Home Sale Checklist
- Be absent during showings, including pets, allowing the buyer to feel at ease and spend more time.
- Brighten the home by keeping all lights on, drapes open.
- Keep all interior doors unlocked and accessible.
- If you have to stay home during a showing, don’t offer information, let the buyer’s agent do their job.
Your front yard & exterior immediately reflects the inside condition of your property to the buyer.
- Walkways should be swept or shoveled
- Trim any trees or bushes blocking visibility of your home from the street.
- Cut back over-grown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
- Invest in landscaping where it can be seen first. A well-manicured lawn, neatly clipped shrubbery and cleanly swept walks all create a good first impression.
- In winter, walks must be free of snow and ice (liability may also be a concern).
- Remove parked cars; store toys, bicycles and tools.
- Paint your house if necessary. This can do more for sales appeal than any other factor
- Inspect the roof and gutters. Any missing shingles to replace? Are gutters clean and downspouts attached?
- Consider putting flowers outside the front door if it’s not in perfect condition (very important for first impressions).
- Repair any broken outside steps, railings & fencing.
Buyers are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanliness or odour, resulting in a loss of thousands to the seller.
- Make your home squeaky clean, generating a faster sale and more money as a result
- Create space by eliminating old junk and clutter. It will make an easier move for you too
- If you have pets, or a home exposed to smoke or diaper changes, extinguish all odours.
Paint is your best improvement investment for getting the greatest return on your money:
- Paint when there are chips, exposed wood or it looks faded.
- If the carpet is worn, dirty, outdated or an unusual colour, seriously consider replacing it. Buyers generally don’t want to spend the time or money on improvements before they move in.
- Have all plaster in top shape. Cracks, nail-pops or visible seams are easy to repair.
- Check ceilings for leak stains. Fix the cause of the damage, repair ceiling and re-paint.
- In painting and re-decorating, always stick to conventional white and easy-to-work-with neutral colours.
- If you have a fireplace, clean it out and lay some fresh logs in it to make it look inviting.
- Wash windows both inside and out. Replace any broken or cracked glass.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs. Use brighter bulbs in all general lighting areas.
- Make the floors shine and have carpets professionally cleaned – repair any creaks (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
- Straighten up closets – get rid of excess – store out of season clothes so closets look larger.
- If doors stick slightly, rub a block of paraffin against the surface that shows signs of wear.
- If sliding doors stick, rub the tracks with paraffin or candle wax. Lubricate any squeaky hinges.
- The kitchen is the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive. If dull, paint or re-stain cabinets, put up attractive new curtains or blinds.
- Clean the ventilating hood in the kitchen. Thoroughly clean to remove any odors especially around trash containers and areas where food is stored.
- If the kitchen floor is badly worn, consider new flooring. Light colours and simple patterns are best.
- Remove small appliances from your counters (toaster, coffee maker, etc.). Clean counters make a room look larger.
- Repair dripping faucets and unclog any plugged drains.
- Hang fresh towels and use a deodorizer in the bathroom area.
- Use special cleaning products to remove stains from toilets, tubs and sinks; keep sinks and mirrors shining.
- Replace old caulking around bathtubs and clean tiles so they sparkle (purchasers always check the shower).
Basement, Attic, Garage
- Clean out attic, basement and garage and dispose of everything that you are not going to move.
- Package everything that you won’t need until you’re settled in your new home. Make sure there is ample lighting in the basement stairway.
- If the basement is dark and gloomy, paint ceilings and walls a light colour. If undeveloped, paint the floor.
- Repair cracks in basement floors and walls with a ready mixed grout (concrete).
- Wiping clean the furnace and hot water tank will make them appear newer and well maintained.
- Wash down the garage floor and clean any oil stains with a chemical absorbent.
- Stack stored items neatly against walls to make the rooms appear larger.