Preparing your Home
The way your home is presented can have a huge impact on buyers in many ways - such as:
- Getting a buyer to want to view your home.
- Deciding on your home over others in the same price range.
- Influencing the amount of the offer.
The things that influence their buying decision are general cleanliness, appealing kitchen and bathrooms, good storage and a feeling of spaciousness and light.
Many people are too busy these days to undertake any major revamping after having bought a home. You will attract more attention and better offers with a nicely presented home.
Use neutral colours, refrain from any eccentric design ideas and clean everything.
- Remember that potential buyers will be arriving through your front door. Many homeowners use the back entrance and forget to check what kind of impression visitors are getting.
- Take a walk around your neighbourhood and look at homes – note what looks appealing and what doesn’t. Try and look at your house as if you are seeing it for the first time and ask yourself – does it look like a home that has been looked after properly?
- Invest in some nice flowers or hanging baskets to add colour and interest to the front entrance – these will also make your advertising photographs look more appealing.
- Make sure that the driveway is clear, the front pathway is swept clean of leaves and dirt, gardens are weeded, hedges trimmed, any dead/dying plants removed and any lawns are freshly cut.
- Ensure the front door (particularly the door knob) is in good repair with fresh paint and opens easily, invest in a nice new mat and if you have a porch maybe place a chair there if space permits.
- Is the roof in good repair? This is a major consideration for most buyers. If you undertake any repairs, have receipts ready at hand or give copies to your realtor. Clean gutters and repair any leaks.
- Make sure garbage, toys, newspapers, yard tools or any refuse or clutter is taken away from outside the house.
- Now that you have the potential buyer’s attention and they are inside your home, you need the first impression to be a good one. Remember your house needs to look clean, smell good and feel spacious and light.
- Walk inside your front door and take note of what you first look at. Is it appealing? If you look at an unsightly view or into a bathroom, you need to attract focus elsewhere.
- You can do this with accessories like a bright painting or flowers.
- Unclutter your house:
- Leave space between objects to create an impression of spaciousness, pack up half of the things in your cupboards, you will have to pack it up anyway so why not get a head start? Buyers will look in the linen cupboards, closets, and kitchen cupboards etc., so make sure they can envision room for their possessions.
- Remove objects that you may have too many of – one or two family photographs on a cabinet is nice but 10 or so jammed together just makes the room look smaller.
- Remember when displaying objects such as vases, ornaments or candles that groups of 3 and 5’s are more appealing to the eye than even numbers.
- Rearrange furniture for easy traffic flow.
- Replace worn rugs or small pillows.
- Clean everything:
- Fingerprints on doors and door knobs.
- A fresh coat of paint can do wonders to freshen up a house. Remember to use neutral colours such as creams, white and beige. Any bright colour like red may put buyers off as they will have to repaint if it is not their taste.
- Clean windows and make sure blinds are dust free and that curtains are clean.
- Make sure hardwood floors, tiles or linoleum are spotless and carpets are stain free. If carpets are badly worn you may want to consider replacing them or removing them if you have hardwood underneath.
Kitchen and Bathroom:
- Kitchens and bathrooms are the two most important rooms when attempting to capture a potential buyer’s interest
- Make sure all appliances are spotless and in good working order. Fix any leaky taps, loose hinges, etc.
- Get any appliances off the counter tops and pack away those you only use occasionally to give you more cupboard space.
- Clean out old packets of food – this will also give you an early start on your packing.
- Make sure everything is spotless, especially places like mold around showers and bathtubs.
- Make sure all personal toiletries are put away.
- Replace any old mildew-laden shower curtains or liners.
- Make sure all windows and blinds are clean. Check for cobwebs.
- Wipe down windowsills
- If you have an unsightly view, cover the window in sheers which will still allow light to come in and focus attention elsewhere.
- Pets – wash all pet bedding and keep litter boxes and food dishes clean.
- Garbage – make sure the can is free of odour and the garbage always removed.
Get inspections and keep receipts
A good idea is to keep any receipts from any repairs or inspections you have had completed.
These may include things such as:
- Fireplace cleaning
- Furnace/heating inspection
- Roof repairs
- Any guarantees for things such as a hot water tank.
Remember that it is easy to feel that you do not want to do any work on a home you are leaving but it will pay off in the form of a better offer, making the extra effort very worthwhile.