Over the years, we tend to adjust comfortably to our home’s envirnment and its little imperfections - the chipped paint on the baseboards, the hole in the screen door, the mess in the basement or unfixed plumbing, etc. Take out a sheet of paper and a pen and tour your home, as you take notes down of all the items that will need attention. When a buyer walks into your home they should not be able to spot the fixesthat need to be done as this will signal the buyer that this home is not well kept and may turn the buyers off or use this as bargaining tool to reduce their offer on your home.
Get rid of the clutter
Your house will feel a lot bigger and more inviting when you get rid of all the non-essential stuff lying around your house. Clear out those closets, remove bulky, unused furniture and rearrange the remaining pieces to make the best use of space. If you haven’t used something in the past year, donate it to charity or sell it in a yard sale.
Clean up everything
Cleaning is the single most cost effective way to make your home look more attractive to buyers. Floors, windows, walls, doors, baseboards, everything! Give extra care and attention to the two most important rooms in a buyer’s mind: bathrooms and kitchens. Once it’s clean, keep it clean! You never know what day your ideal buyer will visit.
Repair as much as you can
During your home tour identify anything that can be broken, half-finished or simply doesn’t work. Fix all the little things like leaky faucets, doors that don’t close properly and small cracks in the ceiling. Some repairs are absolutely essential, like a leaky roof or basement. Nothing kills a sale faster than signs of water damage. If there is an unsafe electrical problem you must fix it as well, for the good of the sale and the buyer’s (and your own) safety.
Depersonalize your home
Always bear in mind that you want buyers to walk through your house and feel like it’s their home! People just don’t have good visual imagination. They won’t pay attention to a wall of your family portraits, your collection of trophies or your home decor. These things will emotionally prevent them from visualizing themselves in your home. Remove everything that is too much about you and ask your Real Estate Professional to help deciding.
Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint
Strong colours on the walls or wild wallpaper make it hard for buyers to imagine their furniture in your house. Consider repainting your home in neutral colours that will enhance a room’s size and look more inviting. Next to cleaning your home, paint is the most cost-effective way to increase your home’s appeal and attract offers.
Add some beautifying touches
Replacing old curtains with some fresh draperies may make a world of difference. Mirrors on the wall will help rooms feel far bigger. A few new houseplants will add to overall home appearance. Pay special attention to the outside of your home. Trim the trees, weed the garden and consider planting a few new flowers. Your home needs to make a great first impression with some serious “curb appeal.” You do not need to spend a fortune to make a big difference.
Weighing the cost of improvements versus the potential return
You need to consider two things before making any improvements. Will this make my home more desirable to buyers? Will this increase the value of my home more than it costs me to do it?
Painting, minor repairs and modest landscaping work are prime examples of improvements which really pay. There are many home improvement shows that focus on people improving their homes for sale. Watch them and learn.
Your hidden problems
You must disclose any major problems that won’t be obvious to potential buyers. A basement that floods every spring, a shower that backs up when someone flushes the toilet, unsafe wiring...let your Real Estate Professional know everything and discuss your options. Denying problems now will lead to a much bigger problem later, often in the form of a lawsuit. People love honesty and many buyers are happy to fix a problem if your home’s price is adjusted fairly.