The Do’s and Don’ts of getting your home ready to sell

If you have been following any of my blog posts on selling your home, I am always stressing the importance of making your house showroom ready - to attract the greatest interest and hopefully the highest price for your home.

Not all improvements are created equal, and some are ones to concentrate on, and others that could be considered a really good waste of your time and money.
So check out my top 4 do’s and don’ts in preparing your home for sale:

DO Paint with neutral colours. One of the most economical renovations for the least amount of money is paint. Speak with your Realtor ® or stager to get the recommendation on the best neutral paint colour and paint the most high traffic and noticeable areas.

DO Give the outside a good refresh. Time to take an objective view of your home from a buyer's eyes, and remove any unnecessary planters, accessories, weeds, that kind of thing. Take the time to clean, even power wash areas leading to the front door. Consider painting that front door and changing the hardware as this will make a great first impression

DO Refresh the kitchen and bathrooms. If your cabinets have seen better days, consider a fresh coat of paint or stain and new handles. You may even go so far as to replace the faucets or countertops, to give the rooms a new look and feel. But before investing too much, discuss your plans with your Realtor ® who can help advise how far you might go.

DO Clean, clean, clean. A clean home always looks and smells inviting. Clean the windows, the bathrooms, every corner of the flooring, the baseboards, under the counters and closets, yes, buyers look there and you don’t want them to be turned off by unsightly things lurking around the corners and closets.

Now that you have a handle on what to do, here is areas you can avoid so you can focus elsewhere:

DON'T Undertake any type of major renovation. Updating with new handles or refreshing the cabinets is one thing, investing in a new kitchen you have always wanted, only to make it look great for the next buyer - usually isn’t money well spent. A great kitchen renovation can start at $30K, and you will not likely get that money back, and such an extensive renovation may delay you getting to the market which may delay prime selling seasons.

DON'T Replace the carpets…with more carpet. Hardwood, vinyl and laminate flooring are the flooring that is in demand from buyers, so if you are thinking of replacing carpets, consider using these products vs. new carpet. But before you do any of that speak with your Realtor ® who can weigh the cost and benefit of this and maybe you just need to clean the carpets and leave that flooring update to the new owners.

DON'T Finish the basement. Between the cost and timing of finishing a basement, you may delay the sale of your home, plus your efforts may not recover your time and investment. And unless you do the work of a pro or hire a professional contractor, basements are famous for being built by amateur handymen, and the workmanship shows to a savvy buyer an their Realtor. Give your basement a good cleaning and declutter so buyers can see it’s potential.

DON'T Reduce the number of bedrooms. The number of bedrooms is often a key factor when buyers choose a home, so before you convert that small bedroom into a walk-in closet, think the more bedrooms the better from a resale perspective. And if a bedroom has become a den or office, it’s best to convert it back to a bedroom before the for sale sign goes up. People can easily envision a bedroom and convert it into an office, but may have difficulty the other way around.

I hope you have found my quick list of do’s and don’ts in getting your home ready for sale. Each home is different, and each market is different so nothing replaces the advice of a great Realtor ® on what you can do to have the best bottom line for your sale.

Heidi Brown

Sales Representative

Direct: 416-898-4565

Oakville Office:

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc., Brokerage

1320 Cornwall Road

Oakville, ON, Canada L6J 0H7

Hamilton Office:

RE/MAX Escarpment Realty Inc., Brokerage

1595 Upper James Street, Suite 101 

Hamilton, ON, Canada L9B 0H7

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