1. Make an Impression
Prospective buyers make up their minds about your house even before they get out of the car. To ensure they have the right idea, clean up your yard, rake the leaves, shovel the snow, and sweep driveways and porches. Get out the rags and cleanser and spend 30 minutes scouring your front door, porch, railings and steps. Then tuck away all your recycling cans and bins at the back of the house.
Clutter eats equity. So purge your closets, empty cupboards, box up small appliances. Rent a storage locker to keep what you want, then toss the rest. Pack unwanted stuff in boxes and keep them away from view in the basement closets. Remove unwanted books and magazines from shelves.
3. Impersonal Works
You want buyers to imagine themselves living in your home, not to feel like a guest in it. So stash anything connected to your family or personal interests. Hide family photos, and remove all traces of day-to-day life. The buyer becomes very conscious of being in someone else’s environment. That won’t get you an offer.
4. Keep it fresh
There’s nothing worse than stepping into a house that smells of smoke and pet odors. The easy solution is to keep your windows open for 20 minutes a day. This strategy works better than deodorizers, since a lot of people have allergies to artificial room fresheners.
5. Declare war on grime
Cleanliness helps put a buyer’s mind at ease since it suggests that you’ve probably taken good care of your residence in other ways as well. So clean everything: walls, door handles, light fixtures and pantry cupboards. If you do not have the resources or time, hire a contractor to powerwash windows, walkways, eavestroughs and pathways.
6. Hire a handyman
Dripping faucets, cracked tiles and mouldy caulking around the bathtub can knock thousands of dollars off the price of your home. Get a quote from a trusted handyman and get the fixes done. If you don’t know of a handyman get help from the Better Business Bureau of Manitoba (www.bbbmanitoba.org)
7. Color it up
Your single best investment may be a fresh coat of paint in key areas of your home. Paint your front door and put some urns with brightly colored flowers on your front step or just inside the entryway. They make a house seem cared for, different and important.
8. Reduce Furniture
An easy way to create a sense of space is to get rid of some furniture. Moving a sofa and end tables into storage can give a small room some much-needed breathing space. So too can storing the table and chairs that normally sit in your kitchen, piled high with mail, magazines, books and groceries. Do not however, move all of the important furniture away that would give the house an empty look.
9. Light up
The brighter and sunnier a space, the easier it is to sell. Start by cleaning the windows since clean windows let in as much as 30% more light than grimy ones. Then thoroughly clean the shades on your light fixtures, change light bulbs and add floor lamps if an area seems dim. Finally, when it comes time to show your home, make sure all the lights are on.
10. Add a touch of humanity
A couple of planters on your front porch, a vase of flowers on your dining room table, even a simple rose in a bud vase can warm up a room. This is where you can let some of your creativity show through.