you are not ready to bring your home to the market.
Click to download a checklist to help you get your home ready to sell.