Showcasing Your Home

First impressions are often the only impression a potential buyer might have. A clean house in good repair can easily be the difference between a buyer who takes a look and a buyer who makes an offer. A messy, uninviting house will easily reduce its value by thousands of dollars.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Impressions begin at the curb

Look objectively. Does your property look as good as it can? Your lawn and other landscaping should be neatly trimmed. Sidewalks should be clean in the summer and shovelled in the winter. Inspect the roof and gutters, and ensure that children’s toys are inconspicuous.

You should paint if necessary. Paint is one of the cheapest and easiest fixes, but can add a great deal of value to your home in the eyes of the buyer.

Consider putting some flowers in a pot by the front door to add some colour and aesthetic appeal.

Pay attention to the little things

There are lots of little things that will make your home look warm and inviting.

If you have a fireplace, clean it out and put in some fresh logs. Clean the windows and make sure they are all in working order. Replace burned out light bulbs, and consider using brighter bulbs.

Minor repairs make a major difference. Fix those leaky faucets. Clean the rust stains out of the sinks. Unclog the drains. Loose door knobs or cabinet pulls, sticking doors and drawers, or wobbly hinges make your house look bad. Minor problems like these can give the potential buyer the impression of major problems.

Showing Your Home

Once our sign is up and your home is listed on the MLS, be prepared for showings.

Scheduling showings

I will always give you as much notice as possible before requesting a showing of your home, but there will still be times when potential buyers want to see your home on short notice.

Clearly, it is in your best interest to accommodate showings whenever you can. So you should do your best to have your home ready to show at all times.

Should I stay or should I go?

It can be inconvenient for you and your family, but your home will show better if you are not at home.

Buyers are more at ease to shop and talk things through when they are not reminded that they are intruding in someone’s home. If you are unable to leave your home for a showing, encourage people to make themselves at home, and give them as much elbow-room as possible.

Remember that the buyer’s realtor has a real interest and expertise in selling your home, and will be sure to emphasize its best features. He or she has already formed a connection with the potential buyer and knows the best way to reach that buyer.

A few suggestions

1. Provide safe, well-lit access to the entire house, including the attic, basement, garage and any utility or storage spaces. Make sure these are clean and organized.

2. Wash dishes, put away clothes, make beds—be sure the house is tidy from stem to stern.

3. Have closets clean, neat and organized. We all love spacious closets.

4. Make bathrooms sparkle.

5. Keep bedrooms bright and cheerful.

6. Consider turning on all exterior and interior lights, particularly for night time showings.

7. Create an atmosphere. Make some coffee; play soft music; turn on the fire.

8. Not everyone likes to be around dogs or cats. You need to remove your pet from the house if possible, or keep it in a room or a kennel.

Website Links for Showcasing Your Home

For some excellent resources to help you showcase your home (together with lots of other good advice on selling your home) visit HGTV.ca. You’ll find the real estate section at http://www.hgtv.ca/realestate/ . There are video clips on several topics relevant to selling your home. These include staging your home, preparing for an open house, selling older homes, and many other topics.