While the current conditions are certainly not ideal to list your home for sale, with all this unexpected time staying at home affords us, maybe it has suddenly become ideal to prepare now for listing later.
…It might even feel therapeutic to create a list of tasks, begin and work away at them, then see your home transforming in ways that make all the difference to potential buyers, and can lead to you getting top dollar for your property.
Putting together a plan is just one more step for you, but I’ve got you covered.
Angela Tupper’s Stay-At-Home Guide for Preparing to List:
Mindset Makes a Difference
It’s not always simple, but in order to move forward and list, it will serve you well if you can begin thinking of your home as a house that will be filled by new occupants who will build their memories there, just as you did –and as you will again in your new home.
It’s Not Personal
Begin to remove personal items such as family photos, and beloved trinkets and heirlooms that can clutter surfaces and distract potential buyers from seeing it as a neutral space they can envision making their own.
I’m a passionate believer in hiring a professional team to stage and photograph properties. My stager will quickly help assess what stays, and what is best stored. It simplifies this sometimes-tricky process for you.
Purge and Purge Again
Isn’t it amazing what we humans can accumulate over the years? We keep items for many reasons, including emotional attachment, an intention to reuse or repair someday, or a wish to pass on to others. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used an item in over a year, you probably don’t need it.
Now is your chance to sort and either pass on or donate items to a charity or non-profit organization.
Don’t forget to remove books, knickknacks from shelves and daily-use items from kitchen countertops to be stowed away when not in use. In effect, you’re starting your packing – you’re welcome!
Become Marie Kondo (*see Netflix)
Buyers are curious about storage spaces (I am, aren’t you??), so don’t forget to do that long-overdue tidy and org of closets, drawers and cabinets. It makes a difference when you show care in the details. A buyer knows you have valued the home when they open doors to find neat rows, stacks and piles.
Less is Always More
Most homes show best with less furniture. Consider leaving only the pieces that showcase the room’s purpose and allow for easy movement through the space. Where possible, leave the more neutral furniture that allows buyers to most easily create a vision of their future in the home. For example, bright colours and loud prints are more a preference and again, the idea is to show less rather than more personal style.
A staging professional will be a great guide to making these decisions. Consider renting a storage unit for any extra furniture, a short-term cost for a future gain.
Remove, Replace, Repair
Not all potential buyers notice small details, but with some, repairs can make or break a sale, and why risk losing bigger dollars over the time and small cost of making sure something is in good condition?
Replace flooring, patch holes, and fix leaks and doors/cupboards that jam. If you can, paint isn’t expensive and covering over personal room colours with neutrals can make a huge difference. (Contact Angela for her recommended colours that showcase well during showings and in photos). Don’t forget to replace burnt out light bulbs! Take pride in the process and think of how you can make the buyer’s experience as positive as possible – and, get the price you are hoping for!
Deep Clean & Shine
Getting a house to the level of clean to show at its very best is a necessary step that sellers sometimes overlook. The cleaning of furniture and work surfaces will happen closer to listing, of course, but at this opportune time, don’t overlook anything, including re-caulking tubs, sinks and showers; cleaning the inside and outside of windows, sidewalks, driveway, and patio/deck (borrow a pressure washer?) and don’t forget to scour the fridge and stove and clean ceiling fans and light fixtures!
We love our pets! When it comes to listing, realizing that we get used to their odours and hair, but for the sake of buyers, litter boxes and other areas where our pets spend their time, may need to be given extra attention, including steam cleaning carpets and upholstery.
Note: Consider boarding your beloved furry family member (s) at a kennel or pet motel, or with a loving family member or friends. It won’t be for long. Your home will sell quickly, I promise!
Curb appeal cannot be overstated. If it looks tidy and attractive and inviting outside, buyers are more likely to want to go inside, and the same rules apply for the exterior of your home as for the interior. Check for and replace bulbs, fix cracks and consider a fresh coat of paint or a new colour for your front door. Cleaning out and digging out weeds from gardens, adding or replacing edging and some annual flowers to beds and planters is never a wasted consideration. Hire a landscaper to add simple finishes to an unfinished exterior, and a contractor can easily and properly fix steps or walkways in disrepair. If you can’t do it properly, hire someone who can. It will be worth it! Last, but not least, is your house number clearly visible?
Now is the time
All of these suggestions will not only get your home ready to list but it will also make you feel great as you check off your tasks, purge any unwanted or items you don’t need anymore and freshen up your home.
Remember, buyers are attracted to homes that are well cared for and maintained. This will help you sell your home for top dollar and fast.
If you have any questions along the way, then give Angela a call. She would love to help.