Getting Your House Ready To Sell
Putting your home up for sale can be an emotional time. For many years, it has been the foundation of many great memories and to you, the house can sell itself. Getting the house ready to sell can seem like unnecessary work. However, the underlying truth about trying to sell your house, is that it is just one of many properties on the market. Therefore, it is essential that you put the time and effort into preparing your home to be on display. Potential buyers are savvy and will notice a well maintained home. Below is a list of housekeeping items that should be considered when you make the decision to sell.
Curb Appeal – How does your house look from afar? Is the appearance inviting? Ensuring that the exterior provides a positive first impression is a necessity when preparing your home to be on the market. Some key aspects that can help sell your home include:
- Removing any clutter in the front and/or backyard.
- Ensuring that the landscape is maintained. (Touch up bald spots in the lawn, regular mowing, replacing/reviving dead flower beds/pots, etc.)
- Wash windows, doors and outside walls.
- Paint doors and window sills if chipped.
- Clear downspouts and eaves of any debris.
- Ensure front and/or back deck are stable and clean. (Consider fresh paint, stain or sealing).
- Check outside light bulbs.
- Touch up any gates/fences with oil or paint.
- Ensure your shed looks presentable.
Roof and Chimney – The overall condition of your roof is an important aspect potential buyers take into account. You can evaluate the condition by either climbing onto the roof or using a pair of binoculars. Be sure to check for:
- Sagging of the roof, the quality of the shingles (are they curling?), corrosion or pooled water.
- Is the chimney structurally sound? Does it have the necessary capping on top and is it straight?
- Are there any noticeable damages to the truss or rafter?
Outside Walls: The condition and appearance of the outside house walls have an immediate impact on a potential buyer and whether or not the house sells. Although it can often be overlooked, there are a few main aspects that you can attain to which can improve the curb appeal of your home.
- Replace caulking.
- Wash vinyl siding. If damaged, replace metal siding.
- Repair stucco.
- Fresh coat of paint
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General: When potential home buyers step into your house they want to be intrigued by what the house has to offer. That’s why getting your house ready to sell in advance is so important. A clean and renovated home shows potential buyers that the house has been well taken care of. Therefore, items to look for include:
- Are the stairs safe and sturdy? (any loose boards, ripped carpet, handrails, etc)
- Do any walls have dents/holes in the walls?
- Ensure that the windows and doors can open/close easily.
- Minimize furniture to enhance floor space.
- De-clutter closet space
Kitchen and Bathrooms: Both the kitchen and bathroom are areas that potential buyers pay a lot of attention to. In fact, the most common upgrade that potential buyers want to see within a home is the modernization of the kitchen and/or bathroom. This is because these areas are the hardest to keep clean and in good condition. Items that you should be paying careful attention to include:
- Look around the sinks, tub and toilets for rotting floors and/or counter-tops due to splashing water.
- Clean the outside of your fridge (take down magnets, remove anything on top, etc.)
- Wipe down all kitchen appliances, cabinets, counter tops, back-splashes and floors.
- Scrub sinks, tubs and toilets in bathroom.
- Fix dripping faucets in both kitchen and bathrooms.
- Wash mirrors, cupboard handles and light switch plates.
Basement: It is crucial that before you put your house up for sale, you carefully examine the structure and foundation of the basement. This inspection can be the make or break of a transaction going through. Things to look for in the basement are:
- Cracks, water, efflorescence, rotting wood, crumbling mortar and/or concrete.
- Is the air damp or musty? Consider a dehumidifier.
- Ensure the space is clutter free.
- If necessary, change and clean furnace filters (you can expect that potential home buyers will have this inspected.)
Garage: Depending on the buyer, the garage can be an important feature when deciding to buy a home. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you take the time to make it look presentable.
- De-clutter (get rid of misc. items you’ve been storing).
- Wash the floor.
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Professional Inspections & Getting Ready To Sell:
It is without a doubt that hiring a professional to inspect different aspects of your home can be costly. This is why some people choose to put their home up for sale without having an inspection done. However, it is strongly recommended that if you are able to afford it, than you should do it. Hiring a professional to inspect your property before putting it up on the market can save you from any unexpected issues (and costly negotiating items) arising in the middle of a transaction found by the buyer’s inspector.
Prepping on the Day of a Showing:
When you have a potential buyer coming to view your home, there are a number of last minute items that can be done. The “day of showing” checklist includes:
- Set the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
- Enhance the natural light in your house by opening all blinds and drapes.
- Take out the garbage and get rid of any last minute clutter.
- Consider buying some flowers to put on the counter top to brighten up the room.
- If there are any noticeable odours, air the house out.
- Remove pets from the house or put them outside.
- If you have a listing agent, leave the house during the showing. If you are selling the house on your own, be sure to not crowd potential buyers but be helpful when they ask questions.
- Have pictures of the house in the summertime to show landscaping (if selling in the winter), as well as any inspection and/or maintenance information on the table.
- Leave out the most recent heating and electricity bills.
To Wrap Up…
Potential home buyers like to walk into a home and picture themselves living in it. Therefore, it can be hard for buyers to visualize past any unfinished fix ups that you are planning to do without seeing it first. If you aren’t getting your house ready to sell in advance of buyers visiting your home, then you could be missing out on some really good selling opportunities. Overall, it is beneficial to make the necessary changes or fixes to your home before putting it up for sale on the market.
If you have any questions or are not sure what to do next, you should get some advice from a Realtor® before putting your property up for sale. If you are already up for sale and it is not going well, its okay to get a 2nd opinion too. Every situation is unique and it is best to get personalized & professional advice tailored to your situation specifically. We at the Flatlands Real Estate Team have experience in this area and get you guided in the right direction. Initial consultations with us are always free and you can use the button on our website to submit a request.