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Selling your home? Here are some quick tips—ranging from overall strategies to easy, affordable fixes—that can help you prepare your home to sell and may help you ultimately get the best price for it.

Overall Strategies

Find the right real estate agent

Working with a real estate agent who is motivated, well-connected and an expert on the local market can help you price your home realistically. Choose an agent who has a good understanding of your goals and priorities—and ideally someone who has had success selling houses similar to yours.

Repair and replace

If there are plumbing, electrical, carpentry or other home improvement projects you’ve been putting off, think about getting them done. Consider replacing dated lighting fixtures and switches with quality, modern ones—same for door hardware (knobs, pulls). Line up any outside contractors you’ll need early on to help ensure any work is completed before your property hits the market.

Every room needs a purpose

The more prospective buyers can connect with your living space, the more likely they will be to see themselves potentially living there. To show off the best features of every room in your home, consider working with a home stager. Stagers typically focus on simple, fairly affordable updates such as painting, light fixtures, bedding and window treatments, kitchen cabinet hardware, redoing countertops and removing unnecessary furniture, to name a few. Whether you work with a professional or do it yourself, play up the strengths of every room while downplaying any possible weaknesses.

Increase curb appeal

First impressions are everything, which is why it’s important to appeal to potential buyers from the minute they step out of their car. Having a well-maintained and welcoming front yard lets people know that you take pride in your property. Consider hiring a landscaper to make your lawn and outdoor space as lush and beautiful as possible.

Maximize storage space

How much storage space does your home have? You may want to assess your storage situation before putting your home on the market. Are there affordable upgrades you could make to increase your overall storage capacity and make your home all the more attractive to potential buyers? It may be worth consulting a contractor to review your space and see if there’s an easy, cost-effective and creative way to add closets, shelving, storage bins, etc.

Pricing and timing the sale

If possible, sell in a seller’s market. Also, most data suggest that the best time of year to sell a house is early March through June. As part of the selling process, your agent may prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine your home’s current market value and how competitive it might be on the open market. A number of factors can play a role in determining the best listing price, including current economic conditions, local housing inventory and demand for homes like yours. To better understand the competitive landscape, you may also want to track local listings and sales on your own.

The more informed you are about recent market activity, the more likely you will be to choose the optimal price. If your home does not sell within 45 days, set a deadline for how long you want to keep it listed at the current price. If you’re not constrained by a specific timetable, you may be able to price your home somewhat higher and wait the market out longer than someone needing to sell more quickly.

Easy Fixes to Make a Good First Impression

  • There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make a room brighter and more welcoming (neutral colours typically recommended).
  • Remove as much clutter as possible from every room, including personal belongings, excessive photos, religious items and any unnecessary chairs or furniture.
  • Pets should be out of the house.
  • Fresh cut flowers or plants can spruce up any room.
  • Adding a mirror to a space can make it look bigger.
  • Make sure your home smells good, clean and inviting!
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