So you've decided to take the plunge and make 2013 the year to sell your home.
Maybe you want to move up the property ladder into something roomier, say switching from a condo to a bungalow or from a semi into a fully detached two-storey with plenty of yard.
Or perhaps wandering through bedrooms left unoccupied by grown-up kids has made you admit it's time to downsize to a smaller, more manageable abode.
Whatever the motivation for sticking up the For Sale sign, here are some ideas with five things you can do to change that sign to Sold.
1. Go room to room, decluttering and depersonalizing.
Selling your house is about taking your personality out of it and having people going through it envisioning their own life living in the space.
Even if you don’t plan on throwing anything away, you still have to get all of the clutter out of your house. Start looking into storage units, a friend or family’s garage. That includes packing away most, if not all, of those framed family photos bedecking side tables and the fireplace mantel, and taking down that gallery of magnet-held children's artwork covering the fridge.
2. Kitchen and bathroom: They're the heart of the home, so make sure they show to their best advantage.
It's not a cliche, it's the truth: kitchens and bathrooms sell homes.
Spending big bucks on a kitchen reno aimed at upping your asking price -- and one you don't get to enjoy for very long -- can backfire if the space doesn't align with buyers' tastes.
If you hare planning on any renovations, try small changes like repainting a room, refacing kitchen cabinets, or changing up the backsplash. Small maintenance can deliver a visual punch.
Another Fact: There have been many houses out there that focus only on kitchen renovations to sell their home, leaving the rest of the house outdated. Many buyers were turned away due to the remaining renovations they would have to do to get the rest of the house looking as good as the kitchen.
If you’re going to spend the money to renovate to sell, do it right. If you don’t have the money, focus on updating those small imperfections.
3. Welcome home: Present a clean, inviting space reminiscent of a hotel suite, one that would-be buyers want to stay in -- permanently.
Worn-out hardwood floors should be refinished to a glossy sheen, or if still in good shape, they should be clean and gleaming. They're the biggest area in your home and they're the first thing that strike you when you walk in the front door.
Beds should look as if nobody has slept in them the night before, so a crisply made bed with plumped up pillows and shams will do the trick.
Hire a home stager to make your house stand out from other listings in the neighbourhood. Using a home stager is just as important as any sort of renovation, because if a buyer can't walk into a space and picture themselves living there, they're not going to give you top dollar, for one, and they might just turn and walk away.
4. Price it right!
One of the big things for 2013, is people pricing their properties right. That means investigating what your home is worth and not just throwing it out there at a price that makes you warm and fuzzy. Because things aren't selling the way they used to.
Put aside your emotional attachment; this is a business transaction. You have to be realistic and that means having a realtor, an agent that can come in and give you a non-biased opinion as to the value of your home.
5. Curb appeal: You only get one chance to make a first impression.
While the emphasis may be on dazzling would-be buyers with your home's interior, don't neglect the outside.
Paint the garage door or railing, put in shrubbery in the spring, make sure the grass is always cut. It's not expensive but it makes people look twice.