Although it sure doesn’t feel like it, summer is just around the corner! I’ve listed some quick tips below that will help prepare your home for a quicker sale. If your thinking of selling, it’s never too early to start staging your home!
1. What to subtract.
Dirt and Clutter
If you did just two things to prepare your home for sale, it would be to clean and declutter. You want buyers to see your home, not your dirt and junk. When cleaning, pay special attention to bathrooms and kitchens, and when decluttering take extra time in closets and storage areas. Don’t forget the garage, where buyers want to see plenty of space for their own cars and gear. New cabinets and garage organizers are an investment that can make your home more saleable, for less than the price of an off-site storage unit.
Far-out Styles or Colors
You love the red walls in your kitchen and your teen loves her bright pink carpet, but these choices might not match your buyers’ tastes. A good rule of thumb is to select attractive neutrals for permanent elements such as walls and floors, while limiting bright colors for removable elements such as linens and art.
Your family wall of photos is a treasured part of your home décor, but not a favored accessory when selling a home. Remember, real estate showings are to help buyers picture themselves in your home, not merely take a home tour of your life. Carefully pack family photos and personal memorabilia away for after your move. Same goes for your bowling trophies, knick-knack collections, and kids’ artwork.
What to do with all your kids’ toys? As hard as it may be, one of the best things you can do to reduce clutter and make your home seem larger is to control the toys. Have a garage sale or donate all but their favorites, and employ creative storage solutions to stash the rest. For off-season toys, outside gear, or treasured memorabilia, invest in plenty of storage tubs and store these off-site or in the garage. If the weather is nice, keep a bag of toys in the trunk and take the kids to the playground. Not only will they consider it a special treat, you’ll keep the mess at the playground and the toys off your living room floor.
Laundry, Dishes, and Smells
Before any showing or open house, go through your home with a plastic tub or two and gather the following items: dirty laundry or dishes, stray toys or trash, bath and shower gear, and anything else that is an eyesore. Toss these tubs in your trunk just before the showing. Pay special attention to smells, although don’t go overboard with air fresheners or overpowering scents.
2. What to add.
Out with the old, in with the new! Though you may be hesitant to add new furnishings right before a move, a few stylish touches can make a big impact – and surprisingly, offer a hefty return on investment.
Walls and Floors
The two best investments prior to listing a home are paint and flooring. A neutral palette that is fresh and updated does wonders for a home’s attraction and price. While some sellers consider offering a carpet allowance, installing new carpet before selling gives buyers an instant impression that the home is clean and maintained. Kitchens and bathrooms are key areas that benefit from new vinyl, laminate, or wood flooring.
Lighting and Window Treatments
You want your home to show in its best light, and nothing does this better than well-placed lamps and well-chosen window treatments. A general rule is: the more light, the better, as this will make your home appear larger, cleaner, and brighter. Choose attractive sconces for a dark foyer or hallway, and hang simple window treatments to dress up boring windows. Don’t forget outside lighting, as many buyers scope out homes for sale in the evenings after work.
Outdoor Accessories and Curb Appeal
While fourteen flamingoes on the front lawn might draw attention, decorative planters and fresh flowers are a better choice. Choose lush and colorful flowers, and keep them watered and groomed. Add to your home’s curb appeal with a new mailbox, and help buyers find your home with a decorative address marker.
Flowers, Towels and Decorative Accents
Just as fresh flowers at the front door offer a bright welcome, flowerarrangements inside the home add visual flair. From the foyer to the kitchen and bedside tables, silk or fresh arrangements guide the buyer’s eye throughout the room to give a spacious feel to your home. Soft new towels will add luxury and style to the bathroom, and a fresh shower curtain will instantly update the look. Though you don’t want to overdo, a few decorative accents like wall art and area rugs can unify your home’s style. Don’t forget slipcovers, which can work miracles for dingy living room furniture.
Whether you want to sell this month or next year, following these tips will help you boost the value and appeal of your home. Use caution, however — you may enjoy the updates so much, you decide not to move at all.
If you have an interest in Buying or Selling in the Toronto area and would like to discuss the current market, please fill out this contact form or call me directly at (416) 457-1722.
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