Ready to sell? Five tips to get your property in order
I once worked with a seller who had a brand new home in a desired neighbourhood, but it had a challenging layout that made it tough for buyers to imagine furnishing it. We brought in professional staging that wisely utilized every once-awkward inch in the floor plan. This is just one of the strategies I suggest sellers consider before they put their property on the market. On that note, here are my top-five tips to get your property market ready to ensure not just a sale, but the best possible return on your investment.
- Give the home a good clean. Make sure you hire a professional cleaning company to make your home sparkle. This includes windows, appliances, vents, blinds, every aspect of the bathrooms and every other nook and cranny. Also, consider the importance of curb appeal. In apartments and single-family homes, bad landscaping can deter a potential buyer even before they walk through the door. I have had clients decide not to enter a home after bad first impressions based on the curb appeal. The grass was dead and patchy, bushes were bare, weeds all over the place and the home’s exterior was dirty. Not a good start.
- Clutter is a killer. Get all those little unnecessary items out of eyesight and make your home look organized, neat and slick. Nobody likes seeing mail all over the kitchen counters, books all over tables or shoes along the wall at the entrance door. This includes your closets. Organize and minimize what you have in there as well. Arrange for those extra items to go into storage – and, as an added bonus, having all of those items packed up will help make the move easier once the sale is complete.
- Make your home less personal. Keeping your home generic will help a potential buyer envision themselves living there. Family portraits, musical instruments hanging on walls, etc., these are all too personal and should be removed. Think of the masses. You want to appeal to a large group and cast a big net out there to attract as many buyers as possible. Personalizing a space too much will narrow your scope and amount of potential buyers.
- Paint touch-ups and neutral colours. Walls should be a neutral shade and lean more towards brightening up a room. Particularly in condos and townhomes, you want each room to look big and spacious. Touch-ups help make little nicks and marks blend in with the walls, which makes a difference to buyers. Also, make sure there is adequate lighting throughout the space so that it doesn’t appear dark – a serious downer for many buyers.
- Get furniture that fits your home. Big, bulky furniture will make your rooms look small and can ruin the flow. While a space set-up might work for you, consider if it is the most visually appealing arrangement to ensure buyers can imagine themselves living there and loving the home enough to make an offer.