Before you put your home up for sale you need to know how it relates to other “competing” homes in the market, as this will be one of the main determining factors in establishing asking price.
Put your home under a microscope, both inside and out.
Determine how well the following features look and be prepared to do any repairs if necessary:
- lawn and garden
- roof shingles and eaves
- paint (house, garage, window trim, doors, deck, fences)
- garage door
*Remember curb appeal goes a long way. Buyers will often do drive-bys and despite what we are taught, people will judge a “house” by its cover.
Start at the top level and examine every room in the house.
- do the carpets need cleaning or the hardwood refinished?
- paint and wash walls if necessary
- de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter (buyers need to see the home and the space it offers them, not what toys or collections the home owners have)
*If your children have a lot of toys and can’t decide which ones to keep for the time-being, I’ve heard of some parents sneaking into their bedroom or play room in the middle of the night and shipping most of the toys off to Grandma’s until the house is sold. Think of it as a reverse Christmas present.
Pay particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms. Thoroughly clean appliances and fixtures so they sparkle. Replace old shower curtains, remove mildew and rust stains.
Make a “To Do” list and fix any dents, marks, peeling wallpaper, cracked tiles etc.
*Remember that stores can’t sell torn or chipped merchandise for full price, and the same goes for your home. Don’t let the buyers use the “needs work” excuse to negotiate a lower price for your home.
Beware of any odours in the home. Smokers should consider smoking outside for the duration of the sale and keep a mild air freshener throughout the house. For those with pets, make sure cages and litter are cleaned up daily, and especially before any showing or open house. Make you sure you check the basement for any signs of mold or dampness and have the problem remedied.
The bottom line is that your home does not have to be completely remodeled or updated to sell. Buyers just want to see pride of ownership and that the house has been well cared for. A clean, bright home can go a long way!
Determining Asking Price
Knowing what your house is worth is not determined by what you paid for it or how well you’ve upgraded it. Determining worth is simply finding out what someone would pay for it.
The steps in determining worth are:
- Understanding market conditions
- Getting the details about recent sales in your neighbourhood
Once you’ve determined your home’s worth, you can determine the asking price. Most often, the price of a home is set slightly higher than it’s worth to allow for some “bargaining room”. Of course, if it is set too high, it will deter prospective buyers from making an offer. Or you could end up with the dreaded “lowball” offer.