We know that there is a lag time between when you start thinking about selling your home and when you actually start the process. There's a lot to do to get ready to list your home so we're helping you out with a room by room guide to get you started!
It's already overwhelming enough so we're breaking the to-do list into two parts for you. Here is Part One to start the ball rolling.....
1: Change Light Bulbs and Update Light Fixtures
It’s easy to forget about all the bulbs that have burned out over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes an incredible difference in how a home looks to potential Buyers. If you have dated light fixtures, make a quick trip to Home Depot or one of our great local lighting stores and pick up some modern…budget friendly… ones to update your space!
2: Dig Out all that Paperwork
Buyers and agents are going to ask a lot of questions, so start digging out the paperwork now: utility bills, renovation details, warranties, survey certificate if you have, floor-plans and rental contracts for things like your water heater & water softener and alarm system.
3: Pick up Boxes or Containers
A big part of preparing to make a move involves reducing clutter, and starting that process before you list your home is a great place to start! Having a supply of those boxes and containers handy allows you to start the process room by room anytime you have some time to spare. PS: Remember to mark the boxes with the room those items go back to after the move.
If you’re going need to remove a lot of stuff out of your house for the sale, consider renting a storage pup – you fill it up at your house, it gets hauled away, stored and delivered to your new home when you move in!
4: Make an Extra Set of Keys
We will need a set of keys for the lockbox so agents have access your home for showings, so you’ll need to get an extra set cut which you can do at any hardware store.
5: Tackle The Bathrooms
Remove all the toiletries you have on display and tuck in a cabinet (we know it’s nice to have them handy but they don’t look great in photos or add value to your space). Make a quick stop at Winners for some new white towels and bath mat (and no, you don’t get to use them). If your toilet paper holder and towel rack/hooks could use refresh consider updating those as well! A freshened up bathroom goes along a way when buyers are viewing your home!
6: Declutter the Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the rooms Buyers are most attracted to so if you’re looking to skip a room, this shouldn’t be it. Remove your blender/toaster/bread machine from the counters – you want the counters to be as clear as possible. Clean inside all the cupboards and eliminate anything you don’t use and don’t want o move! You want your cupboards and pantry to look spacious and organized. Clean inside the fridge (and remove the magnets, photos and reminders from the front). And now is the time to clean your oven! Yes people do look! When it comes time for photos, consider investing in some fresh flowers and a beautiful bowl with some fresh fruit in it. Those are things that do look great in pics!
7: Next up: The Bedrooms
The bedrooms should be inviting, and that means more cleaning and decluttering. If you don’t already have one, invest in a neutral-coloured duvet cover and some new pillows/cushions. Th good news is those go with you! Straighten the bookshelves, remove some of the personal photos(it doesn’t have to be all of them…this is still your home for now), minimize knick-knacks and personal grooming products.
Clean out the closets and if you have a large dresser or armoire that doesn’t really fit into the space, consider removing in prep fr sale…it will make the space look larger.
8: Tackle The Living Room
Clean the sofa and chairs and invest in some new throw pillows. …on that stop to Winners!
Take a photo of the space and remove any clutter that you see! Of possible tuck any & hide the wires from your TV/stereo/speakers.
9: Make Your Dining Room Look Like a Place People actually Eat
Remove the kids’ homework and the piles of stuff that have accumulated on the dining room table and add a simple table centre ….think flowers or the bowl of fruit!
10: De-clutter, Organize and Clean the Basement
Ok so this is likely going to take more than one day so you may need to plan room by room. Whether your basement is finished or just a storage area for extra stuff you never look at, now is the time! You’ll need to invest the time to make it look as spacious and clean as possible….and making it smell nice is a good thing too! You will have to do this before you move anyway so it’s a good investment of your time to do it in preparation for selling your home!
11: Tackle the Closets and Storage Areas
No you can’t just take all of the stuff off counters and shelves and stuff them in closets….because buyers open closets too! The last thing you want is for Buyers to think there isn’t enough storage in your home, so take the time to pack away what you don’t need in the immediate future. Store, Toss or Donate!
12: The Entrance - First Impressions Count!
Remember that most Buyers will have an immediate emotional reaction to your home so what they experience at the entrance is very important…with inside & outside! You want your entrance to be clean, de-cluttered and inviting. Make sure that your front steps are clean, your light and door handle is clean and having a new inviting door mat is a nice touch as well!
Follow the Store, Toss or Donate rule when it comes to your front entry & closet….eliminate all unnecessary coats, shoes & boots and have nice clean doormat inside as well!
13: Minimize the Things That Make Your Home Yours
Ouch, we know that one is tough. You want your house or condo to appeal to as many Buyers as possible, and that will only happen if they can picture their own stuff in your house. Minimize the family photos, collections & souvenirs from your travels. Here’s a great tip….walk through every room in your house and pretend you’re a Buyer. If what you see identifies you & your life, remove it.
14: Paint Touch-ups and Re-painting
A fresh coat of neutral paint is one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your home. Bold colours might be your jam but that may also just be a turn-off to some Buyers, so to appeal to the most people possible take the time to re-paint that red bedroom and blue bathroom. Don’t forget about baseboards and ceilings – they might need a touch-up too.
Well that will give you a good start on your projects....watch for Part Two of our to-do list coming soon!
If you have specific questions about your property and what you may need to do to in preparation for sale, don't hesitate to ask! We're here to help.
~ Karin & Jen