10 ways to prepare your home for a sale

December 22, 2014

Preparing any property for sale can be a daunting and often overwhelming task, even for a seasoned investor. It can mean anything and everything from moping the floors to a huge renovation job. Luckily, we put together 10 ways to help you prepare your home for sale.

1. See your home through a buyer's eyes

You've probably been living in your home for a while and have started to glaze over all its little imperfections. A potential home buyer won't be so kind. So really give your home a walk through to see what the potential issues may be lurking. If you are having trouble, grab a friend and ask them for help. Fresh eyes may see things differently.

2. Get rid of all that clutter

In each room in your house, make three piles. One pile to keep. One pile to donate. One pile to toss. If you are feeling adventurous, go back through the keep pile and get it down to half the size. Remember, if you haven't used something in a year, you probably aren't going to use it. The trick is to go for a real minimalist look. It may be a good idea to rent a storage locker for extra toys, furniture and memorabilia.

3. Clean like the Queen is coming over

We're not talking about your typical tidy. We're talking floors, windows, walls, doors, baseboards, door knobs. Basically, everything. Make it sparkle. This is the single most cost effective way to make your home more attractive to buyers. Don't have time or don't know how? Call for help. There are lots of services out there to help you on the cheap.

4. Give the house a fresh coat of paint

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room. But you have to be careful about which colour you paint. Dark and bold colours can be polarizing to potential buyers. And white walls will make them think no one lives there. Instead, makeover your home with bright, neutral colours. This will help your rooms look bigger and will help potential home buyers picture themselves in your space.

5. Add some plants

Houseplants can create a great first impression. They help freshen the air, beautify your space and create interest in a room. Look for houseplants that require little maintenance so you can take them with you when you move.

6. Take down your personal pictures

You want to make a potential buyer feel like your home could be their home one day. That means taking down the family pictures and any excessive wall hangings or artwork. Leave up a couple of mirrors and some scenic (but fairly generic) paintings.

7. Open up all your closets and your cupboards

When people walk through your home, they are going to open every single door. That includes your bathroom cupboards, the door underneath your sink, and your closet. If you are worried about people finding personal, or embarrassing things — remove them from your home. Store them in your car or rental locker until after the sale is over.

8. Repair any quick fixes

If there are little things around the house that you've been meaning to do, but haven't made the time to, now is the time to do it. Bathroom drain not working? Sliding door not quite sliding? These are pretty minor things that can leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

9. Tackle the R word

Renovations can really help you improve the resale of your home. But don't get carried away. They can be costly and you don't want to sink in more money into your home than you will get back. Have a real estate agent walk through your home and give you their honest impression. They will tell you which areas are worth the investment for the sake of a sale.

10. Maximize your curb appeal

The outside of your home will be a potential buyer's first impression. Make it a good one. A freshly painted front door, seasonal wreath or urns, new mailbox, weeded lawns and bright coloured flower beds are easy ways to create maximum impact without breaking the bank.

10 ways to prepare your home for a sale
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