PREPARING MY HOME FOR SALE
1. Make those minor repairs - no matter how minor.
2. Whatever the season, do some spring cleaning.
3. Have a yard sale or pack away in boxes those items that clutter.
4. Create the illusion of spaciousness.
5. Give your rooms a light, bright look.
6. Use colour and lighting to draw attention to your homes best selling features.
7. Disguise unsightly views- remove heavy curtains, let the light in.
8. Eliminate unpleasant odors.
9. Avoid eccentricities- remove those beaded curtains!
10. Accessories can make or break a room- avoid clutter.
11. Display photos that show your home during other seasons.
YOUR HOME'S FRONT DOOR AND PORCH
12. Create a welcoming spot in colour: flower pot, paint front door.
13. Invest in a new doormat.
14. Open curtains, have sparkling windows.
YOUR HOME'S ENTRY HALL
15. Create a dramatic focal point - e.g.., flowers, poinsettia, antiques.
16. Add spaciousness with a well placed mirror.
17. Improve floor appearance here, if nowhere else (except kitchen).
18. Clean out your coat closet.
19. Create the illusion of an entry hall if you have none: narrow table, open bookcase, railing, its own lighting area.
YOUR HOME'S LIVING ROOM AND FAMILY ROOM
20. Treat these rooms as if they were stage settings: games room suggests good family life, a guitar is warm, a dictionary, half finished crossword puzzle. Let the buyer imagine living in your home.
21. Highlight your fireplace, decorating the mantle or above with picture.
22. Improve traffic flow in these rooms.
23. Draw attention to exposed beams or a cathedral ceiling.
24. Don't let the TV dominate or be the focal point of the room.
YOUR HOME'S DINING ROOM OR DINING AREA
YOUR HOME'S KITCHEN 25. Set the scene by setting the table and add a centerpiece.
26. Make a large dining room into, say, a dining room and a small library or add a desk.
27. Visually enlarge a small dining area by removing table leaves, extra side chairs or large pieces.
28. Use props to set the scene: open cookbook, basket of eggs, bunch of carrots on a cutting board, ceramic mixing bowl with whisk, etc.
29. Make it smell great: simmer Christmas brew, bake bread, bowl of lemons, fresh coffee, cinnamon sticks etc.
30. Expand your counter space, store small appliances, use a moveable cart.
31. Create more storage space: neat organized shelves, hanging pot rack.
32. Accent kitchen windows: plants, bird feeder outside window.
33. Make small kitchen appear larger: repaint white (walls recede), light curtains, mirror.
34. Highlight an eat-in area: set the table, fruit as a centerpiece.
YOUR HOME'S LAUNDRY ROOM
35. Make it cheerful and appealing.
36. Double duty: corner table or chair, sewing area, set the stage.
YOUR HOME'S STAIRWAYS
37. Make them safe: lighting, clutter-free, rail, carpet or runners secure?
38. Add visual interest: plant stand on landing, wallpaper can narrow.
39. Improve appearance of stair treads, clean or paint.
YOUR HOME'S BEDROOMS
40. Create a master bedroom "suite" effect ("Large is Better"): avoid busy patterns, small desk, chair with lamp, etc.
41. Tackle your closets, clear clutter, clear floor, organize shelves, smell.
42. Add storage boxes under the bed if you need more storage.
43. Depersonalize teenagers rooms- at your own risk!
YOUR HOME'S BATHROOMS
44. Create a look: plants, glass bowl of shells, pictures, fresh towels, magazine rack, etc.
45. Colour- grey and rose, all white- add some accent colours.
46. Invest in a new shower curtain and/or bath mat.
47. Improve (not replace) your floor covering, scrub and clean.
48. Put out fresh towels and soap.
49. Add a pretty dish of potpourri.
YOUR HOME'S BASEMENT
50. Make it as pleasant as possible. Erase all signs of dampness or mildew.
51. Increase wattage of all bulbs to brighten up.
52. Set it up as a games room or teen room: Ping-Pong table, bright posters.
53. Highlight a workbench area, dust, clean and organize.
YOUR HOME'S DRIVEWAY AND GARAGE
54. Fix up driveways for first impression impact.
55. Enlarge and improve appearance of garage with lights, clear floor, organized shelves.
56. Avoid an overgrown, unkempt look: prune, cut lawn, edge carefully.
57. Mark property boundaries if fences or lines don't exist.
58. Use flowering plants to dress up your yard.
59. Draw attention to special trees: flowers at base to draw eye in.
60. Play up flat areas: badminton set or volleyball net.
61. Set up a backyard living/dining area: picnic table or rocking chairs.
62. Let your pool help sell your home: clean, open earlier or close later, if winter, have photo of pool in summer, draw up a pool information sheet including costs, upkeep time, installation date, pool size and pool items included with your home.
WHEN YOUR HOME IS SHOWN
63. Be willing to show your home (practically) any time -yes it's an inconvenience to show your home at dinner time, but if the people buy your home, isn't it worth a re-heated dinner?
64. Have a family game plan for last minute showing: dust the table, put the dishes in the dishwasher, have kids clean their rooms, hide those damp panty hose hanging on the shower rod - don't dare apologize about the condition of your home! (This will start buyers out on a negative).
65. Air out your home an hour before showings to smell better: wide open windows on a nice day with a gentle breeze ruffling your curtains.
66. Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature: this is not the time to economize.
67. Light a fire in the fireplace to set the mood.
68. Turn on lights in each room- brightens up your home.
69. Put pets out and send children to play at the neighbours (if possible).
70. Keep out of sight when your home is being shown; buyers feel uncomfortable when you're around. The benefit is they can more easily imagine the house as their own when you're not around.
71. Never volunteer information (you won't be there if you follow the previous tip). Resist the urge to tell them how great it is to have a bus stop out front for your children, as you may learn later that the prospective buyers have no children, work the evening shift and love to sleep in late in the morning.
72. Don't be compelled to apologize for what you may see as one of your home's weaknesses, you may be moving because of the traffic noise of that newly built highway, yet the buyer may be moving in your area because of the very proximity of the highway for quick commuting. Let the salesperson do the job of selling.
OTHER IDEAS AND CONSIDERATIONS
73. Draw up a floor plan if you don't have one- it's a visual selling tool and they'll remember your home much better after they leave.
74. Some buyers like to know what the heating, electricity, water and sewer, warranties on appliances, etc. are. Have this available if asked.
75. Tell everyone you meet that your home is for sale. Why keep it a secret; word of mouth is a strong selling aid.
76. Remain optimistic, it's easy to get discouraged after your home has been shown ten or twelve times, but you've done everything to make your home more salable, so don't take it personally. Keep in touch with your agent for updates on market activity. Remember someone is going to walk through your front door and fall head over heels in love with your home. After all, you did.
77. Don't be afraid to accept your first offer. If you've priced your home right, you may get an offer in the first week that is very close to the asking price. Don't panic and think your home is underpriced, it means that the prospective buyers appreciate your home and want it badly.