If you are planning to put your house on the market it goes without saying that you want your home to sell fast and for top dollar. Set the stage for success with these tips for styling and upgrading your home to increase the value of your property and make a great first impression!
Changing Your Perspective
When selling real estate, it is important to disassociate yourself from your home. Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be yours. Don’t look backwards – look forward to the future. Your goal is to turn your home into an irresistible and marketable house.
The Importance of Curb Appeal
Exterior maintenance of your home and great curb appeal go a long way to helping a potential buyer truly fall in love with your home from the street, so a well maintained home and regular maintenance throughout the selling process are crucial.
You only have one opportunity to make a great first impression. That impression begins from the moment the potential buyer pulls up in their car. Make it count!
Keep lawns cut and watered; reseed or add fresh sod as needed
Trim hedges and shrubs.
Weed the garden.
Plant colourful flowers and fresh greenery.
Clear all clutter from the driveway and exterior walkways of your home.
Power wash driveways, patios and walkways.
Wash windows inside and out.
Clean out the garage. Consider renting storage space to store items until your house is sold.
Paint faded windows, garage doors and exterior trim.
Re-paint or stain the front door.
Clean exterior light fixtures and replace defective light bulbs.
Ensure your door bell, door locks and key access are all in good working order.
Enhance the exterior front entry to your home with a new welcome mat and potted plants in bloom.
Illuminate the front walk with solar lights.
De-cluttering creates a light, airy and spacious feeling throughout your home giving that all important great first impression and allowing buyers to see the full potential of your house. Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway to move on to your dream home.
Clear all closets of unnecessary clothing.
De-clutter, clean and organize kitchen cupboards and drawers.
Clear kitchen counters, refrigerator doors and stove top.
Clear front entryway, halls and stairways of clutter
Clean out basements and attics and move excess items to storage.
Taking yourself out of the picture by de-personalizing your home allows potential buyers to imagine themselves in your space.
Remove all books from bookcases.
Remove personal photos
Pack up collections, knick knacks, personal awards and collectibles and move to storage until your house is sold.
Make Minor Repairs
Buyers have high expectations for their new home and today’s savvy buyers will notice minor repair issues. If left unaddressed, buyers may question the care that has gone into the rest of your home. Attention to detail in making your home as maintenance free as possible will not only expedite the sale of your home by attracting more qualified buyers looking for a “move in ready home” but will increase the perceived value, allowing you to sell your house for top dollar.
Oil squeaking doors and tighten door knobs and latches.
Fix doors that don’t close properly and drawers that jam.
Replace defective light bulbs.
Clean and repair all interior and exterior windows.
Patch holes in walls and ceilings.
Apply a fresh coat of paint or paint touch ups.
Replace old and out- dated light fixtures.
Replace worn carpets.
Repair squeaky floor boards.
Replace cracked floor and counter tiles.
Repair leaking taps and toilets and replace broken fixtures and fittings.
Remove rust and calcium stains from kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
Have your furnace cleaned and inspected by a professional and change the furnace filter.
Have your fireplace inspected by a professional to ensure top working order.
If you have considered replacing a worn bedspread or bathroom and kitchen linen, now would be a great time!
Make It Sparkle!
Clean and freshen bathrooms.
Polish chrome fixtures and mirrors.
Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks.
Bleach dingy grout.
Hang new, fresh bathroom towels and a new shower curtain.
Empty waste baskets.
Vacuum your house from top to bottom.
Dust furniture, ceiling fans and light fixtures.
Clean and polish floors.
Clean and polish all kitchen appliances inside and out.
Clean and polish washer and dryer.
Steam clean carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture and window blinds.
Wash walls and do paint touch ups where necessary.
Buy storage bins and pack away as many toys as possible.
Edit Your Current Decor
This is a perfect time to edit your current décor by removing and replacing outdated furnishings. Your new furnishings will not only add great value to the sale of your existing home but will be a wonderful addition to your new dream home.
Another cost effective method is to rent furnishings for a limited time with no permanent financial commitment. Consult with a professional staging company for advice on rental furnishings.
Shop Model Homes for Inspiration
Model homes are perfectly showcased to provide the broadest appeal to the widest range of buyers. Model homes are polished and elegant, yet simple and without a specific personality — this is the look you want to replicate in your home.
Review each room through the critical eye of a buyer.
Remove out dated and overpowering pieces.
Leave enough pieces in each room to fully represent its purpose.
Ask yourself: Does it have emotional pull? Does it have impact?
Place select pieces on an angle to create a cozy feeling in each room.
Light, Bright Houses Sell
Lighting is a key design element that dramatically affects how a buyer feels about a home so it is very important to maximize lighting wherever you can. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and add additional lighting to eliminate dark corners throughout your home. It will make your house bright, cheery, welcoming and inviting.
Choose Sophisticated Neutral Colours
Paint is one of the least expensive design elements that has the most dramatic impact. Rich neutrals like creams, greys, taupes and mochas create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together and will increase your homes overall saleability.
Create A Gender-Neutral Master Bedroom
Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.
Stage Your Closets
Potential buyers will look inside your closets. Closet space can be a make or break selling point to buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage. Aim to have 20% - 30% open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.
Clean Up Toys
Buyers are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room.
Use Extra Rooms Wisely
Think about this from the buyer’s point of view. What would they like to see here? An office? A guest room? Another kid’s room? Using space wisely will have a big payback.
Keeping Your House “Show Ready”
Once your house is on the market, it must be “show ready” at all times. Your buyer may walk through the door at any time. You must be ready with your home in top shape.
Keep bathrooms sparkling clean
Keep bathroom linens and towels in new condition
Wash dishes after every meal.
Empty the dishwasher after each use.
Keep kitchen counter tops clear and sparkling clean.
Pick up dirty laundry
Remove trash and recycling regularly
Preparing Your Home for Showing
Make sure your home smells fresh and clean
Turn on lights throughout your house
Open the drapes
Light the fireplace
Turn on soft background music
Turn on exterior lights if you are showing the house in the evening.
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