Preparing your home for sale is a lot of work. You have one chance to make a first impression. All buyers are different and what works for one might totally turn off another. In preparation for your sale, please consider some of the following things:
Remove pieces of furniture that clutter your space and make it feel small. Oversized furniture or too much of it will make a large room feel tiny and awkward. Get rid of collections and any areas in a room where visually there is a lot going on and things that take up space on the floor.
Remove any area that is excessively personal. Create a neutral space that a buyer can visualize themselves and their family in. The odd tastefully placed family photo is ok but should not be the first thing that draws the eye. Take a picture of your room and then glance at it quickly. What stands out? If it isn’t a selling feature, get rid of it.
Neutralize! Repaint bold colours that may be off putting to someone else. Stick with neutral and warm tones. Compliment your decor but keep it simple. Plus this is a great time to fill in holes left when you took down the family photos and repaint to cover them up. Painting immediately makes your home look cleaner and newer. Especially in high traffic areas. Paint is also one of the few renovations you can do that will net you 100% return on your investment!
So now we’ve told you to put everything away, impersonalize and neutralize...it doesn’t feel like home any more... and now we are going to tell you your home is not clean enough. First of all a touchy subject but also, you still have to live here! We get it. However, a clean home does more than look good. It speaks to the way you have kept the home, meaning maintenance and repairs. Like when you go to a restaurant and the eating area is dirty, you don’t really want to know what the parts you can’t see look like, the kitchen and food prep areas for example. So do it yourself or hire someone but this will be the best investment you ever made. Some buyers think they are the clean police. But unfortunately many will discard a home because it didn’t call out to them or appeal to their emotions. Cleanliness is one of the easiest things to fix yet a buyer has a hard time getting past it when it’s not up to par. Here are some areas to consider:
- Kitchens are a big selling feature. Clear off the counter tops and cupboard tops. Get right of crumbs and food spills. Look at the front of your cupboard. Even simple water dips can dry and make a door or counter look dirty.
- Buyers really notice clean floors plus if the type of flooring you have shows the dust quite easily take even more care. Give it a vacuum and a good wash. Get a Swiffer broom and run it around the house once a day.
- Wipe all your doors, door knobs, light switches, railings, and anything else that comes into a lot of contact as people move through the home.
- Get scrupulous in the bathrooms...sinks, counters, toilets and floor. No one wants to look at someone else’s hygiene disarray. Repair grout that is discoloured and look out for any evidence of water damage.
- General dusting on all surfaces but also the tops of baseboards. These seem to get missed a lot with regular cleaning and we often don’t notice dust and dirt that builds up slowly.
- Carpet can slowly wear in high traffic areas so that you don’t even notice. Consider a professional carpet cleaning. Usually only $150-200 and it makes a world of difference. If you don’t want to do this then get out your vacuum and work it over. Get into corners and along baseboards, spend extra time on your stairs with the right attachment, you will be surprised with the end result.
- Work to get any glass doors or windows as clean as possible. Clean window tracks and casings around the sills that builds up with the windows are open.
Curb appeal. This is big. When we work with buyers there is nothing more frustrating for everyone than when we have booked the showing appointment and pull up with the clients to show the home. They look at the weeds or the uncut grass or the peeling paint or broken fence and say, “too much work, we don’t want to see it.” Falls again in to the category of the perception that the inside is going to be worse than the outside. So if you are selling in the winter season keep up on the snow shovelling and ice areas. In the summer, get out there and weed, plant a few pots, cut the grass. Get the wow right from the start.
Ok now you’re ready. Oh wait, one more thing. Smell. If you have got this far your home probably smells great. But remember the best smell is nothing. Air fresheners give the appearance of covering up something and so do spray fresheners. As our world turns more organic and environmentally aware people are more hyper sensitive to smells and fragrances than ever before. If you want a gentle scent try a reed diffuser that is subtle and soft. These slowly release a scent that is often derived from nature. Limit the amount of reeds to tone the smell down. It should not overpower the room. Plus these diffusers add a nice look to your decor. Then think about your cooking...fish is out and so is strong curry, crazy garlic, and anything else that lingers except for apple pie, bread, and cookies. But wait, don’t run out now and buy an air freshener in this scent... we can tell the difference! Really when it comes to smell, less is more.