Home for Sale? Six Tips to Add Value and Appeal

Posted on Tuesday October 14, 2014

So you want to sell your home. What can you do to make it stand out to prospective buyers? It can be a challenge to prepare your home to appeal to strangers viewing it with a critical eye.  We have put together a list to help you do just that! Use these tips to help you prepare your home – inside and out – so it shows at its best. With a little attention to detail that “For Sale” sign will soon say “Sold.”

Helpful Hint: If you live in a condo or HOA community, it is important to contact your Board or management company to make sure changes you plan to make will be approved.
  1. “You never have a second chance to make a first impression.” We’ve heard that said before – and it applies to selling your home too. These days, potential homebuyers have access to all types of information about the homes they are considering, before they ever set foot in them. Realtors prepare comparative analyses, buyers can take virtual tours online and, of course, they can drive buy for a first-hand look. Does the property look appealing and well-kept? Will what the prospective buyer sees encourage further investigation?
North America’s painting professionals CertaPro Painters offer advice on how to stage your home to reveal its beauty and make a great impression. Read their home staging tips to learn more.
  1. Curb appeal: The first thing people see is the outside of your home. How can you make the most of it? Take a critical look at your property. You want the exterior of your home to be inviting and attract others. Is it? Does the paint have a fresh look, or is it worn? Is the walkway or driveway clean and in good repair, or is it stained and cracked? 
Other exterior details are important too. Do you still have your Christmas lights up in July? Replacing aging exterior lights, house numbers or a worn-out mailbox are simple and relatively inexpensive fixes that have a big impact. These details can make or break whether a buyer wants to see what’s beyond your front door. Don’t underestimate the value of curb appeal.
  1. Get rid of clutter: Make sure your home’s interior and exterior are neat and well-tended at all times. Clutter and mess are giant red flags for buyers. Maintain your outdoor privacy areas. Keep gardening tools and supplies neatly stored out of sight, not lying in your yard or on your balcony. Outdoor furniture should be clean and neatly arranged too.
The same clutter-free rules apply inside your house. A messy home will not impress those trying to envision themselves in your space. A clean and tidy home shows well. Thoroughly clean your home and remove non-essential items. This will make your home seem larger and more inviting. Consider renting temporary storage to stow extra items until your home is sold. Clear closets, storing non-seasonal clothing if necessary, to make the space seem larger. Donate to charity anything you no longer need or want; some organizations will even pick up your discards. Rearrange remaining objects neatly and aesthetically to help “decorate” the space. 
  1. Accessorize: Just as you do when you dress for a social event or work, pay attention to the details. You can “accessorize” the exterior of your home to enhance its beauty and appearance too. A newly painted door that complements other colors on your home’s exterior adds instant freshness, as does updated hardware such as door handles, locks or door bell. A seasonal display of flowers or plants can add delightful splashes of color and soften a home’s facade.  But don’t go overboard! You are trying to add style, not create chaos.
  1. Refresh your home’s interiors using these simple steps: There are several ways to refresh and improve the interior of your house. Most are accomplished without too much effort. To create extra space and open up a room, pull your furniture away from the wall and temporarily store bulkier items. Take a good look at your flooring. Your floors will appear clean and fresh if you get rid of old carpet or simply steam clean it. Refinish the surface of hardwood floors to give them new life.  You can easily brighten or change the colour of tile grout that looks dated and dingy with grout paint. This saves the time and expense of re-grouting.
Remove aging wallpaper that’s peeling or just looks stale. A new coat of paint in a neutral color is a great way to achieve an enlivened look in a room that looks dated. These are tasks that can be accomplished in a weekend or two. The result will be an increase your home’s value and selling price. 
  1. Odours are your enemy: Lingering smells can drive potential buyers from your home, so you must take action to eliminate them.  A good cleaning is the first step to a fresh scent. Wipe down surfaces, sweep hardwood floors, and vacuum the carpets. Any carpets or rugs that have been soiled by pets, spills or food should be removed or replaced. Invigorate the environment by opening the windows, weather permitting, and letting air flow in. Just before a showing, light a scented candle, bake some bread or make a fresh pot of coffee. This will create a comfortable and welcoming effect that will encourage buyers to feel like they’re already “home.” 

Yes, it takes some work to make your home look its best, but your efforts can reap substantial rewards. Contact FirstService Residential Sales and Leasing for more proven advice to help you prepare your home for sale.

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