Getting Your House Ready to Sell
When getting your home ready to sell, you need to look at your house in a new way. Think of your house as a product out to go on the market where it is probably competing with brand new housing. It needs to show well–which means clutter-free and well kept.
Today’s homebuyers lead busy lives and may not be interested in taking on major repairs or improvements upon moving in. You need to make your house a “10”. This document will help you spot what is right and what is not so good about your product. It will give you the opportunity to take needed corrective action to ensure your house looks fresh, clean and well maintained when the “for sale” sign goes up.
Fix It First
If you need to make improvements to your home, do the work before it goes on the market. Potential buyers are not interested in hearing about your good intentions to look after defects before a transfer of ownership takes place. Even if fix-up work is underway, buyers may not be able to visualize what your home will look like when the work is finished. They will just remember it being in a state of disrepair.
Professional Inspection, Yes or No?
A serious buyer may want to have a professional home inspector check your house from top to bottom before making an offer. Even though this guide will help you identify problems on your own, the option of hiring a professional home inspector is open to you, as well. If you can afford it, an inspection in advance of putting your home on the market is a good idea. It is your best way of finding and taking care of serious deficiencies before an inspector hired by a potential buyer discovers them.
Homeowner’s Inspection Checklist
This practical, easy-to-follow guide for homeowners will help you identify common house problems and deal with them. In it, you will find illustrated how-to tips offering effective solutions for every room of your house. Use the ordering instructions on the back page of this fact sheet.
Let’s Begin Outside
Check Your House’s Curb Appeal
How does your house look from the street? That is where prospective buyers will be when they first see your home; and, that is where they will form that all-important first impression. Stand at the curb in front of your house and note what you see.
When you have completed the curb appeal inspection, carefully check the rest of your home’s exterior.
Will your roof and chimney pass inspection?
If you are uneasy about climbing onto your roof, you can inspect most items from the ground using binoculars. Otherwise, be careful when working or moving about on your roof. Unless roof repair is a simple matter of applying new caulking, you will probably need the services of a professional.
The condition of your exterior walls directly affects the look and curb appeal of your home.
Now, Let’s Go Indoors
A prospective buyer will usually enter through your front door; so, that is where you should begin your interior inspection.You want your buyer to see a neat, clean, well-lit interior. Get clutter out of sight; ensure that carpets are clean and floors are scrubbed and polished; and that walls and trim show fresh paint (preferably neutral or light colours).
Take a sniff. Are there any unpleasant odours in your home? If so, track them down and eliminate them. Ensure all your lights work and are free of cobwebs.You want your home to look spacious, bright and fresh.
If you have considerable family memorabilia about, consider thinning it out.Your objective is to help potential buyers feel as if they could live in your home. That mental leap becomes more difficult for them if your house resembles a shrine to you and your family.
Professional realtors and decorators say the most important areas of your home to upgrade and modernize are the kitchen and bathrooms. Buyers also want to see new or recently installed floor coverings throughout.
Keep furniture to a minimum so these rooms do not appear smaller than they are. Ensure that traffic can flow in or through these rooms unimpeded. If they contain bookshelves or cabinets overflowing with books, magazines and knick-knacks, remove some of these items. Ensure bedroom closets look spacious, organized and uncluttered. Create space by getting rid of old clothes and junk. Remember to remove or lock away valuables such as jewellery, coins, currency, cameras and compact discs.
Kitchens and Bathrooms
The condition of the foundation and main structural members in the basement are critical to the fitness of any house. The purpose of your inspection is to make sure these are sound and durable. Look for cracks, water seepage, efflorescence (white powder-like substance), crumbling mortar or concrete and rotting wood. If any of these problems are present, you need to do further research to learn about causes and possible solutions.
In general, if your basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier. Like all other areas of your home, your basement should be organized and clutter-free.
Change the filters in the furnace and have it cleaned–this is the number one item purchasers want done after a home inspection. If you have a pet with a litterbox, ensure the litterbox is clean.
Get rid of the broken tools, old car parts, discarded bicycles, empty paint cans and the hundreds of other useless items that accumulate in garages. Again, you want a clutter-free zone. Use cleaning solutions to remove oil stains from the floor.
When It’s Showtime!
You have inspected your house and taken care of problems. Now you are ready for showings. You will need a plan of action that assigns duties to each family member so the place can quickly be whipped into shape.