A lot of sellers don’t put enough emphasis on fixing up their homes when they put them on the market. Even sellers with recently renovated homes need to do this work. There is stiff competition and every detail is important to help you sell fast and for top dollar.
So if you want to sell your house, take ten minutes to read this list. Then start packing!
1 DO de-clutter and de-personalize the space! It’s simple advice but this is the most difficult step for sellers. Say good-bye to the home and then erase the memories from the space by putting away personal items. The more prospective buyers can visualize their own belongings in the space, the better.
2 DO create a welcoming entrance that feels great to walk into. Make this space clean, well lit, and up-to-date. First impressions are critical.
3 DO invest in low cost, sweat equity. Repaint the walls a neutral light color, update light fixtures, faucets, doorknobs, and backsplashes. If you don’t have time, hiring someone to get these things completed is money well spent. If you don’t have the talent, hire an interior designer or home stager to consult for a couple of hours. Small cosmetic improvements add up.
4 DON’T do any major renovations on your home if you don’t have the time, money, or energy. Jobs like re-doing the flooring, kitchen, or bathrooms are large and stressful, particularly if you are living in your house during the work. Think rejuvenation not renovation.
5 DO invest in fixing up your outdoor patio or sitting area if you are selling during the warm months. Potential buyers love the added value of an outdoor eating or sitting space. Repaint the deck and create a comfortable space with outdoor furniture. An umbrella and barbecue will be great selling points.
6 DON’T invest in a swimming pool, hot tub, or fishpond. You won’t make your money back. You may even alienate many prospects who are put off by the maintenance involved and the potential hazard for small kids.
7 DO give your kitchen or bathroom a surface makeover. These two rooms are the most important in any home. There is no need to change your entire set up. New faucets, knobs, backsplash, moulding, sink, and paint are all easy and inexpensive updates. Remember to keep it neutral.
8 DON’T forget about the landscaping and outdoor appeal. This is the very first thing buyers will see. If they are turned off, you’ll have to work even harder on the inside. So why not give it some care? Paint your front door, give it a new handle, fix cracks in the walkway, paint the mailbox or get a new one. Fix or get new house numbers. Make it charming by trimming all your trees, bushes, grass, and by adding flowers.
9 DO Be eco-conscious when moving. Donate home fixtures that are in working order to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and bring your debris to the eco-center. Consider re-facing or repainting kitchen and bath cabinetry rather than replacing them. The more you can reuse and repurpose, the better. The goal here is to spend as little as possible for the biggest impact.
10 DON’T leave any animal marks around the house. Scratched doors, a kitty litter box, messy eating bowls, hairy blankets, and chewed up toys need to go. Not everyone is an animal lover and they might dismiss the home altogether if they are allergic.
Jennifer Lynn Walker has been active in Montreal Real Estate since 2003. She founded the Montreal Real Estate Investor’s Group, which has more than 1,100 members. She specializes in buying and selling, eco- friendly homes and helping real estate investors. For more articles and e-books and to sign up to her newsletter