Getting Ready To Sell Your Home!

You have decided it’s time to sell your home.  Congratulations!  It’s time to think about what’s next for you, but first we have to do a little work to get your house sold.

It’s rare that a house is literally ready to list right at the moment you make the decision to sell.  Often, you’ll need to do a little work to get it ready.  Here are some things you can work on – even before you’re ready to list – so that when the time comes you’ll be ready.

Connect with a great real estate agent

print Sharon Caddy49000Give me a call! I will be happy to help you out. Of course, if you live in another area, find a realtor who will work for you to get your home sold for the best price in as little time as possible.  A great agent is someone who makes things happen, who can market your home well and goes above and beyond to work for you.  Even if you don’t live in my area (Southern Ontario), you can call me for a referral.  I am connected to great realtors everywhere.

Consider your home’s Curb Appeal

There’s attention to be paid in every season when it comes to curb appeal.  Right now it’s autumn and the fall colours are beautiful.  Of course, dead leaves piled up everywhere and dead plants do not make a home very inviting.  Whatever the season, step one is to make sure the outside of your home is neat and tidy.  It the first impression of your home that people will get when they first arrive to take a look.  Additional decor can be nice, but your home should look neat and well cared for.  Touch up any peeling paint on doors, garage doors and trim.  Make sure windows are clean and the front step or porch is free of clutter. In the winter, keep walkways and steps free of ice and snow.  Keeping walkways clear and salted if it’s icy sends a good message to potential buyers.

Declutter and Depersonalize your home

This one sometimes sounds a lot easier than it is to do.  After all, sometimes our clutter is (in our own opinion) a collection of things that we love.

It very well may be a collection of our beloved possessions, but when it’s time to sell there’s no room for clutter.  Treat the opportunity as part of packing up and getting ready to move.  Clear counter-tops and floors make a space feel larger and more inviting.  If you find the thought of tackling your clutter somewhat overwhelming, ask your real estate agent to refer you to professionals who can help you get the job done!

And while we’re at it, let’s tackle the Cleaning!

crop unrecognizable person in yellow gloves cleaning white surface
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

In my opinion cleaning is THE most important thing to do in order to get a home sold.  Potential buyers will often overlook decor and style.  After all, none of the decor items will be staying with the home, but if a home isn’t clean it’s an immediate turn-off for many buyers.  It leaves a buyer thinking — if this is how the place looks while they’re showing it to sell, how bad will it be on closing day?  Even the cleanest house benefits from a deep cleaning prior to listing.  If you don’t want to do it yourself, bring in professionals.  A deep cleaning will leave your home sparkling clean and fresh smelling.

What’s that smell? 

Now this one can be a sensitive issue.  What if your home has a noticable odour? First, you need to know there’s a smell present.  Crazy as it sounds, often when you live with an odour all the time you don’t notice it anymore.  Once you determine that there is a smell to deal with, you need to identify it and get to work on neutralizing it.  Smells can come from pets, cooking, damp basements, or any number of sources.  If you can’t figure it out there are companies that specialize in odour removal.  It’s worth investigating.  I have experienced being with buyers who refused to go through a home after stepping inside the door and noticing a smell they didn’t like.

Spruce up the interior

There are a variety of great fixes you can do without spending big bucks.  Aside from cleaning, I am always amazed at the difference fresh paint and good lighting can make in a home.  Watch for paint sales to get the job done at the best price.  And take a critical look at the lighting in your home.  Lights can be expensive but they don’t have to be.  If your lights are too dim it makes a room seem dark, small and sometimes oppressive (depending on the room).  drawer pullsMore light is a good thing! If you do decide that your home needs new light fixtures, check out what’s available for a good price at your local home store, but also consider looking at places like Kijiji or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.   While I’m on the subject of little changes that can have big impact, consider changing the door handles and drawer and cabinet pulls in your home.  New hardware can really update your home. Beware overspending on these items though.  Designer handles can be pricey, but home stores often sell modern, fresh hardware at a very reasonable price.

Consider hiding away any valuables

This is something I address with my listing clients right away.  Once your home is on the market there will be strangers coming to your home for showings.  While they will be in the company of a registered real estate broker or sales person, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.  Make sure that things like computers, video game consoles, portable speakers, other electronics, jewelry, cash and other valuables are stored somewhere that is safe.  In addition, don’t leave things like utility bills or other personal information out in plain sight.  And, as much as I am a fan of the family calendar in the kitchen (I don’t know how I could have managed without it when my kids were small), put it somewhere out of sight.  There’s a lot of personal information on a family calendar which could be stolen with the snap of a cell phone photo.

There’s so much to do, so don’t leave it to the last minute.  If you’re considering selling your home in the near future, try tackling some of your home fixes in advance.  If you’re not sure what you need to do, give me a call.  I can come and take a look at your home and we can put together a plan to get your home List-Ready!

Sharon Caddy is a Sales Representative with Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc. 

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