How to get your home in shape for a quicker sale
You’ve invested years getting your home to look just the way you want it. The interior is splashed with vibrant colours, family photos hang from the walls, and treasured keepsakes fill your shelves and tabletops. You love your home, but your needs have changed and it’s time to move.
And your real estate agent wants you to do WHAT?
It may go against every instinct in your body, but the same decorations and set-ups that make the home cozy to you may actually turn off prospective buyers. Buyers want to easily imagine a house as their own, and it can be hard for them to see beyond a current owner’s style. The advice that any good real estate agent or interior designer will give you is to neutralize and do needed repairs and adjustments before you show your home.
If you’re serious about showing your home in the best light in order to attract more offers at a price you’re happy with, follow these interior preparation tips:
View the house through the buyer's eyes
Take a walk through your home and scrutinize every room from a buyer’s perspective. Better yet, get a friend or neighbour to do it for you to ensure objectivity. If you have any problem areas, consider a home renovation. Don’t forget to walk around the exterior, too.
Fix minor repairs
Buyers prefer to see a home in move-in condition, and even small things such as a dripping faucet can detract from the value of your home. Repair any cracks, holes and chipped paint in every room. Tighten loose knobs, towel racks, switch plates and outlet covers. Fix tight doors and windows, squeaky floorboards and loose stair banisters. Repair caulking around tubs and sinks, and fix that leaky faucet.
Household security is a sought-after feature in homes, and simple measures such as adding window locks and motion-sensor lights outside can boost the attractiveness of your property. In densely populated urban areas, simple additions such as blinds and shutters are invaluable for improving privacy.
Don't be too unique with decor
Many potential buyers are willing to pay a premium for good décor. To appeal to the highest percentage of home viewers, keep your décor simple and modern with neutral wall colours. A contemporary and minimalist space attracts the most buyers and brightens up the look of your home, whereas unusual accessories and strong wall colours will limit your pool of buyers. This is also true for renovations. The right renovations can often boost the price of a home, but be careful not to do it with too much flair. Your unique style may set you apart, but it will also scare some buyers away.
Keep your neighbourhood in mind when renovating
Actual returns on renovations depend not only on the renovation itself, but also on how your home compares to your neighbours’. If your home is already above market value for your neighbourhood, your renovation may not yield a higher return. Buyers looking at moderately priced homes won’t be able to pay a premium for luxury finishes. Ask your real estate agent to give you an assessment of homes in your area before embarking on costly renovations. To see which renovations will return the most value when you sell, visit Renovations.
It may sound like a lot to do, but the hard part is over. Once your home’s interior is in tip-top shape, all you need to do is enhance curb appeal, stage your home and prepare for your open house.