When selling your home, it is important to separate the ‘personal’ from the ‘business’ of selling. You need to try to look at your home from a potential Buyer’s perspective. As homeowners, we understand that it can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to increase the appeal. Below are some tips to consider that may help increase the sale price of your home.
First Impression: Must be positive. You may want to paint the front door. If there is a garage, clean and paint the garage door. If selling in the winter, keep the driveway and sidewalks shoveled.
Landscaping: Curb Appeal is very important. Keep the grass cut as well as any bushes or plants trimmed. New garden mulch helps to instantly freshen up a garden as well.
Cleanliness: When marketing your home, you can never be too clean. Before a showing try to have dishes cleaned, beds made, kitchen freshened up etc. Special attention should be given to the kitchen and bathroom(s). Again, a bit of work, but it will pay off.
Clutter: Every home has it, but you don’t want to distract a potential Buyer’s focus from the ‘big picture’. Remove toasters, kettles, mail etc. from kitchen counters. Likewise, try to keep the bathroom counter clear of your everyday items. Clear of these items, the counter will appear larger. (My personal favorite tip – remove all magnets and clutter on your fridge.)
Neutral Paints: If there are areas that could use some freshening up, it is well worth the time. Tip: walk up a flight of stairs and look at the trim (if applicable). It may well be ready for some touching up. Remember, neutral paints are always helpful.
Closet Space: This is a very important part of a home to many Buyers. A quick and easy way to make your closets appear larger is to store all out of season clothes somewhere other than your closet. As well, minimize clutter that is stored in the closets. A Buyer wants to be able to look into your closets and be comfortable that their belongings will be able to fit. If your closets are stuffed full, then they will appear too small.
Windows: If possible, clean the windows and frames. Particularly windows that people are likely to look out of while visiting (i.e.: kitchen).
Furnace Filter: If you have a forced air furnace with a filter, check the filter and if necessary, replace it. This will help your furnace heat/cool the house and make it a more comfortable environment to visit.
Posters/Pictures: If there are posters or pictures that may ‘raise an eyebrow’ or two, it is best to remove them. Remember, the house is on show so people need to walk into a bedroom and note the positive aspects and not a ‘particular’ poster on the wall.
Pets: As a Seller, the thing to remember is that not all potential Buyers can overlook the impact a family pet can have on a house (ie: odour, hair, scratched door frames etc.). Again, you want to present your home with as few distractions as possible. Ways to minimize the presence of your family pet are to keep the yard or litter box clean, vacuum up any pet hair as often as necessary, and touch up any areas where your pet may have scratched or damaged. For showings, a barking dog can be very distracting to someone who is trying to visualize living in your home. If possible, take the dog out for a walk or to friends/family during showings.