Getting ready to downsize? Then its time to roll up your sleeves and get your house ready for the resale market. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you get the best price and ensure your big flip isn’t a flop.
Do paint: it’s one of the cheapest and easiest things you can do and also the most effective. A dingy or scuffed wall definitely needs repainting, but even walls in good condition could use a new paint job if they’re currently an unusual colour. Neutral tones like white, cream, or sandy taupe will appeal to the largest group of potential buyers.
Don’t do any major renovations: sure, you need to do some minor renovations to get your home looking as clean, bright, and spacious as possible, but don’t spend big bucks hoping to make even bigger bucks. Your goal is to get your home looking as neutral as possible so that the greatest number of potential buyers will want it.
Do clutterbust: let your home’s “bones” shine through by minimizing clutter. If your primary rooms are stuffed to bursting with furniture, move some of it off sites to a storage facility (don’t let it block sightlines in your basement or attic either). And if anyone’s coming to view your home, clean up your everyday messes so they’re out of sight.
Don’t make a bad first impression: make sure the first look potential buyers get of your front walk wows them. Repaint your front door and porch and replace a dingy mailbox or tarnished door hardware with newer models. If your porch light is out of date, replace it-a stylish light costs under $100 and can make a huge impact.
Do hire a professional cleaner: get your house the cleanest it’s ever been. Common problems like a greasy range hood or backsplash, dirt-scuffed baseboards, and residue-covered shower stall tiles need some real cleaning. If you don’t want to clean it yourself, hire a pro. (Pay extra and request a “deep clean,” rather than standard weekly cleaning).
Don’t let your bathroom stay in a time warp: while major renos are out of the questions, simple under-$1,000 switches will actually pay off. Replace unattractively cultured ceramic fixtures with basic white ones, and install new vanity lights if the existing fixtures are outdated.
Do put your home in bloom: even though you’re moving, it’s worth keeping your flowerbeds looking their best-a nicely landscaped house is one that really says “home sweet home”.
Don’t let your house have B.O.: a stinky house doesn’t attract potential buyers. The thing is, though, if you smoke, have pets or cook aromatic meals, you’ll be so used to the smells that you won’t be able to detect them. But outsiders will. So, if any of the above describes your household, embark on a de-scenting regimen. Steam clean all your carpets, drapery and upholstery, repaint your walls, change the furnace filters, and on days where you’re showing the house, either bake cookies, light some candles or brew some coffee before you go (make sure your agent is on board with ensuring the candles are blown out and the oven is turned off to avoid fire hazards).
Do let the dogs out: keep your pets out of the house during viewings and open houses.
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