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How to prepare your home before putting it on the real estate market

Posted by admin on August 22, 2016
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Life is always full of surprises. All of a sudden, you end up changing your habits, making new plans for your future and having to face a big and troubled problem: selling your home. Making such a thing is not always easy: your home is full of memories, precious moments spent with the people you love or with your favourite pet and every room speaks to you in a different and personal way. Eluding melancholy is possible, if you take action fast! Here are some important tips for selling a home in Edmonton, Alberta or Vancouver, British Columbia.

It is Not Your Home Anymore.

Let us start with the most challenging thing. Forget about your life there, forget about your evenings sitting by the fire or watching television in the living room, forget about all the dinners spent with family and friends. And repeat to yourself: it is not my home anymore. Remove all your stuff, all those family photos and souvenirs that have made this space yours. Remove personality. This process can allow potential buyers to see the house as theirs, not yours, and it can help you in your purpose to sell it for good. If you “let go” and say goodbye to every room you can really start over and focus on letting the house shine and become a great deal to your buyers. You want buyers to imagine their own style, their own pictures, to create their own memories. You want them to say: “I can see myself living here.” If they are able to picture them in there, you are officially a seller!

Remove clutter: store or donate?

It is time for action. In order to start letting go and make room for your buyers, the first thing to do is to remove clutter. Easier said than done, we know. But with some tips this activity can also be fun and fast. First of all, separate things you need from things you do not. Start with one room at a time and fill paper or plastic boxes with the items in every room; after, add some Post-it notes on the top of the boxes in order to remember what each box contains and to be able to find that particular grandmother’s tea cloth when you will be looking for it. After having packed, you have two alternatives: either you buy or rent a garage, a container or a box/ pod storage to hold your things or you can decide to donate them. But do not forget one important thing: cut the clutter also means getting rid of big furniture that does not really fit inside your rooms, because your buyers need space and air!

Make room for buyers.

We already said before: make room for buyers. Every home looks better with less furniture: it is airy, it is fresh, and it seems new, even if your house is ten years old. So, make sure to remove big furniture that blocks paths and walkways. Remove extras from your dining room table to make the area appear wider. Leave just enough furniture in each room for the room’s purpose, because while walking through them buyers will need to know exactly where they are and picturing themselves in each one of them. Their new and spaced rooms.

Let the house smell new.

Another thing to be removed is “your” smell. I know it seems difficult but it is really crucial, because every part of your personal touch can influence the final decision of your buyers. Once again, this could be their house, and it should smell new. So, open the windows and let new air come in. It could be helpful to remove paper from walls and decide how to repaint them: everyone loves the scent of fresh paint and brilliant colors on the walls! And even if they do not seem so old, believe us: the walls are in worse shape than you think. Especially when you move the furniture to clean it, you can find several damaged spots and cracks that now are visible in the naked walls. So, the greatest thing to make your house look flawless is to repaint every room. Use neutral colors, because every buyer does not want to feel overwhelmed by a shocking color or bold accessories.

Clean clean clean.

You have just cut the clutter, removed your personal touch and style from every room of the house in order to make it look better, bigger and new. That is just the first step. Now it is the moment when things get tough and you need to throw yourself on manual job. Password: clean! Either you hire a cleaning service or you decide to do it on your own, this is one of the most central thing to do to prepare the house for selling. And it is not just about washing the windows or removing dust. Cleaning means: wash windows inside and out, use a washer to clean sidewalks and exterior (we will talk about this crucial point later), be careful of the cobwebs in every corner, get down on your knees and rub properly tubs, showers and sinks in the bathroom, and also faucets and mirrors all over the place, clean out the fridge and the freezer, dust everything possible, even light fixtures and the top of the furniture, clean or remove rugs, air out every room.

Fix nagging things.

