Before your realtor begins showing your home, you will want to make sure it’s in tip-top condition. An attractive, well-kept home generally has a better chance of selling faster.
Minor exterior and interior improvements can add value to your home and do not require a large renovation bill. Think back to what first attracted you to your home; now determine how to best highlight and improve its features.
Here are a few ideas to help you perk-up your home’s appearance. You can also consult with your realtor to see what types of improvements would be most appropriate.
Start with the outside
An inviting exterior encourages potential buyers to look inside:
• Clean up the decks, balconies, floors, dead plants, furniture;
• Ensure garage and porch areas are free of clutter and refuse;
• Keep lawns and gardens well maintained;
• Repair loose siding or pavement;
• Replace any damaged roof shingles, eaves troughs or cracked
• Wash windows, windows screens, gutters, mailbox and doors;
• Secure loose shutters or awnings;
• Repair any cracks or leaks in flashing;
• Inspect caulking and trim;Check doors and windows for smooth movement, and lubricate with silicone spray;
• Clean or replace furnace filter. Replacing it with an electrostatic charged filter is a good way to improve indoor air quality;
• Vacuum the exterior of furnace and boiler.
The inside story
You can do a lot to improve the inside of your home without spending a great deal of money. Two primary areas to keep in mind are the kitchen and bathroom.
• Ensure kitchen and bathrooms are sparkling clean, including
ventilator and stove exhaust fans;
• Repair dripping faucets and shower heads;
• Steam clean or replace carpets if necessary;
• Clean every room in the house thoroughly , removing all clutter (including personal items like family photos and ornamental collections) – less stuff makes rooms look larger and fewer mementos allows potential buyers to imagine their belongings in the space;
• Repaint dingy walls or kitchen cabinets with a neutral color;
• Check walls for bulges, damp patches or peeling paint; these may indicate moisture trapped in the walls;
• Replace worn or outdated counter tops and cracked light-switch plates;
• Remove any items (e.g. chandeliers) that won’t be included in the sale of the home.
• If you’re selling a strata unit, prepare your minutes for easy distribution;
• As a courtesy to buyers, leave the house while the realtor is conducting a showing;
• Keep pets out of the way – preferably out of your house during the showing;
• Ensure that every room is tidy, well aired and adequately lit;
• Don’t keep money, jewelry and small valuables in plain sight during a showing;
• Open curtains/blinds to maximize natural light;
• Keep all stairways and hallways clear;
• Use finishing touches like fresh flowers and candles;
• Adjustments (may include property tax adjustments);
• Final maintenance and utility costs;
• Lawyer or notary fees and expenses – attending to execution of documents;
• Costs of clearing the title, including:
> discharge fees charged by encumbrance holders;
> pre-payment penalties;
> insurance – should maintain until the latter of either the date when you receive the proceeds of sale or when you vacate the property;
> real estate commission fee;
> moving fees.