Photo by Brian Johnson and Dane Kantner , acquired via Flickr.com
Getting Ready to Sell
Although we've already had a bumper crop of sales in January, this is the time the spring market normally begins to pick up. If you're considering moving, it's important to fix all those little problems that crop up in your home during the winter.
Being diligent about repairs can give your home the edge over the competition. It's often the tiny flaws that stick out. With so many professionally-staged flips on the market now, you need a higher “wow factor” to compete.
Here is a checklist you should take through each of the rooms in your home to get them ready:
- Do any doors not shut properly and completely? Pay special attention to bi-fold and sliding closet doors. A closet door that sticks is not only a turn-off because it's hard to operate, but also makes it harder for buyers to see how big the closets are.
- Are any doorknobs loose? Often, all it takes is tightening the bolts holding the two sides together. Do the hinges squeak? This can make a home feel old, and is easily fixed.
- Are there smudges or dirt on the walls or trim? Take a step back and pay special attention to the areas around light switches, door handles, and the edges of walls. A simple wash and wipe will usually remove any discoloration.
- Does the carpet need cleaning? Take a look at the high-traffic paths and you may notice they're darker than the rest of the carpet. If you have pets, old accidents may have left stains that you no longer notice. All of this is much more obvious to a buyer seeing it for the first time.
- Is the floor scuffed or scratched? On hardwood floors, most scratches can be covered using the right colour stain. On laminate floors, staining is not an option, so try to draw attention elsewhere through decoration if possible.
- Do any lights need replacing? Bright, well-lit rooms are essential to allow buyers to appreciate the home. Beyond the obvious burnt-out or missing bulbs, you should also replace bulbs that are too weak for the room they're in.
- Are any electrical outlets damaged or loose? This is unsafe and will raise a red flag for buyers.
- Are there any leaking faucets or toilets that run constantly? Often, a discoloration in the sink underneath the faucet is a tell-tale sign. These are essential to repair.
- Are shower or tub tile corners showing signs of wear? Repair these if possible.
- Is the room cluttered with unnecessary items or furniture? Are these items blocking paths through the room, access to windows and closets, or stopping doors from opening? Removing clutter is essential, otherwise your house will feel small and the storage will seem inadequate.
Once you have finished your checklist, it's a good idea to do a second walk-around to check for any other damage or problems. Your real estate agent can provide you with unbiased feedback. As homeowners, we often become so familiar with our home that we miss the tiny flaws that are right in front of us.
With your list of repairs now written, work your way through it one item at a time. Be diligent and don't skip items, even if the process becomes tiresome.
Just remember that a successful sale will make all of the work worthwhile!
Want to know more about helping your home sell? Just ask me, I'll be happy to help.