When selling your home, the goal is to make it look its best to make a fantastic first impression on potential buyers, similar to getting dressed up for a blind date. And, just like a blind date, that pressure to impress can easily have us feeling self-conscious about each and every detail, wondering exactly what we need to do to get everything in tip top shape.
If you’re selling your home and find yourself similarly self-conscious and stressed, here’s a handy checklist to keep you confident that you’ve done all you can before every showing.
#1 - Start Outside & Boost Your Curb Appeal
While it’s easy to become fixating on cleaning up all the clutter indoors, it’s important to remember that the very first impression being made on potential buyers is happening before they even cross the threshold. It happens the moment they pull up in front of a property and glance around, not just at the home itself, but the yard and surrounding area, too.
To give the best first impression, make sure to cut the grass and rake away any leaves or debris. If it’s winter, shovel and make sure to drop some salt to prevent any slippery situations. And don’t forget to pick up after your pets.
#2 - Declutter the Home & Mind
Whether you consciously notice it or not, clutter can cause us to feel stressed and that’s the last feeling you want to invoke on a potential buyer! To reduce that unconscious overwhelmed feeling, take a moment to tidy up.
Make sure shoes are all paired and upright
Hang up coats and loose clothes, and have all the hangers facing the same way
Tuck away mail and loose papers
Put toys in their place
Fold all the laundry
#3 - Clean the Kitchen, Sell the House
A number of studies have been done about the importance of various selling features on homes. Time and time again, kitchens have always ranked at the top, and should never be neglected when staging a house for sale. To make sure your top selling feature is looking good enough to eat in, clear off the counter and table tops and wipe them down thoroughly. And while you have that damp cloth out, don’t forget to scrub the cupboards and appliances, too!
#4 - Make the Bathroom Sparkle
The kitchen may be the number one selling feature in a home, but bathrooms are without a doubt the next on the “must-have” list when buying a house. Just as you did in the kitchen, make sure to wipe down the counters and don’t forget about the mirror and faucets. Give all the fixtures—tub, sink, and toilet—a good scrub, as well, and be sure to really get in the grooves where scum and mould can accumulate. And when everything is sparkling and shining, finish off the look with nice, clean towels folded neatly.
#5 - Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold; Make the Temperature Just Right
In the throes of a Saskatoon winter, we’re all looking to come in from the cold, and we’re more likely to linger a little longer when we’re toasty warm. And in the summer, a little cool oasis from the heat could be just the relief we need! To give potential buyers that sense of comfort that entices them to stay and look around, adjust the temperature about an hour or two before they are set to arrive!
#6 - Eliminate Odours
When we’ve been in our home for so long, we become immune to our own “scent”. In order to ensure we’re addressing every smell home buyers might not enjoy, have an unbiased third party take a whiff of your home. And if they come across any unpleasant fragrances, make sure to clean them properly, rather than just spraying some air fresheners around the room. A good wipe down of the walls and proper carpet cleaning should never be skipped!
Other Secrets to Staging Your Home to Sell
Organize Closets. While our typical houseguests might not snoop through the closets, you can expect that buyers will be taking a look to see how much storage space they will have.
Make the Beds. No, your king-sized pillow-top might not be included, but keeping it tidy and presentable will make it easier for buyers to envision themselves and their own bed in the room.
Depersonalize. Again, our goal is to get the buyer to envision themself in the space and that can be hard to do with family photos and finger paintings around that make them feel as though they are in someone else’s home.
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint. If you have time, a fresh coat of paint to cover up any scuffs or wear and tear can make a big difference. If you are changing the colour, though, keep it neutral.
Clear Off the Honey-Do List. If you’ve been putting off the simple weekend projects and repairs, now’s the time to get them done. No one wants to inherit a honey-do list from anyone but their honey.
Don't Forget to Look Up. Without looking up, we often forget about our own ceilings. Be sure to dust them off and wipe down the tops of fans in case they turn any on.
Let in the Light. Buyers can’t fall in love with what they can’t see! Turn on the lights and open up the curtains before you leave.
Getting your home ready for a viewing is an essential step in setting the mood so potential buyers can fall in love. Give yourself the time to tidy up and set the stage and show them what they could have if they move on in, and make selling your home a cinch!