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How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Expert tips on what to repair, refresh and stage before you put your house on the market

Family of four standing on lawn in front of house with Sold sign

Selling what is for many people their biggest asset is a big deal, and everyone hopes for the highest price possible. Put yourself in a better position for a quick and profitable sale with these five tried-and-true must-dos.

1. Boost your curb appeal

“Most buyers judge a book by its cover,” says Leila Kiani-Oskoi, a sales representative at Toronto’s Right at Home Realty. You’ll want to make sure your lawn is mowed (or snow is cleared off walkways), weeds pulled, and doors and windows are sparkling.

Together with these changes, “in the warmer months, planting colourful flowers, perennials and native plants may increase your home’s value up to 10 per cent,” she says.

2. Declutter and depersonalize

This is all about staging—you’re going to have to get rid of personal items and make your space appear more neutral. “Box up family photos and art, and organize your closets to look half-empty. Buyers want to visualize themselves living in the home through a clean slate,” she says. “If there are too many items, consider putting them in storage, as buyers might worry they won’t have enough space for their own belongings.”

3. Brighten up interiors

It’s time to illuminate, indoors and out. Change to brighter light bulbs, repaint in neutral shades, and open up blinds and drapes. “Buyers will write off an entire house if they walk in one room and it’s dark and gloomy. Even if your home doesn’t get much light, these changes will add a cheery feeling.”

4. Repair where necessary

“Your home may be adorned with the most beautiful furniture, but buyers will notice loose door handles and scuff marks on walls,” Kiani-Oskoi says. Refreshing your home to minimize signs of wear and tear—whether that’s tightening handles or replacing a stained carpet—can elevate appeal. Fixing these details in advance can go a long way when it comes time to negotiate.

5. Scrub, scrub, scrub

Even professionally staged homes aren’t going to sell if they’re grimy. “Bad odours, pet hair and sticky floors are incredibly off-putting. A spotless home will make a buyer more comfortable and ease their thoughts of transitioning into the space.”

Want more ways to refresh your home?

Here’s how to tackle hidden sources of mould and mildew, and 5 decluttering strategies to try.

Image credit: iStock.com/Mikolette