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Home selling tips

How to Prepare Your House for Sale

All home sellers want the same two things: to sell quickly and for the most amount of money. And with a little bit of elbow grease and a good Guelph real estate agent in your corner that can be accomplished. Preparing your home for sale is a big job, but one that pays off in big time. Remember when you were looking to purchase your home? What sort of things did you look for? Did you notice little things that needed fixing? Potential buyers will be looking at your home in the same way, so put on our buyers’ hat and look try to view your home the way a potential buyer will see it. Do you see some trim that needs fixing? Maybe a wall that needs a fresh coat of paint? Maybe planting some fresh flowers to help with the curb appeal? Make a list of the little things that need your attention and move on to step 2. We want all potential buyers to see your home as their perfect new home.

No Elbow grease.

1. Pick up the phone. Call a Local Realtor. A local Realtor will know a lot about the local market conditions and will guide you to a successful sale. Will this single step get the job done? Probably, but if you roll up your sleeves and move on to step #2 you can probably get much better results.

Minimal Elbow Grease

2. Clean, clean, then clean some more. Sounds simple right? Clean inside and outside. Clean like you have guests coming over because in a sense you do and you want to make sure they are impressed. Getting the whole home clean is important for two reasons; 1 – it makes a great first impression and 2, it shows that the home was loved and well taken care of. Make sure the carpets are vacuumed, furniture is dusted, windows are clean and that doors are eliminated. This last point is especially important if you have pets. We love our pets, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else does as well. So if you have pets consider having the carpets (and maybe the furniture as well) shampooed. The last thing we want is for a potential buyer to have an allergic reaction. Having your home smell great when a potential buyer walks in goes a long way in making a great first impression.

3. Depersonalize Your Decor. Once your home is clean and smelling great its time to depersonalize it. Taking off the family photos from the walls, kids’ artwork from the fridge and so on. The goal at this stage is to make it easy for potential buyers to see themselves living in their new home, and not feel like a guest in someone else home.

Moderate amount of Elbow Grease

4. Declutter Your Home.Homes tend to look smaller when they’re completely empty or cluttered. Unless you’re a complete minimalist today’s buyers like to clean open spaces. Clean and declutters rooms appear larger and set the stage for potential buyers to envision their own belongings inside the home. If you are wondering where to put your belongings consider temporary storage. not only it will help you declutter, it will also help with moving as most items that go into storage will be packed up.

5. Neutralize Paint Colours. Colours that help sell are soft and neutral. If you are a fan of bright and punchy colours then we might have some painting to do. Soft neutral tones proved a perfect canvas for potential buyers to visualize the home as their own. Avoiding pure white is a good idea as well as it can look too “clinical”, so think soft and light earth-tones. the added benefit of painting the walls is that your home will look clean and fresh. A similar colour pallet should extend to the carpets, drapes and home decor. If that sounds a bit overwhelming then step #6 is here to help.

6. Stage Your Home.Staging is often overlooked by sellers. Many people think that since they love their decor choices, everyone else will too. All too often that is not the case, and staging can really pay off in the end. So what is staging exactly? Sometimes its as simple as adding a few decorative pieces such as pillows, blankets or flowers to a space to make it more inviting. Sometimes its rearranging existing furniture to maximize space or functionality, and sometimes it’s bringing new furniture altogether. In either case staging works. Data shows that homes that are staged sell faster and for more money. There are a few good staging companies that operate in the Guelph and the Kitchener-Waterloo area so if you’d like an introduction please get in touch with me.

7. Make Repairs.Look around and if you see anything that is broken, or needs repair then fix it or replace it. Buyers will notice these things and wonder what might need repairs that they do not see. You want to make the best first impression, and all the hard work of cleaning, staging can be lost on a few burnt out light bulbs, or a scratch on the wall.

Lots Elbow grease.

8. Do it yourself. If you decide to do it yourself do some research, as not every “do it yourself and save” is created equal. One of the big brands promoting itself right now will not list your home for sale on the local Guelph/Kitchener-Waterloo board, so all the local Realtors will not know your home is for sale. And the less people know that your home is for sale, the lower the chances of getting the most for your home.

9. Take vacation.Now that you’ve put in the hard work (aka elbow grease) its time to celebrate and go away for a few days….well almost. Going away for a few days is not a joke, but it’s not to celebrate (or at least it’s not the only reason). One of the main obstacles to selling your home is granting nearly unlimited access to your home for potential buyers. We’ve all seen the restrictions; no showings after 6pm, or on the weekends. 24-hour notice required etc. All of these restrictions do get in the way of potential buyers viewing and falling in love with your home. This is why I recommend going away for the weekend while your Realtor works tirelessly to show off and sell your home. A buyer wants to see the home at 10pm as that is the only time they are available? No problem? Sunday at 4pm? Go right ahead. The extra perk is that you don’t have to clean your home every day 🙂


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