If you’re thinking about selling your home this spring, now is the time to start readying it for the market. Here are eight tasks to tackle to ensure success when the ‘for sale’ sign goes up.
Depersonalize your Home
Pack up personal items like photos, family portraits, framed certificates, awards, souvenirs and specific items that identify the home as uniquely yours like that kitschy plate collection on display. Buyers want to visualize themselves and their belongings, not you, in the space. Also, by streamlining the number of pictures on walls, you’ll see areas that might need cleaning, repair or a fresh coat of paint.
Declutter for a Fresh Start
Get rid of everything you will not be taking with you. Donate the items to charity, sell them online, host a garage sale when the weather warms or have a junk removal company take them off your hands. The goal is to have clear or almost clear surfaces, and cupboards and closets that aren’t overflowing with ‘stuff.’ If they are, buyers will conclude your home doesn’t have enough storage.
Decluttering is also a great way to save money when moving homes. The fewer items to pack, the less supplies you’ll need. If hiring movers, it also won’t be as pricey since they base their costs on the volume of items to be transported.
Get Rid of Unwanted Furniture
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 dispose of it, put 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.
Fix Anything Broken
Selling a home that requires repairs will deliver a lower price in any market. Fixing what buyers will see is a no brainer but if you want to avoid any unexpected surprises that could potentially end a sale, you should have your home pre-inspected. Unless you are a professional contractor, you’re probably going to miss hidden wear and tear. With a pre-inspection report, you’ll have a clearer picture of the state of your property, so you can make repairs accordingly.
Go Neutral with Paint
A new coat of paint is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to give an instant facelift to your home. It can also boost or bust a property’s selling price. Generally, paint colours that are neutral and bright (think white, grey, beige or ‘greige’) appeal to the widest range of buyers. They help rooms appear fresh and well-maintained, and provide a blank canvas for your furniture and decor.
To choose the perfect hue, paint two coats from a sample pot on a large piece of poster board or foam core. When dry, adhere to the wall using double-sided tape and leave up for a couple days. This way you can see what the colour will look like at various times and in different light.
Make What’s Old Feel New
If your kitchen or bathroom has seen better days but a renovation isn’t in your timeline or budget, update fixtures like faucets and towel racks, replace or paint cabinet doors that are looking less than lovely, buy new hardware and swap out old light fixtures for ones that are in style. Costlier upgrades include installing a designer backsplash and replacing laminate countertops with a durable, solid surface like granite or quartz. While not chump change, it’s a small price to pay for a sold home.
Don’t Forget Tile and Grout
Tile floors, backsplashes, and shower and bathtub surrounds should be restored to ‘like new’ condition. Replace chipped or broken tiles and repair loose ones. Cracked or grubby grout will also need a re-do. Re-caulk around the perimeter of your tub if mould or mildew is visible beneath the surface, or it has dried out. Don’t cover up dirt; clean and disinfect your tile and grout surfaces before making these upgrades.
Pay Attention to Odours
Pet fur and dander gets trapped in carpets, area rugs, furniture and even fabric window coverings, and so does their smell. While you might not detect it, others will so it’s best to have textiles professionally cleaned. This also applies if there’s a smoker in your home.