Spring is rapidly approaching and with the better weather comes a great opportunity to sell your home. The “Spring Market” is when the most homes sell, with the largest mortgage closing dates across Canada being June 30, July 31 and August 28. People want to move at the beginning of summer which means they start looking for houses in March and April. If you are considering selling your house this spring, now is the perfect time to start getting your house ready to sell. The first step is to take a step back and look at your house as if you are a buyer. Pick apart the big and little items that a buyer may not like. Determine if those items can be fixed or if you are willing to accept the fact that not everything is perfect.
A great way to start is to have a building inspection done on your home. When someone buys your home, they will generally hire a building inspector to look at the house from top to bottom, inside and out. If you get a building inspection and fix a lot of the items in advance this is a great selling feature.
You can even have the building inspection on display at the house and mark the items you have fixed. If your home was built before 1994 and has vermiculite insulation, you may wish to get this tested for asbestos. If there is no asbestos, you can provide the paperwork to show there is no asbestos. If there is asbestos, you can have it remediated prior to selling your home. If there is asbestos found in the insulation and it is not remediated, most mortgage lenders will not give the buyer financing. This limits the number of people who will be able to purchase your home.
Having perimeter drains flushed and working, gutters and drains moving water away from the house, fences fixed and upright all help in selling your home. Fixing all the loose ends such as electrical outlet covers, baseboards, loose handles and any other items you know should be repaired. Go into the attic and look for mould and ensure that air is circulating properly. It is about giving buyers the confidence that the house they are going to buy is loved and cared for by you, the seller.
Does your house look too lived in? Does it just need a deep clean or does it need to be repainted? If your walls are crazy colours, consider repainting in neutral colours. If you have carpeting, consider getting them professionally cleaned. Before listing the house have professional housekeepers come in for a day.
Declutter, declutter, declutter. You must pack anyway, so start packing now. Get all “Maria Kondo” and keep the end in mind while clearing your space. Pets – love them but they smell. You may not be able to smell your pet, but other people can smell your pet. If it is a caged pet, remain extra diligent with cleaning out their cages. If you have hairy pets, remove hair from everywhere, clean or change their beds and ensure their eating area is out of the way. Change kitty litter constantly, remove doggie doo from the back yard and try to make the house look like no pets live there.
Teenage bedrooms – I get it, I had a teenager once. It was smelly. I am not sure how you are going to get your teen's bedroom clean, but it must happen. Maybe buy them a package of fancy coat hangers, new bedding and create an incentive for when their room is clean. Possibly give the housekeepers danger pay and send them in with a Hazmat suit. Whatever you decide, the room, closet, under the bed, behind the dresser, it all needs to be clean.
Now, pretend you are a buyer. Drive up to your house with fresh eyes. What do you notice? What do you like and not like? Walk up the stairs and unlock the door. What is your impression? Walk into the house. Where do your eyes go first? Do you need a plant, to remove a painting, add a rug? Does it feel inviting? Does it smell nice? Does it look like a home that is loved and cared for? Do you remember why you bought the house? Do you remember the great memories created in your home? This is why someone is going to buy your house. They want to have a home to create memories in, have security and become a homeowner. With these extra little tips, you can create more value and make your home as marketable as possible.