Getting your home ready to put on the market can be daunting. There’s generally so much to do that it’s difficult to determine where to begin. And when you do, more often than not you’ll forget a few key things. To help, here are five essential selling tips to keep top of mind.
1. Declutter your closets. If overstuffed, homebuyers will think the rest of your home is too small and lacking in storage space. The goal should be to reduce what’s in your closets by 50% so that they look airy. If you really want to ‘wow’ buyers, stage them by displaying only the current season of clothes and organizing by colour within clothing types (shirts, pants, dresses, etc.). Also, make sure all hangars are the same type, preferably wooden, and hung in the same direction.
2. Let go of excess furniture that’s crowding rooms or doesn’t serve a specific purpose. This will instantly make your home look larger. If you don’t want to throw out, put furniture in a temporary storage unit off-site. In addition, remove anything that’s not in good shape. The last thing you want is for buyers to look at your worn couch and assume that you haven’t properly taken care of your home.
3. Quick fixes before selling pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. In most instances, you won’t get your money back if you tackle a huge improvement project right before you put your home on the market. Instead, focus on smaller updates. Add a fresh coat of paint to walls. (Remember to keep it neutral.) Replace or paint cabinet doors that are looking less than lovely. Update fixtures like faucets and towel racks, buy new hardware and swap out old light fixtures for ones that are in style.
4. Not everyone is an animal lover. Consider having your dog or cat stay with a friend or relative while selling your home. Alternatively, limit pets to a certain room or floor to minimize smells and clean ups. If you want top dollar for your property, make sure to repair any damage caused by your furry family member and even seal up cat or dog doors. Clean carpet and floor pet stains, hide your pet accoutrements (litter box, food and water bowls, carriers, etc.) and be sure to fully eliminate any fur and pet-related odours.
5. Don’t make it difficult for Realtors to book viewings. Be flexible with showing times as a missed viewing opportunity is a missed chance to sell your home. Plus, more buyer traffic can improve your chances of getting an offer sooner and potentially multiples. Ideally, you should allow showings Monday through Sunday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. or 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Once viewings begin, your home needs to be ‘show-ready’ at all times. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, remove any stinky food from the fridge, make sure there are no dust bunnies and your bathrooms’ sparkle. Also, consider warming up a cookie in the microwave before you step out. The smell will make your home feel cozy and welcoming.