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Prepare your home for sale

Want to be the seller who goes to market instead of the one who stays home? The difference might be a few of the things you do before you plant that "for sale" sign.

Your house has competition, and that means you have to do some work to get it ready to sell. So, while your home looks great compared to the neighbour's, it might not quite compare to that house a block over where, rumour has it, the owner clips the lawn with an electric razor.

You don't have to spend a ton of time or money. A few simple tricks can get you market ready in time for the start of the spring selling season. Especially if you start now.

Make it shine

Step one to getting your house market ready: Break out the cleaning supplies.

Give it a really good cleaning - A lot of sellers might not have the same perception of 'deep cleaning' that a buyer would. For that reason, it might be worth spending a couple hundred dollars to have professionals come in and clean.

Two places where clean can be critical for buyers are kitchens and bathrooms. Having those rooms clean and sparkling can make a huge difference in the perception of whether a house is kept up or not.

Windows and baseboards are crucial. If you are not replacing carpets, have those cleaned also. The potential outlay for a cleaning service and carpet cleaning is likely in the neighbourhood of $300 to $500 total.  It has a much greater impact than most sellers think.

Add square footage -- free!

Ditch junk and clutter to make your house look more attractive and spacious. 'You are no longer living in it; you are showing it.'

A couple of pro tips:

  • Laundry room: Make it neat and orderly, the goal is to make it look like the room is plenty big enough for the job.
  • Pantry: It's for food only, using the pantry for general storage screams 'not enough cupboard space.'
  • Garage: If it's a two-car garage, make room for two cars. For a lot of men, if the garage looks small because of the clutter, there's an issue.


And while you're decluttering, you should be depersonalizing. You really need the buyer to be able to picture your home as their home. A picture of your kids on the nightstand is not a big deal, but you don't want the family portrait gallery lining the hallway.

Color it neutral

With paint, stick to neutrals.

People who paint some of their rooms and pick the colors themselves, in shades of pink and purple risk it being more of a negative than a positive when they put their homes on the market.

The mistake isn't do it yourself painting, but color selection. Opt for neutrals, which have a broader appeal.

Then consider the flooring. If the carpeting is old and stained, put in new carpeting.

Keep plans practical

Keep any planned changes to the house reasonable and in character with the home and the neighbourhood.

Don't lie to yourself. If the house has areas that show wear, get that work done before offering the home for sale.

Seek a second opinion from your agent. A real estate professional can advise you on what repairs or upgrades will give you the most bang for your buck.

The price of your house is going to determine what things you should do. Spending $10,000 putting in hickory cabinets and granite countertops in the kitchen of a home that will list in the $100,000 range is not practical.

See with 'buyer's eyes'

View the house from the buyer's perspective. Pull up and stop right in front of it, just like a buyer's going to do, then let yourself in the front door, like a buyer's going to do.

How does your home compare to others on the street? Is it inviting? Does it make you want to see more?

Walk through the home with the eyes of a buyer. If you're also buying another house, think about what you want to see in your new home.

Pay special attention to the entryway. You want it to be open as much as possible. Look at the furnishings you have in the area, and err on the side of less-is-more. When in doubt, get it out. You want it open and bright with neutral paint.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Dawn at 250-503-3759  - or Request a Home Valuation to find out what your home is worth.