8 Things to Do Before Selling Your House

By: Sylvia Smith

8 Things to Do Before Selling Your House


Are you getting ready to sell your home?   Selling a home (even in a seller’s market) requires planning and some work.  Just planting a sign on your lawn and uploading some random pictures will not get it sold quickly and for top dollar.  Getting the most cash in your hands will require some time to prep and even rolling up your sleeves and getting the work done. But it will all be worth it once your home is sold.

 Before you list your home to sell it is worth spending a little time to plan, educate and prepare your home to sell.  I like to provide my clients with a checklist as it makes it so much easier.  Some of my to-do tips are quite easy while others require a little more effort and elbow grease. But it will be worth it once you get that great offer.
Step 1 – Find a Great Realtor

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Are you thinking you may try and sell yourself and pocket the commission?  It can be really tempting to sell your home yourself particularly in a seller’s market.  Resist the temptation as statistics reveal that “for sale by owners” transactions can be a disaster resulting in the sacrifice of money and time.  Most home sellers don’t realize how much time is involved in selling a home – answering questions, scheduling appointments, gathering feedback, staging, photography aggressively marketing and finally negotiating the best possible offer for your house.  


Plus a Realtor will be able to guide you on how to best position your home to sell.  She will also advise you on how your home compares to homes currently for sale and those that have already sold.


But resist the temptation to hire the first Realtor you come across. Do your research and find a real estate agent that is familiar with your current market, check their online reviews and make sure they are a good fit.  Your Realtor should be someone you feel comfortable with working with and whom you trust to sell your house for top dollar.  Click here for some additional tips and questions to ask and getting ready to sell your house.

2.  How Does Your Home Compare

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Once you have selected the Realtor to work with.  Your realtor will share comparables with you and advise if there are any changes required to your home to make it more appealing to buyers and get you more cash in your pocket.  She will also advise you and the best listing strategy and make a listing price recommendation.  She will also share her list of tips to get your home ready to sell, marketing strategy, showing process and recommendations, and also outline potential offer situations that may arise. 


Then the process begins to get your home ready to sell.

3.  Consider Your Curb Appeal

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Yes, first impressions of your home really matter!  You want to entice potential buyers to want to view the interior of your home. So the outside of your home should complement the inside. 


By investing a little effort in cleaning the front of your home can have a significant impact on how welcoming and well kept your home feels right off the bat.  You may also want to plant some colourful flowers and repaint the front door as the outside of your home can make potential buyers want to view the inside and you never know they may just fall in love with it.


Your Realtor will be of great assistance in giving you tips on how to spruce up the exterior of your home.

4. Declutter, Declutter

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When it comes to selling your home, less is definitely more.  Decluttered homes feel brighter and more spacious.  You need to declutter visible areas as well as closets, cupboards, drawers, basement and garage – nothing is off-limits for curious buyers.   

If your home is overflowing with stuff, buyers’ first reaction is that the home may not have enough space for their things.  Follow some tips on decluttering will make a huge difference.

5.  Paint and Repair

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 You may just adore that burgundy in your dining room but what if your potential buyers just detest it?  Paint your home with neutral colours because light coloured walls make it easier for buyers to envision themselves and their things in your home.  It is your job to make your home as appealing to as many buyers as possible and making them feel at home.

Don’t forget to touch up any scuff marks even if you are not doing a full repaint which includes touching up baseboards, walls, doors, to make your home sparkle and appear well cared for.  

Selling a home with tons of little problems and small repairs may turn off potential buyers.  When buyers enter your home they want to fall in love and not have to make a list of all the small repairs they will have to make once they move in.


5.  Conduct a Smell Test


Unfortunately, when we have lived in our homes for a while we do not notice odours – foul or slight odours can sometimes be a deal-breaker for some buyers.


It may be a good idea to have a third party (maybe even your Realtor) in to try and detect any smells that may be offensive such as pet smells or lingering odours in the kitchen.  Take the appropriate steps to eliminate foul odours by using scented candles, or fresh linen cleanroom deodorizers.  Be mindful that new smells should not be overbearing and overly noticeable.

6.  Clean, Clean and Clean Some More

Once you have completed cleaning your home, clean some more.  You want your property to look spotless.  Your Realtor will probably have a professional photographer take photos and you want your house to look its best for the photoshoot.  


When you are trying to sell your home extra effort is needed in keeping it as tidy as possible.  Kitchens and bathrooms always need to be kept tidy and clean as best as you can while you are trying to sell.  Trust me the extra effort will pay off in the end.

7.  Hide Valuables

Keep all your valuable electronics, laptops, tablets preferably locked up off-site or at a friend or family members home.   My moto is it is better to be safe than be sorry.  You can’t trust everyone that comes into your home although all buyers will be accompanied by their agent – it is better to avoid something going missing down the road.  Take the extra time to hide or ideally removing any valuables from the home will give you extra peace of mind.

8.  Consider Staging

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Your Realtor may recommend a staging consultation.  If your furniture shows its age or is outdated a home stager will evaluate the condition of your belongings in your house and will make staging recommendations.  They may recomment changing window coveriing, rent some items or they may just re-oranize knickknacks and furniture to change the flow of your house and make it look more welcoming and more spacious.  


Stagers can dramatically transform the look and feel of a home so it is important to take their advice and not be offended when they make change recommendations.  Their job is to make your home more appealing to more buyers and get you more money for your home.

Selling a home is both an exciting and a demanding time.  Most homeowners do not realize how much effort goes into preparing a house to sell.  Are you thinking of selling soon.  Contact Sylvia Smith to get a complimentary home evaluation and hear about her strategy in getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar.