1. The house needs to be clean, clean, clean, from top to bottom, including windows, inside and out, floors, the inside (and outside) of fridges, microwaves, ovens, etc. Everything needs to be sparkling!
2. Remove ALL clutter…this is a head start in getting packed for the move to the new home! Remove at least half of the clothes from each closet…this makes the closets look much larger than if everything was stuffed in there. Closet organizers are great to give a roomy feel. Kitchen cupboards, pantries, china cabinets, etc. should also be roomy and organized, so again, remove lots of ‘stuff’ and make it seem like there is lots of room for the new buyers. Remove EVERYTHING off kitchen counters, except for a bowl of fruit, or a vase of flowers and/or another simple accessory.
3. De-personalize everywhere…remove family pictures, diplomas, etc. from walls. Do not leave all the walls bare though, hang some simple art pieces…landscapes/flowers, etc. Also remove any collections that may be on display (plates, china dolls, etc)
4. Do any simple repairs…leaking faucet, fixing cracks in plaster, squeaky door, windows that don’t open properly, etc.
5. Update some things that won’t cost too much. New faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms can really update the room. Replace worn floor/carpet with laminate. Install new lighting fixtures, etc
6. Provide highly visible extra storage areas wherever possible….storage is one of the top three things buyers are looking for according to a recent poll.
7. Paint the walls in a neutral colour.
8. Curb appeal is of utmost importance. Many people do a drive-by of the home before they decide if they want to see it or not. If there is nothing inviting about the curb appeal , many potential buyers won’t even bother to look inside the home. Mow the lawn, plant colorful flowers, hang baskets of flowers, put two urns by the front door with plants/flowers in them. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint in a colour that will stand out from the rest of the house. If you can’t decide what colour will look good, a glossy black colour is always classy. Make sure the hardware on the door is in good repair, as well as the doorbell/knocker, house numbers etc. Trim any trees or shrubs that may be blocking views from any of the windows or that hide the front of the house. Do not have children’s toys or garden utensils, garbage containers, etc. in view.
9. Lighting is also very important. Make sure all rooms are well lit. Replace any burned out bulbs. Remove or reduce the number of window coverings where possible to let in as much natural light as possible.
10. Remove any odours. This is one of the biggest turn-offs for buyers. Cigarette, pet and cooking odours have to be removed…not masked with deodorizers. This may involve steam cleaning or replacing any carpets, draperies and upholstery. Open windows often to allow fresh air to circulate through the house. Put out a bowl of lemons or oranges, or a vase of fresh flowers to introduce a natural, subtle fragrance. (Also, if possible, remove pets and all evidence of pets for showings.)