Getting every room ready for the showcase also means checking everything and repair it if necessary. So, do not postpone the nagging things and get rid of them doing your job. Call electrician services or contractors to double check your lighting system. It is essential to have a good electric lighting system, not only for its correct use but also for your safety and the safety of your buyers. Also ask for advices about lighting ergonomics, especially for the protection of kids. Let there be light! Furthermore, each room has specific problems.
Let us start with the bathroom. After having checked the lighting system, make sure everything works properly: check the pop-up sink stopper in the faucet, check the shower pole and the toilet flush. These are some of the most utilized items in the bathroom and a proper working is a must (buyers will check them for sure during the showcase). Transform your bathroom into a Spa by adding pretty washcloths, scented candles and faux or fat plants. You can also buy bathmats and towels in matching tones.
Let us go to the kitchen, one of the most used room full of electrical tools and machines. The first thing to do is to make sure that everything works: sink, oven, hot-plates or stoves, and every tool you are leaving for the buyers. Also add some cute items like marmalade jars or useful kitchen tools.
The living room, instead, is where people spend their leisure time, so it has to be comfortable, convenient and warm. So, make sure that the furniture is new or renewed, the sofas are comfy and fresh and the carpets do not smell old and dusty. And place them in a “conversational mood”, in a way that each guest can be inspired to talk to others. Also remove exposed electrical cables, to make the room look neat and organized.
Pay particular attention to the bedroom, the most intimate place of the entire house. Clean the bed, starting from the springs. Change pillows, mattress pad and even mattress itself if it is not in a good shape. Use brand new sheets and clean blankets, choosing a classic and neutral style. After, take a great care of the closet. Buyers will surely open the closet and the last thing they want to see is items falling down or messy stuff inside, that make it appear smaller and stuffed to the brim. Make room, remove things you don’t need and store them inside boxes and dividers, so that the closet seems organized and clean.
Your home is not just the main floor. Take great care of other exposed areas of the house: basement, front yard and back yard. Most of the basements look the same: full of life, full of items, full of memories, and full of things you are not actually using. Boxes, power tools, damaged bicycles, your entire collection of comics and old videotapes, old clothes that show how time (and fashion) passes by. We are not saying that you have to throw it all away, especially when your memories are involved and some of those things really matter to you. You can make a selection and decide if there is something that you can donate or throw away. Plus, you need more space for the things you are removing from other rooms of the house. Do not forget to clean your basement: we know it is odd but thinking about it as an important room of the house, a space you are really proud of, it will make a difference for your buyers.
Take care, in the end, of the entrance and the exterior, first thing your buyers will see. You know that first impression it happens just once and it can change everything. Studies have shown that more and more buyers have decided not to even enter a house based on its external appeal. How can we disagree? Your house first look tells about you and give buyers expectations on what they can find inside or what kind of sellers you are. So, do not spend all your time indoors. Go outside and picture the perfect image. We are sure that includes: painted fresh walls, clean windows, clear and bright walkaways that guide your guests, cut grass and a row of flowers through the path, cute lights to warm the porch, chairs and pretty pillows to relax on with a cup of coffee. Now ask yourself: “will I even enter this house?”.

Take your time and decorate.

We know it has been hard and now you want to finish this as soon as possible. But if you rush yourself it will do no good. Renovating your house for selling it can also mean having fun. After you have finished removing, fixing, choosing and cleaning, you can finally start decorating, which is less boring and fun too. Choose the scent for every room, select some candles, maybe “vanilla” or “chocolate” smells that can help your house smell yummy. Put some green on. Choose fat plants, flowers on the table and some colored items to spice things up a little bit, to make your house look original but neat and discrete too. Try to imagine a classic and a neutral taste that can fit different kinds of people.

Get ready for the showdown.

You are almost there. Now it is time to take pictures, so make sure to scrutinize and redefine every spot before doing it. Everything has to be and look perfect for your selling chances. Remember, the first impression is the last impression: make sure buyers can easily read your house number and be ready for the showdown. How? Buyers and agents are going to ask a lot of questions, so collect all the things you need to give them proper answers: bills, tax bills, survey and rental contracts, warranties. And if you are not always available, make an extra set of keys and give it to the agents: prospective buyers will appreciate to have the chance to see the house quietly.

Everything is set. You have worked hard to make your house look excellent and unbeatable. There is just one more thing you need to do. Pretend you are a buyer. Start from the outdoor and check the front and the backyard. Enter the front door and walk inside, room after room. Ask yourself: “would I buy this house?” If the answer is “yes” do not worry anymore. You did a great job and you are ready to kill your showdown!

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