Tips for the exterior of the house
- Go around the perimeter of the house and remove all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc. Keep them in tidy piles in the garage if you can’t get rid of them.
- Check gutters, roof moss and dry rot. Make sure they are swept, cleaned and fixed.
- Prune bushes and trees and remove dead plants or shrubs. Keep plants from blocking windows… you can’t sell a house if you can’t see it!
- Weed and mulch all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut – mow and edge at least twice a week for a neat appearance at all times.
- Clear patios or decks of all small items such as small planters, flowerpots, charcoal, toys, etc. (Put them in a storage unit off your premises.) Lawn furniture and your BBQ should be kept out to show how much space you have.
- Check paint condition of the house — especially the front door and trim. “CURB APPEAL is where you make your first impression!”
Tips for the interior of the house
- Clear all objects from furniture tops throughout the house and then only display decorative objects in groups of 1, 3, or 5 items.
- Clear all objects from the kitchen countertops except for your everyday appliances and a pretty bowl of fruit. Take all your pictures and magnets off the refrigerator – it should be empty.
- In the bathroom, remove items from countertops, tubs, shower stalls and commode tops. Keep only your most needed cosmetics, brushes, perfumes etc., in one small group on the counter in a neat basket. Coordinate towels to one or two colors only.
- Rearrange or remove some of the furniture - you need to thin out a little to make rooms appear larger and to give a sense of space planning.
- Take down, or rearrange pictures or objects on walls that appear cluttered. Patch and paint where necessary. You don’t need to have a picture on every wall – some open walls, especially if freshly painted, will look neater.
- Review your house room by room, and
a. Paint dark or dirty walls a neutral colour
b. Clean carpets or drapes that need it
c. Clean windows! – this brightens the room - even on a gloomy day
d. Repair everything that is broken
- If you need room to store extra possessions rent a storage unit.
- Leave on certain lights during the day for drive-bys. During showings turn on all the lights and lamps. Replace energy saving fluorescents just for while you are selling – incandescent bulbs give off a much warmer glow.
- Have stereo FM on during the day for all viewings – choose soft music on a low volume. This can also help mask outside noises if they are undesirable.
- Pets – it’s best if you can keep your pets at a friend’s house during the sale of your home, but if that isn’t possible, be sure to keep cages and litter boxes cleaned daily, and keep your dog well groomed. Odours can be a huge deterrent in a home if they are unpleasant – keep odours as neutral as possible. It helps to open all your windows and microwave vanilla in a glass bowl just before a viewing.
- Get Help – if all these tasks seem daunting, hire help. It will still be to your benefit in the long run!
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