Preparing Your House to Sell

March 19, 2012 - Updated: March 19, 2012

Compare the process of selling your home to marketing a product about to go on the market. You want your home to be among the best of competing homes, to show well, and to sell quickly and hassle-free. The process of marketing any product involves demonstrating what it does best. In the case of a house, it must provide stability, safety, security, and longevity in order to be considered first above competing homes. This means that your home needs to be well kept and free of any clutter.

Making improvements to your home is a great way to start, but do so prior to putting it on the market. Potential buyers do not feel reassured hearing about future plans to repair defects; they would prefer to see the home defect-free to begin with. Also, putting your house on the market in the midst of renovations will throw potential homebuyers off guard as they will not be able to visualize what the home would look like once complete.

If you can afford a professional home inspection, it is the ideal way to find and fix deficiencies before they are discovered by inspectors of potential homebuyers. If you choose not to have a home inspection conducted prior to putting your house on the market, here is an alternative guide to ensure that a buyers� home inspection goes smoothly and your home is defect-free.

Firstly, check your home�s exterior appeal, first impressions make all the difference � this is the first thing a homebuyer will envision when considering the big purchase. Clear any clutter in the yard, repair noticeable driveway cracks, re-seed grass bald spots, ensure that the garden is aesthetically pleasing, mow the lawn, clean windows and doors, see if anything needs a paint upgrade such as garage or front doors, and anything else you could think of to improve the exterior of your home. If applicable, check to ensure the deck, pool, gate, and shed are clean, presentable, and in working order. Then, ensure that your roof and chimney are in good condition to pass inspection � repair any damages.

Next, proceed to the interior of the home � front door and onwards. The interior of your home should be tidy, well-lit, spacious and tastefully decorated. Not too much, but not too thoughtless either. Free your home of unpleasant odours, cobwebs, and anything that may be unpleasant to a potential buyer. The most memorable areas of a home to a buyer are the kitchen and bathroom; consider upgrading these areas. Clean all appliances, remove any artwork and magnets � if your home looks like a family shrine, buyers may not feel like they could create a home out of it for themselves, fix dripping faucets, vacuum your fan grill, clean between tiles, clean mirrors, and anything that would help the bathrooms and kitchen look appealing.

Continuing through the interior, check stairs and floors for loose boards or ripped carpeting, and any related safety concerns. Check to make sure that all doors and windows open and shut property. Having more furniture than is necessary will keep the room looking small; therefore keep the furniture to a minimum.

Once you have conducted the inspection to your satisfaction, it is time to begin the showings. Before each showing, keep these things in mind:

  • Make the house as bright as possible � open blinds, drapes, and turn on lights
  • Air out the house to get rid of pet and cooking odours
  • Fresh flowers always help the place look fresh
  • Get rid of clutter
  • Set your thermostat at a comfortable level
  • Due to potential allergies of buyers and general reasons, remove pets from the house during showings
  • Try not to be present for showings. If presence is necessary, do not crowd the buyer
  • Provide a place for shoes, and if necessary umbrellas and jackets
  • If selling the house during winter months, have a display of photos of the house in the summertime

Getting your house ready to sell is not limited to the above suggestions, so take the time to conduct more research on preparing your house for the real estate market. A sales representative will be able to guide you through the many processes of selling your home, taking the difficulties out of your own schedule.

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