Ideas for Getting Your Home Ready for Sale in the Springtime
As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, many homeowners start thinking about selling their home. Springtime is historically the busiest time of the year for home sales. It can be like a breath of fresh air to start getting ready ahead of time so that your home will be ready to sell when the time comes.
Here are some tips to help prepare your home.
First Thing—Take a trip to your local liquor store. No, not for stocking up on liquids, but rather to get some boxes so that once you start cleaning things out that you no longer need, you’ll have a place to put them as they await their new home.
Order of Things—It may make the most sense to work on the inside of your home until you get a few nice days to look after the chores needing to be done on the outside. Things like washing the windows, cleaning out the gutters, and tidying up the outside of your home will be more pleasant on a nice day.
Bathrooms & Kitchens—These are two of the most important areas of your home when selling. Do your best to make these rooms glisten. Give them a “deep cleaning”. Sinks and faucets are important, and so are countertops and cupboards. In the bathrooms, work at making the tubs and showers sparkle. Doorways and the part of the door near the door handle can be cleaned with a damp cloth or magic eraser. Mirrors should be spotless also, along with floors, walls, and ceilings. Often overlooked are the venting fans in the bathrooms—they should also be cleaned.
Caulking and Cracks—one of the most frequently mentioned item in a home inspection report is to replace the caulking in areas such as tubs, sinks, windows, exterior cracks, etc. It’s very inexpensive, can prevent leaks and drafts, and shows that the home has been well-maintained.
Laundry Area—Ensure the appliances are clean and the area looks tidy, organized, and uncluttered. You should also check to make sure the dryer vent is free from lint.
Bedrooms—The time to pare down is when you are preparing your home. Determine which items you no longer need and find a new home for them. There is no point packing up things you don’t want or need and moving them to your next home. Bedrooms should look tidy and as much like a model home as possible. Remove posters and other items fastened to the walls and patch and re-paint (in neutral colours) if needed. Small throw rugs should be removed if possible. Curtains and bedspreads should be attractive, but we’ll save those things until the home is ready to be staged.
Closets—You’ll want to keep the bedroom closets clean and well organized. Ensure the floor can be seen when the closet door is opened. A closet stuffed with boxes and bags shows a prospective buyer that there may not be enough storage in the home. The same applies to hall closets. Pack away any seasonal clothing and footware that isn’t being used so that the closets look tidy.
Main Living Area—For family rooms, living and dining rooms, it is important to check the high-traffic areas for wear and tear. The walls my be soiled in spots and depending on the amount of wear, it might make sense to have an entire room(s) re-painted, rather than touch up several spots with old paint that may not quite match the paint that is on the wall. If you decide to re-paint, remember that neutral colours are recommended.
Flooring—Check to see if the flooring is in good condition. It’s generally worth replacing any worn floors with new and relatively inexpensive flooring. Carpeting can take on odors and become discolored in areas. Hardwood flooring can become scratched—refinishing the floor may be an option. Tiled floors can become cracked—if there are tiles available, the floor can be repaired. Baseboard trim should be in good repair and can typically be re-painted or easily replaced. Ducting near the floor should be clean with vent covers in good repair.
Basement—Ensure any living space in the basement is clean and tidy. Recrooms can often be a catch-all for kid’s toys and other items that can make the area look cluttered. Make the space look as usable and large as possible by removing any extra furnishings, collectables, and toys. In the utility room, furnaces, water heaters, water softeners and other items can be dusted and cleaned to give the impression the home is well cared for. Replace filters where needed. Having a licensed technician inspect these appliances annually is a good idea as well.
Fix Things that Need Fixing—If there is a leaky faucet, or a door that won’t close, a broken window pane, or a wobbly step, the time to fix it is now. Buyers notice things like these and can be easily turned off by seeing areas that need fixing. Remember, you’ll be competing against other homes that are for sale, so why not show your home in the best possible light.
Exterior—There are several areas of the exterior that should be checked. It’s wise to have the gutters cleaned and inspected, the debris removed from the yard, walkways and driveways repaired/resurfaced if needed. Decks and patio furniture may need to be pressure-washed, light bulbs may need to be changed. The roof may need to be repaired or replaced if shingles are showing wear. Gardens and lawns should be attended to so that the curb appeal is optimized.
Finishing Touches—So you’ve got your home ready now, and it’s time to take the next step. A professional Realtor (like Diane or Wayne) can assist you in helping to stage your home so that it will be appealing to the highest number of buyers. Knowing what buyers are looking for in a home, is extremely important, so take advantage of the help that is available. The finishing touches will help show off your home so that you can sell your home quickly and for the highest amount of money.
If you have any questions, please call us at 519-807-0979. We’re here to help you!