Before You List

After you’ve made the choice to sell your home, but before your Realtor posts the "For Sale” sign on the yard,
have a long hard look at your house. Be objective. Scrutinize the inside and the outside. How your home looks to
prospective buyers can determine not only how long it takes to sell, but what it sells for too.

Begin by speaking with your Realtor. He or she not only provides the objective sensibility of a third party, but also the knowledge of what to look for—what will catch the buyer’s eye and what will be an eyesore.

Attention must be paid to both the inside and outside of the home. Encourage honest feedback from friends and relatives. Don’t be shy.

The inclination to do major decorating before selling may prove not only unnecessary but also undesirable.
Buyers often prefer to chose their own paints and colours. However, if indoor or outdoor paint is dull, old and dirty, you may want to paint key areas. Use washable, latex paints. Indoors, choose a light bright neutral colour like white or beige. Remember that light colours make rooms look larger and brighter. Neutral shades are versatile and can be used with any type of furniture.

Painting as needed, minor repairs, and adding pieces like potted plants and floral arrangements all make a home more marketable. Use the following list to guarantee a good first impression:

  • Scrub walls and closets. Even clean looking spaces really sparkle with a general cleaning.
  • Repair broken screens, door hinges, window and other items that detract even subtly from the home’s appearance. Replace old light fixtures, door knobs, light switch plates and electrical outlet plates to create a fresh new look.
  • Make a room look bigger or smaller, as needed, by rearranging, adding or removing furniture.
  • A minimal investment into simple window treatments can make an enormous difference in the look of a room. Add a valance or fabric swag that compliments the room’s decor for added flare.
  • A strip of wallpaper, or a bright wallpaper border makes a room come alive.
  • Many buyers are drawn to hardwood floors. Lift a corner of broadloom to see if your home has hardwood floors. If it does, consider removing the old broadloom and having the hardwood sanded and polished. It may be the feature that sells your home.
  • Worn old broadloom should be replaced. Choose a neutral shade.
  • Declutter. All unnecessary possessions and clutter can detract from the sale of your home. A garage sale or donating items to charity is a great way to get ready to sell your home.
  • Highlight your assets. The key selling points of your home—a workshop, solarium, beautiful garden or a fireplace for example– should draw the buyer’s attention. Use your imagination. Hang an attractive mirror or print above a fireplace. Frame the view from a window showing the garden outside with stunning window
  • treatments.
  • Keep all entrances to your home clean, clear and inviting by adding a welcome mat, an attractive door hanging or placing potted plants nearby.
  • Keep everything clean. Spotless, sparkling clean.
  • Try to maintain a natural flow from room to room, using colour and style.
  • Keep the temperature of the home comfortable and appropriately lit. Consider final homey touches that add charm like a crackling fire, or the smell of baking pie.
  • The rooms usually scrutinized most by a buyer are the kitchen and bathrooms. Be sure they are clean, tidy and in good repair. They may set the impression for the rest of the home.
  • Keep the outdoors well maintained and accessible. It will be the first part the buyer sees.

When you have completed a thorough inspection and assessment of your home, ask yourself, "if I were a buyer,
what kind of environment and mood does this place have?” When you, your realtor, friends and family really like
what they see, you’re ready to sell.

- Realtor Wise