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Staged living room

40 Things to Do to Sell Your House Fast

July 31, 2020

You're getting ready to sell your home. Where to start? Staging? Painting? Repairs? What is the best way to sell your house for maximum profit as fast as possible?

If you want to profit quickly then use this helpful list to guide you to real estate success!

Prepare your house for sale

  1. Depersonalize your home by removing photos, trophies, certificates, albums, etc. Make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living there. Your house is no longer your home – it's a product that needs to be presented to it's best advantage in order to get top dollar.
  2. Declutter! Remove those figurines, piles of papers, dark artwork, and specialty kitchen appliances. Counters should only have essential items on them. Closets should be pared down by 50%. Off-season items can be packed up. Tidy up cupboards and drawers and remove unnecessary items. Move it all to a nearby storage unit to keep it dry and safe. Here are some helpful decluttering tips.
  3. Remove extra furniture and anything too dark to give the illusion of space. These items create visual clutter in the real estate photographs.
Cluttered kitchen

Hire three pros

  1. Hire a real-estate agent. Interview at least 3 agents and pick the one who has your best interests in mind and knows the market well.
  2. Hire a professional organizer. A certified organizer can help you with the items on this list and so much more. More importantly, they can work with your agent to get your home ready in short order, make it look good, and get it sold fast!
  3. Hire a virtual home staging company. A good stager is worth their weight in gold and can help your home sell faster. According to the Ontario Real Estate Association, traditional staging can range $2,000-4,000 to cover the cost of the designer, furniture storage and the rental of furniture and furnishings. On the other hand, virtual staging may only cost $450-$725 to spotlight five key rooms (bedrooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, the living room, etc.).
Staged living room

Be a clean freak

  1. Deep clean every inch of your home including all appliances. A sparkling clean house makes a strong impression and creates the image of a well-taken care of property.
  2. Don't use cloying room sprays and scented oils since they can cause allergic reactions and turn people off. Open your windows and get some fresh air in the home. Use odour absorbers to make the litter box smell disappear.
  3. A vase or two of fresh flowers and a couple of potted plants add beauty and a fresh scent to any home. Choose something simple and neutral for the dining table, bathroom counter and coffee table.
  4. Stop cooking in your home while it is on the market. You may love poached salmon but a potential buyer may get repulsed by the lingering odours.
  5. Keep garbage cans empty.
  6. Consider boarding your pet while the home is on the market.
Fresh flowers

Make a good first impression

  1. You only get once chance at a first impression. The entryway needs to be clean and clear of obstructions.
  2. A fresh coat of paint everywhere makes a home look like new. Don't forget to do the front door or any fencing and decks.Benjamin Moore has some great colours that work in any home.
  3. Does the doorbell work?
  4. Are shoes and coats put away?
Freshly painted front door

Upgrade the lighting

  1. Lighting is very important. Ensure that all light bulbs are working and have a consistent soft white tone. Light bulbs that are too yellow or too blue will not look good in photographs and will affect the colour of the walls and furnishings.
  2. Ensure that your exterior lighting works and provides sufficient light to key areas.
  3. Replace dated light fixtures with simple, neutral ones.

The '70s called... and they want your house back

  1. Change over those dingy beige electrical receptacles and covers to white ones.
  2. Replace damaged or dated floor vents.
  3. Popcorn ceiling? Those can be easily removed to reveal a modern, smooth surface.
  4. Wall to wall carpet? If it's in good condition and is a light neutral colour then keep it. If it's burnt orange, avocado green or dusty rose then get rid of it. It dates your home and gives the impression that the rest of the home is not updated.
  5. Is your kitchen countertop chipped or dated? Replace it.
  6. Is the backsplash in rough shape or from over 2 decades ago? Replace it.
White light switch

Get the moisture under control

  1. Leaky faucets or shower heads? Replace them.
  2. Stains on the ceiling? Patch and paint.
  3. Are there traces of mold and mildew in your bathrooms? Are the drains sluggish? Get that dealt with. Bathrooms must be sparkling clean and smelling fresh.
  4. Is your basement damp? Run that dehumidifier for light moisture and call in a basement specialist if it is a bigger issue.
  5. Are your eavestroughs clear and draining properly?

Refresh the fabrics

  1. Window coverings: get rid of heavy drapes and blinds. Let the light in! This is critical for great photos as well as making the rooms look bigger and brighter.
  2. Change bed linens to light, fresh colours. Avoid crazy patterns.
  3. Put fresh, white fluffy towels in the bathrooms.
Bedroom with light bed linens

Fix the flooring

  1. Carpet frayed or clawed by your cat? Replace the damaged section or remove completely.
  2. Cracked, chipped or lifting tiles. Redo. Same with the grout.
  3. If your hardwood is scratched, try using Rejuvenate - it's a cheap and easy two step process that makes your floors look like new!

Don't forget to promote

  1. Don't skimp on the photos or video tour of your home. Many buyers first look at a property on their smartphone. Make sure your home looks good on all devices.
  2. Tell all your friends, coworkers, etc. that you are selling your home. They may know the perfect buyer.
  3. Promote your listing on your own social media pages and ask your friends to share or repost it.

Selling your home in 2020

  1. COVID-19 has altered the way that real estate agents sell a home. Despite the challenges or social distancing and wearing masks, a good agent with a strong network can work with these restrictions and still get your home sold quickly.

Getting a home ready for sale is a lot of work, but if you want it to stand out among the competition and sell it as fast as possible, it's worth the effort. With the right people working with you and this checklist to keep you on track, you can attract the right buyer and get top dollar – even during a pandemic.

About the Author

Kim Diamond

Kim Diamond

Kim Diamond has lived in Toronto, Ontario, for over 20 years and is the owner of Clutterfly Inc. She is a member of the Professional Organizers in Canada, has earned her TPO (Trained Professional Organizer certificate), and serves as the Vice Chair for the Toronto Chapter. Kim belongs to the Institute of Challenging Disorganization and is now the 8th person in Canada to earn her CPO-CD® (Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization). She also has a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and has become a packing expert after moving over 18 times in her life!

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