So, you’ve decided to move on to greener pastures and put your home up for sale. As you prepare to hit the market, you go through your checklist of pre-sale to-dos. Things like choosing a realtor, looking at homes in the area for sale, setting dates and of course deciding on the list price are all in the queue. If you are like every other home owner in the world (you are), you would love to see your home sell for above list price. Using our vast knowledge and experience, we’ve put together a short list of the top 5 things you need to do to help your home go above asking. This won’t guarantee you hit the jackpot, but they will certainly help your chances. Enjoy:

  1. Know your Market and demographic – Very important for obvious reasons. You need to do your homework and understand the current real estate market. You should know average home prices in your city and more specifically, your neighbourhood. You need to know the difference between a $450,000 home and a $500,000 home on the same street. Are there major size differences? More floors? Does one have a double garage and a swimming pool? What upgrades have been done? Things like this will help you get a feel of where your house ranks in your area and help you to decide on a pricing strategy. Also, knowing your demographic is an advantage when listing. Does your home appeal to a big family or a bachelor? Is it turnkey or a handyman’s dream? This will aide you in selecting the proper wording to use on your listing and again, pricing strategy.

  2. Minor renovations and clean up – This will go a mighty long way in the presentation of your home. When potential buyers go to see a house, they envision themselves living in it. They play out different scenarios in their mind of experiences they will encounter in the house. No one wants to imagine themselves in a cluttered area with scuffed up walls.

    1. Give it a thorough cleaning top to bottom (floors, walls, counters, washrooms) and DE-CLUTTER. Make the house as open as possible. If you have too much junk in your house (including furniture), pack it up and store it at a friends or a storage unit for a month or so. Most storage units will give you the first month for $1.

    2. Some minor renovations give the house a major facelift. You don’t need to spend a fortune as this will be counterproductive, just the small things will do. Throw a fresh coat of paint on walls in high traffic areas or focal points. Maybe add or replace a backs-plash in your kitchen. You can hire someone or even DIY, it is a relatively inexpensive job. Maybe get rid of a musty old carpet in the family room and put in laminate. These are all under $1,000 jobs and can help push the on the fence buyer over the finish line.

    3. Curb Appeal. The outside of your house is the first thing potential buyers will see. Fix it up a bit. Make sure the lawn is green and cut (summer) or the snow is shoveled neatly and walkways are clean. Maybe add in a couple of nice flower pots or shrubbery to give it some life. Small things, big results.

  3. Higher the right Real Estate Agent – This service can sometimes be undervalued. Sure you could list your home yourself or hire Joe Blow for 0.5% commission, but you get what you pay for. A good Realtor has superb knowledge of the area they work in and will help you price your home properly. They also have tools for research and marketing that you do not have access too. An experience and reputable Real Estate Agent already has buyers lined up and knows what they are looking for. Not only will they help you get top dollar, but they will help your home sell faster. A stale dated listing can be a seller’s worst nightmare. Check out our post on choosing the right Realtor.

  4. Update your fixtures – Again, a relatively inexpensive project that can catch a buyer’s eye. Spend a few dollars and update your out-of-date or builder grade light fixtures and faucets. Something as simple as modern light fixtures in the hallway and kitchen can upgrade the look of your home and bring it up to modern standards. A higher end faucet in the kitchen will help potential buyers whilst playing out those scenarios in their heads.

  5. Make your listing beautiful – Today’s buyers predominantly go online before all else to search for new homes. Your MLS listing is usually the first time they see your house and when selling a house; your first impression will be your last. A proper listing can help bring in more people and in some cases it will even inspire the tire kickers to start shopping for real. Use the right wording, take flattering pictures with the right lighting, list of all the upgrades you have done, flower up the neighbourhood and list local amenities and always be honest.

 *These are tips to help you achieve the most value when selling your home. There is no guarantee you will get above asking.

Obviously there are many more ideas you can use to help get the most out of your home, these are just a few that we feel have the most impact. Be sure to use these when you list your home and let us know how it went! Send in before and after pictures or let us know what worked and what didn’t. Be sure to leave some comments below if you have some great ideas to help your fellow home owners along. If you know someone who is thinking of selling their home, be sure to share this article with them.

Realtors – If you have other ideas on how to maximize selling potential, please leave your comments below as we would love to hear your input!

Good luck and happy selling!