Preparing your home for selling does not need to be complicated but it’s important to follow a plan to make your home look more appealing. First impressions are the most important ones. It’s important to understand that what potential buyers see, may make or break the sale. Here are our foolproof tips to prepare your home for selling.
Perhaps you’ve gotten used to the post at the bottom of the stairs that jiggles. Maybe it doesn’t bother you that the lights over the kitchen island have burned out. Even if the little things like this don’t bother you, they are distracting to potential buyers. A lack of home maintenance can worry a buyer and be a sign that home maintenance has been neglected.
The following are some quick and simple tips of things you can do to ensure your home appears well maintained before you put it on the market. These tips will go a long way towards making your home more appealing to buyers.
QUICK & EASY FIXES
The first thing you should do is create a list of the easy-fixes you can handle over a weekend. A few minutes here or there can make a big difference when it comes to preparing your home for selling. Consider the following:
- FURNACE FILTERS: Buyers will often look at your furnace filter to see if it’s full of dust, or if it’s been recently changed. For just a few dollars, you can get a new furnace filter and start breathing easier.
- LIGHTBULBS: Kids are a great help when it comes to checking if any lights are burned out. Keep a selection of replacement bulbs on hand, and don’t forget to check the outside lights too.
- DOORKNOBS: Test every doorknob in your home. If it wiggles, you probably only need to tighten the screws on the back of the knob. Check if the strike-plate on the door frame is secure too, and if not tighten it.
- WALLPAPER: If you have wallpaper anywhere in your home, do a quick check for any peeling corners. If you don’t have any wallpaper-paste, just use white glue which works great and will tidy up those loose corners.
- DRYWALL HOLES: Walk through every room and check for holes in the drywall that could use a quick patch or paint. It’s good to keep a small jar of drywall putty and a few samples of wall paint on hand for these types of patch jobs.
- SLIDING PATIO DOORS: Is your patio door hard to slide back and forth? It could have come off the track. Check underneath and ensure the rollers are sitting properly. You can also give the track a quick spray of WD-40 to help move things along smoother.
- SHOWER HEADS & SINK DRAINS: Buyers often turn on the faucets and showers to check the water pressure. Give your shower heads and faucets a soak with vinegar to clear any calcium buildup. Also make sure the drains are clear and draining well.
CONSIDER THE CURB APPEAL
Your home’s curb appeal can mean the difference between a short or a long sale. In fact, exterior maintenance can also affect how much your home ends up selling for. Some elbow grease and a little hard work can really pay off in your favour.
- WEED THE FLOWER BEDS: Pull out all those weeds and consider planting new flowers to give your home a pop of colour!
- USE THE LAWNMOWER: Make sure the lawn is cut and the edges of the long grass is trimmed. That is the difference between a sloppy looking yard and a yard that’s properly cared for.
- SWEEP IT UP: Take the time to sweep the front porch and hose down the driveway. Nobody likes to see dirt on your doorstep, porch or driveway, and it turns prospective buyers off.
For more details information on upping your curb appeal read 5 Perfect Tips for Upping Your Home’s Curb Appeal.
- PET MAINTENANCE: If you have a dog, clean up all of Fido’s droppings. Buyers don’t want to see it or step in it.
- RAKE THE LEAVES: Fall colours are beautiful, but you still need to rake up all those leaves regularly.
- WINTER FREEZES: During colder months, keep your driveway and front walkways clear of snow and ice. A buyer slipping on your front steps does not leave a good impression.
- DARK SPOOKY EXTERIORS: If your home is being shown during the evening, leave the front lights on so your buyers don’t pull up to a dark house (remember: change those old lightbulbs).
LARGER HOME REPAIRS
What if your home needs a little more than a quick touch-ups?
One of the most common situations encountered when selling a home is when the roof needs to be replaced. It brings up the question: should you get the roof repaired before listing the home? Or leave it for the buyers to worry about? Deciding to go with larger repairs requires professional advice, so before making any decisions, make sure to talk to your REALTOR®.
For some reason, the idea of replacing a roof is often intimidating to buyers. They worry that the work involved will cost more than they anticipated and they are not willing to deal with the task. Replacing a roof can scare buyers away.
Other big repairs that require professional advice might include structural issues, HVAC system issues, electrical & plumbing problems, and window replacements. Your REALTOR® is a great resource for helping determine if these larger ticket items are worth doing before you sell, or leaving it up to the buyers to handle, and then pricing the home accordingly.
When you’re preparing to sell your home, having a list of projects to tackle is a great starting point. You can prioritize what you’re willing to correct, and what you’ll let the buyers worry about. It also will help your REALTOR® determine what the price of your home should be listed at, comparable to other homes in the market.
Getting organized and investing a little sweat-equity into your home will pay off when it’s time to put that For Sale sign on your front lawn.