Declutter and Depersonalize
This part of the preparation is absolutely critical. Buyers want homes that are spacious and bright! The bigger your home looks and the brighter it looks the higher the selling price will be and the faster it will sell. Your home will look bigger when you have less "stuff".
There are numerous ways and suggestions to get started decluttering. The main part of any decluttering/sorting project is to find 3 boxes and label them with "Sell", "Charity" and "Toss". You want to select a work area and keep that area clear. Start with one room or start with one area of one room. Set a timer and focus on the task at hand for the time you have chosen. (Hint: Although it can be done in bits and pieces, my personal preference is to set aside a weekend and get it done!)
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I use it/wear it?
2. How easy would it be to replace?
3. Do I like it?
4. Can I find a place for it?
5. Do I want to pay to have it moved?
Take down family photos, awards, personal collections etc., patch any holes and re-paint for TWO reasons. The potential buyers will have a much easier time envisioning themselves living in the home if they don't have to look past your personal items first. As well, think about safety. Put your children's awards, photos, and anything with their name on it out of sight!
If it's possible, rent a storage container and store excess belongings off site. It's tempting to throw everything in the garage but the garage, in many cases, is just as important to the sale as the rest of the house.
These maintenance items are SUGGESTIONS but should be seriously considered and done if possible when preparing your home to sell. Every situation is unique which is why it is important to bring in a REALTOR® to advise you.
Bathrooms need to sparkle. Re-caulk around tubs and showers. Clean and repair grout if you have ceramic tile. Leaky faucets and toilets should be fixed. Consider replacing the flooring with a fresh bright style if it's a vinyl floor.
- Kitchens and baths sell homes. Some popular mini updates that won't break the bank include: new hardware on cupboards and drawers, new counters and new backsplash. Fix or replace the kitchen faucet and clean the appliances especially if they are staying.
- Repaint a light NEUTRAL colour! (But not white)
- If the light fixtures in your home are what I refer to as the "Builder's specials", consider updating them to more modern and aesthetically pleasing choices. These don't have to be expensive.
- If there are big jobs that need to be done like the shingles or carpeting, consider making the repair if the budget allows. The more "turn key" a home is the wider the group of people it will appeal to. Buyers usually overestimate the repair cost of items and they don't want the inconvenience of an immediate repair. Sometimes a repair will even mean the difference between selling your home and not selling.
- Check the condition of the paint of exterior window and door trim as well as garage doors. If it's starting to crack and peel refresh it. Clean windows, trim back shrubs and remove any dead plants, keep the weeding up to date, seal the driveway, and clean out the rain gutters.
- Doors should open and close easily, screens should fit snugly and be free of holes, lights should all be working.
- Furnace filters should be fresh, if you have a water softener make sure it has salt in it.
Remember that you likely won't be able to do everything so prioritize and stay within the budget. No house is perfect. All you want to do is make it as appealing as you personally can.
Next week: Updates that sell.