Getting the House Ready
When you are getting ready to sell your home, it’s important to make it look as appealing to potential buyers as possible. And although we have some ideas on where you should focus your attention, this is a time to lean on your real estate agent and their knowledge of the market. They will best be able to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.
So, what do you need to consider when you are thinking of selling?
This is often a big question when it comes to selling a property – when should we start or finish renovations, and when is it not worth it?
Each home is different, and it’s best to rely on your agent’s expertise to fully understand when a renovation is recommended. But, in general, you want your whole house to be developed to the same standard. If you have one original main bathroom in a house that is otherwise renovated, it might be best to bring it up to date. If you have any unfinished renovations, it is often recommended to complete them. However, if you have renovated one bathroom, it usually doesn’t make sense to renovate the rest of the house to match. You want to make the best renovation decision possible to maximize your return on investment now that you have decided to sell; your agent will be able to help you do that.
A home that looks like it will be a lot of work will have less interested buyers than one that is better maintained. Even small things, like loose outlets or chipped paint, can signal potential buyers to be on alert for more problems. When you make the decision to sell, take some time before you get photos taken or list your property to walk around, inside and out, and assess your house. It’s important to do this not as someone who has loved living there, but as someone who is seeing the property for the first time. Clean and repair the gutters. Cut and weed the lawn. Clean up the garage. Fix broken light switches and replace burnt out bulbs Clean the bathroom fan, patch any wall cracks, and do any paint touch-ups that are necessary to ensure the home looks well cared for. You want to give your house the best chance possible to shine.
We have a term in real estate for how clean we want your house to be for the people coming to look at it – Q-Tip Clean. This means baseboards, windows and refrigerators – everything needs a good cleaning. If you are living in the house while it’s for sale, you will need to vacuum regularly and get rid of any pet hair (or human hair!) that might be lying around and making things look unkempt. You want to be especially aware of the smell of your home; hopefully, you’ve never smoked inside, and you’ve been cleaning litter boxes regularly. Smell is often the number one turnoff that kills a potential sale. But don’t cover everything with a strong room freshener – that will turn off potential buyers as well. You want the house to smell fresh and clean, not overly perfumed.
You also want to completely declutter the space. Pre-pack cupboards, box up overstuffed closets, and make sure countertops look sparse and clear. It may feel strange living in such a minimalistic house, but it will give you the most marketable space.
Your favourite photos. Your kids’ trophies. The drawings taped to the fridge. All these things have made this space yours, and they are wonderful. But we now want this space to be someone else’s, and they must be able to picture themselves in it. Removing as many items that are personal and specific to you might feel like stripping the home of its personality, but it will help potential buyers see themselves living there. Everything you love can be packed away, ready to make a new space in your new home.