Getting Your Home Ready to Sell Checklist

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The only thing more stressful than buying a home is selling one. There’s a lot of money on the line, a lot of emotions on the parts of the buyer and the seller, and a pressing time limit ticking away in the buyer’s head. Let’s say you’ve been looking at all those homes for sale in Toronto and want to move but you’ve got one big problem… you have to sell your current home in order to buy a new one.

Getting a home for sale onto and off of the market is a chore, but there’s plenty you can do to make that task a little easier. We’ve prepared a simple 6 step checklist to get your home ready to sell. Have a read-through, take notes, look for a new home for sale in another city, and set yourself on the path to peace of mind.

1. Get A Real Estate Agent

Selling your house by yourself is as bad an idea as representing yourself in court. You’re setting yourself up to fail if you don’t get a good agent on your side when you’re getting your home ready to sell. Do your homework and find a real estate agent who knows the local market and, hopefully, knows the brokers representing the prospect homebuyers. You can’t replace the knowledge that an experienced real estate agent can share with you when it comes to getting your home ready for sale.

2. Rent a Storage Space

When you’re getting your home ready for sale, you’re going to have to get your stuff out of the house. You want to create plenty of blank space in your home for buyers to be able to imagine what their stuff will look like when they move in. That means personal photos, most of your furniture, your artwork, almost everything, needs to be out of the house when buyers come through. You can’t just shove everything into the garage, the basement, or the closets either. Buyers will want to see all those rooms too. Instead, it’s best to rent a storage space while you wait out the home selling process. We know this is awkward and stressful, moving everything that matters to you out of your home and sticking it away somewhere else for weeks on end. The good news is that this will help your house sell faster and make this awkward phase pass a little faster.

3. Focus on Fixing Up The Face Value Aspects of Your Home.

Homebuyers focus inordinately on the surface-level details when they’re checking out a home for sale. They care about what they see first. So focus your cleaning attention on whatever a homebuyer will see within the first minute or so of checking out your home. Make sure the grass in the front yard is well-groomed. Pressure wash the front of your house if you can. Repaint your front door. Clean your windows, make sure the lights in your home’s entryway are shining bright. Make that first minute really count.

A new coat of paint, a carpet cleaning, floor waxing, and a trim yard can do wonders for your home. Make your house the best it’s ever looked and notice how much time and money you’ll win back for your trouble. You don’t have to completely remodel your home of course, but if you have broken light fixtures, wobbly doorknobs, or a rattling ceiling fan, it can only help you to get it all fixed.

If you’re expecting a tour, clean ahead of time. Make sure the windows are crystal clear and that the house is always in top condition. If you have a yard, it might also be worth it to give it a once over with a rake or leaf blower every other day, just to make sure that the green grass is always on full display.

4. Modernize Your Home

Modernizing your home is much easier than it sounds. Take a survey of each room, and whatever looks dated to you should be removed. Remember, when showing a home for sale, the less the better. What is dated but can’t be removed (light fixtures, door knobs, outlets, etc.) should be replaced with more up-to-date designs.

5. Hire A Professional Photographer

Potential home buyers love pictures, and most of the time, when looking at a listing, that’s what they focus most of their attention on. As nice as your iPhone’s camera might be, our advice to you is to hire somebody who really knows what they’re doing.

Professional photographers know how to do more than just take pictures. They know how to set up shots. They know how to make a 10×12 room look enormous with the right lighting and the right angles. They can make an old kitchen look brand new, and on a sunny day with a clear sky they can make your house look ready for a movie shoot.

We really cannot stress enough just how important pictures are. Sometimes it can be a pain to find the best day to bring a photographer in, as they are picky people when it comes to the weather and the right lighting. Nevertheless, having twenty top-of-the-line photos of your home might save you weeks and thousands of dollars while you’re trying to sell your house.

6. Get Out Of The Way

Once you’ve done everything you can to get your home ready to sell, the best thing you can do next is do nothing at all. Get out of the way, out of the house, and let the prospective homebuyers check out your house. Keep in touch with your realtor so you know when there are scheduled walk-throughs and make sure you’re out of the house when that’s going on.

You can take this time to enjoy your community, go visit family, or work on figuring out where you’re going to live next. Check out some relocation guides, take a trip out to the area you’re interested in living in, do anything but get in the way of the homebuying process. It’s really that simple.