Here are some things to keep in mind when putting your home on the market.
Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer.
It is important for you to see your house through the eyes of someone looking at it for the first time. The best way to do that is ask a friend or neighbour to come over and take a look at your home as if they were in the market. Many times, they will be able to suggest improvements that you would miss.
A good first impression is absolutely critical.
A house’s ‘street appeal’ is how it looks to someone driving up to it for the first time. That’s why it is important to have the landscaping and outside of the home in good condition. Clear up the clutter in front of the house. Make sure your lawn is mowed and the bushes are trimmed. If a buyers first impression is favourable, they will want to look further. If their first impression is not so favourable, this will influence how they see everything else about your home.
What can you do to make your house as desirable as possible?
- Keep the lawn mown and free of clutter.
- Keep the walkways and steps free of toys and leaves.
- Turn your outside lights on when showing your home in the evenings.
- Try to avoid strong odours in your house such as curries, extremely strong flowers, etc.
- Clean your bathrooms and kitchen. Don’t leave dirty dishes around. Clean all mould and mildew from tiles and grout. These are the two most important rooms in the house for female purchasers, so make them spotless.
- Make sure your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, and garbage disposal are in good working order.
- If your cabinets are in bad shape, get them fixed. Replacing them may or may not be cost effective.
- Replace the shower curtain, clean the tile around the bath (grout if necessary), and make sure there are no odours.
- Keep clean towels hanging.
- Do not smoke. Do your smoking outside during the entire time that your home is on the market. You could actually lose a sale to non-smoking buyers. Hide ashtrays so that buyers will not be aware that the house is a smokers home.
- Keep the curtains and blinds open. Let as much light into the rooms as possible.
- Have mild scented flowers and greenery throughout the house.
- Keep the temperature at a comfortable setting.
- If you have a fireplace, turn it on for all inspections and open homes.
- Turn the television off and have soft music playing.
- Leave the pet’s bowl/kitty litter outside or hidden from view.
- Keep your cupboards free of clutter.
- Clean those easy-to-forget rooms like the garage, laundry and work area.
- Clean all windows or mirrors.
- The floors should be scrubbed and the carpets vacuumed.
And finally, don’t interfere with the real estate agent showing your home. They know what to point out to the buyers.