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Experience has shown me that while it is possible to sell your home simply by slapping a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and hoping for the best, if you really want to achieve maximum market value for your home, there is more to it than that.  Getting the most value out of your home starts with you as a home owner.  It can be hard to get perspective on your own home, but try to take a look at it imagining you are a potential buyer.  You might want to check out a few open houses at this time just to get a feel for what a well prepared house looks like.

Then, with that in mind, take a fresh look at your own house through the eyes of a buyer.  Once your house hits the market it ceases to be home.  It becomes a product, a commodity for sale.  Look at it honestly.  Would you buy it? What’s your first impression? Does anything need to be cleaned, painted, repaired, packed up and put into storage or tossed out to make your house as attractive as possible?  Often, a small investment in repairs, decor, and organization can add many thousands of dollars to your property value.

iStock_000001182991XSmallYou may be thinking, “Why can’t people see past the little imperfections to the gem underneath? What does it matter if there’s a fresh coat of paint on everything, don’t people want to know what they’re truly getting?” This is where it’s really important to remember your own experience when you went out looking at homes. Weren’t you turned off by the homes that looked run-down, even if it was just cosmetic? Didn’t you worry that if the owners couldn’t be bothered to fix their screen door, who knows what else they hadn’t fixed? Most buyers think such things.

Though cosmetic issues don’t necessarily mean deeper problems, buyers can be irrational when it comes to presentation. First time buyers especially are concerned with making such a big purchase and they want everything to be – or at least, to look – perfect.  This does not mean that everything in your home has to be new or high end.  But Buyers do react much more favourably when home is clean, de-cluttered and in excellent repair.  People can understand that you did not change the cabinets in the kitchen; but it is hard for them to see past a home that is messy, cluttered and has obvious repair issues.  Sometimes a couple of weeks of hard work and the expenditure of a modest amount of money can add thousands of dollars in value to a house.

Here are some things you should think about the inside of your home:

Wash walls, ceilings, and trim

Wash your windows.  This will bring in more light and make the rooms look brighter.

Consider painting with light, neutral colours. Repair cracks and holes in the walls.

Every room should look as spacious, bright, and warm as possible.

Tighten loose knobs, towel racks, switch plates, and outlet covers.

Fix tight doors and windows, and loose stair banisters.

Clean and repair caulking around tubs and sinks

Fix leaky faucets; remove water stains.

Clean and organize the basement and attic. (This is a good time to throw out all the stuff you don’t want to move.)

Organize your closets. Get rid of the clutter and limit the number of items stored overhead or on the floor.

Clean out kitchen cabinets, and remove clutter from counter-tops.

Clean out the fridge and freezer.

Clean drapes, blinds, and curtains.

Shampoo carpets, and polish floors.

Arrange furniture to make rooms appear as spacious as possible.

The old adage ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ does not apply when it comes to home buyers! The outside is the first thing they’re going to see, and if it’s bad, they may not even want to go further. I can often tell by the time I get to the front door what I’m going to see inside. If I see a beautiful shining mailbox, immaculate lawn, and gleaming windows, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect when I go inside. First impressions, also known as ’curb appeal’, definitely count for a lot!

Step outside and take a look. Have you…

Cut and trimmed the shrubs?

Cut the lawn?

Removed dead tree limbs and other yard debris?

Brightened up the garden with fresh shrubs or flowers?

Gotten rid of the clutter like stray toys and gardening equipment?

Touched up peeling paint on doors, siding, and trim?

Repaired and/or painted any fencing?

Fixed damaged roof shingles and flashing?

Cleaned your outside windows and fixed torn screens?

Cleaned your gutters and downspouts?

Washed the driveway and sidewalk lately, and patched any cracks or holes?

Cleaned up the garage and shed?

Made sure outside lights and doorbells work?




Let’s Get the Process Started! Tell Steve a Little About Your Home and He Will Be in Touch to Discuss the Value and Marketing of Your Home.


Selling Links

Thinking About Selling?
Is Now the Time to Sell?
The Buyer’s Perspective
De-Cluttering and Staging
Selling Your Home
The Importance of Pricing
Marketing Your Home
Home Selling Documents
The Deal Is Firm, Now What?
Your Lawyer’s Role
Renting Guide
Getting Ready for the Buyer
After Closing Day


Contact Steve

334 Wellington Rd. S
London, Ontario N6C 4P6
Cell: 519.878.5566
Office: 519.672.9880
Fax: 519.672.5145

Are You Ready to Sell?  Wonder What Your Home is Worth?

Let’s Talk.

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