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Preparing Your Home For Showing


First Impressions Count

Photo of a clean kitchen ready for showing Let there be no doubt that attractive, well-kept, clean houses sell first and faster than cluttered, un-kept and poorly maintained homes. The old saying "First Impressions Count" has never been more true than when you are showing your home to prospective buyers!


Quick Fixes and Improvements that create a Good Impressision

Potential home buyers will be looking for visual clues that your home is well cared for. How much work a house appears to require will impact the offering prices you receive, so it's worthwhile to make sure that everything is in good working order.

Atmosphere

Be mindful of the odours left behind by pets and smokers and consider using an environmentally friendly room fragrance to neutralize unpleasant scents. Replace light bulbs and add light fixtures in dark hallways, including basements, garages and closets.

Bathrooms

Ensure all plumbing fixtures are clean and in good working order. Outfit leaky faucets with new washers and clean any visible stains on porcelain fixtures. Replace old, worn shower curtains and bath mats.

Curb Appeal = Drive By Success!

First impressions can be everything. Many people simply drive by a listing and make a decision based on your home's curb appeal. So, don't forget the importance of creating a well-manicured entryway - to entice potential buyers. Maintaining a neat and attractive exterior to your home will show buyers that you take pride on your property.

Front Entrance-way

Look critically at your front entrance: does the door or the porch railing cry out for a fresh coat of paint? Polish the door handle and invest in a new welcome mat.
How about the house numbers? Perhaps a fresh set of numbers are in order?
What about the Mail Box? Is it dirty, work out, too small, paint chipped? Time for a new one perhaps?

Remove Personal Items

Put away family photos, souvenirs, knick-knacks and personal items. These items are special to you, but the prospective buyer wants to envision their own personal items in your space. So, help them out... pack them away for your new house!

Create Ease of Movement

Rearrange furniture, remove and store extra furniture to create open areas that promote easy foot traffic through your home.

Show Off Storage Space

Clear out closets, basements and garages as prospective buyers are always on the lookout for ample storage space. Now is a good time to box up unworn clothes, toys and personal items for storage or charity.

Doors and Windows

Have windows cleaned inside and out. Potential buyers will be estimating their energy costs, so fix drafts by re-caulking windows and replace exterior doors if necessary.
Spray WD40 on all hinges so everything operates smoothly.

Walls and Floors

A fresh coat of paint instantly transforms a space, helping it to look neat, clean, and up-to-date. Always fix obvious wall imperfections like cracks and nail holes, before painting. Steam clean carpets and runners, and repair any chipped or loose floor tiles.

Basement

If your basement is finished, make sure that it is as spotless as the rest of your home. If it is used as a storage area, eliminate the clutter and organize all boxes. (This will also help you with your move!) Check for any signs of dampness or water leakage.

Furnace and Air Conditioning

Replace the furnace filter. Ensure both the furnace and air conditioner are working. Consider having them professionally serviced.

Landscaping

Consider planting a few bushes and colourful mature flowers to create an eye catching display. Ensure that your lawn is well manicured: mowed, watered and void of brown spots.

Front Porch

If it's spring or summer, plant colourful containers to flank your entrance. If it's autumn, rake leaves. During winter, clear the snow and ice from your walkway. Whatever the season, look closely to determine if any repairs are needed. All loose cement or rotting wood should be replaced.


Preparing the Exterior of your Home for a Showing

Take a look at your house as if you were a buyer. With a critical eye, examine your home from outside and inside. Bring along a pad of paper and take notes! Determine what can be solved by a simple cleaning and what needs professional attention and repair. Your list should also include problems that are immediately evident and underlying problems you know of, like a leaky basement.

Let's start with the exterior of your home. Think of what you would like to see when you're viewing a home, or better still what you wouldn't like to see -- cluttered yard, weeds crowding the garden, loose or dangling exterior features (like a broken door), paint peeling, broken fence, or an oil-stained, damaged driveway.

Get out your ladder and inspect the roof. Are the shingles in good shape, are the gutters in good condition and free of debris? You may wish to trim back any trees or shrubs that are leaning on your roof or drainage system.

Take a good, objective look at the outside. Would what you're facing invite you to explore further or make you ready to leave?

Simply having the lawn mowed or the driveway shoveled in the winter will make a better impression. Also, remove any "cutesy" lawn decorations that may have home viewers rolling their eyes. And trim any overgrown shrubs or hedges. If you have a sizable property, you may also wish to hire a professional to weed and feed your lawn..

Flowers are a very effective way of adding colour and warmth to your home. If you're selling during the spring, plant flowers to make the property colourful and inviting. A bouquet or two in your house also adds a nice touch.


Preparing the Interior of your Home for a Showing

You're in the home. Your five senses are alert. Is what you see clean and organized? Is there an odour? Old shoes? Stale cooking? Garbage? Pets? If there is, it could be a deterrent to potential purchases. Bake cookies or simmer potpourri before your home is shown to give your place a comforting smell. Also, clean your carpets and air out your home.

And speaking of carpets, cleaning them is fairly inexpensive. Without the grit, and with the carpet pile looking fresh, your home takes on a new appearance. While you're at it, take a broom around and brush your walls and light fixtures to remove any cobwebs.

Work your way from the ground up. Wash the walls or repaint soiled areas. Touch up chips or plaster nicks. If you've used severe designs or dark colours on your walls, you may wish to repaint your home so that has a more neutral move-in appearance. Also check the ceiling and plaster and repaint it white if necessary.


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