Preparations essential before home is put on the market

If you’re planning to sell your home, you can make preparations that will ensure your property is attractive to potential buyers. There are many things homeowners can do to boost the appeal of their homes before they welcome in house hunters. Toronto Home asked real estate broker Sandra Rinomato, host of HGTV’s Property Virgins and Buy Herself for her advice on how to get a home ready for sale.

Question: What is the first thing that should be done to prepare my property when I decide to put my home on the market?
Answer: There is a lot to do, so homeowners should give themselves enough time to prepare. The first thing to do is to call your real estate agent and ask for advice. A good agent will give you a list of things to do.

Q: How do I go about creating curb appeal outdoors so potential buyers will want to come indoors?
A Fix everything that has shifted or been damaged over time. Level the walkway, tighten loose railings and paint the front door. Plant seasonal and colourful plants. Buyers have addresses of real estate listings. They study the information and drive by to check them out.

Q: Is this the time to upgrade the interiors with a renovation or should I leave the big changes to the next owner?
A: If you have a dated home that is in an area that attracts infill projects, you may not want to spend anything on a reno. However, if you live in an area where buyers have expectations of updated interiors, you may consider doing the work.

Q: How much repair work should I do to prepare for the market?
A: Anything that is broken, squeaky, loose or not in top shape should be repaired, including a wood-burning fireplace.

Q: What preparations will get me the highest bid when the sale takes place?
A: If I had to choose just one, it would be cleanliness. Wait … decluttering. Actually, it’s important to do both so I can’t choose just one.

Q: I may want to take some fixed items, such as chandeliers, with me when I move out. Should I remove them before the house goes on the market?
A: Always remove that special chandelier before your agent sends the photographer in. It’s easier to take it when the buyer hasn’t seen it

Q: How much money should I spend preparing my house for sale?
A: As much as it takes. Taking into consideration what your neighbours have done to their homes (and gardens) and what the demographic of buyers is looking for, you may have to pony up some serious cash to get the selling price you want.