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Beyond just being me, I am a wife, mother and entrepreneur constantly on the hunt for new ideas on how to live my best life. Visit me at www.clementsinteriors.com.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Preparing Your Home for Sale - Stage 2: Repairs

Two weeks ago, I supplied readers with tips for tackling the often arduous task of preparing their homes for the spring real estate market.  If you managed to get any of the de-cluttering work done, be proud of yourself, it’s a huge task!

In providing staging services for my husband Wayne, a Realtor with the local Keller Williams office, I have seen firsthand the results of listing a home properly prepared for sale.  A well cleaned property with all outstanding repairs addressed is proven to sell quicker than one in disrepair.  If you’ve sold a home in the past you know the nuisance of keeping the house tidy while it’s on the market; add children into the mix and you’re potentially primed for many a family feud.  Clearly, minimizing the number of days your home is on the market will simply make life easier.

Perhaps like me, you create a mental list of much needed home repairs each and every time you clean.  While you can likely spot many areas requiring maintenance, sometimes it’s what you don’t see that can be the most problematic.  Consider hiring your own home inspector before you list your property and for a few hundred dollars, you’ll gain piece of mind knowing that the larger elements of your property (such as foundations, roofs, windows, attics and electrical work) have been given the once over.  Displaying a written inspection report and the related repair bills during open houses will show potential buyers that you have already taken steps to ensure your property is in good working order.

Regardless of whether or not you choose to hire a home inspector, be sure to check these elements of your property to ensure they are up to snuff:

Floors:  If you’ve already invested in the polish of hardwood but notice major scratches that might be undesirable to potential buyers, consider hiring a flooring specialist to repair just those areas that are damaged.  Often times, specific strips of hardwood can be replaced, improving the overall look of your floors. 

Broadloom can warm a home and create a space that’s comfortable and inviting; unfortunately it also traps dirt and odors.  Large stains and/or smells such as mold, smoke or pet urine draw attention to an element of your property that potential buyers will feel compelled to repair or replace themselves.  There is perhaps nothing more off-putting than the smell of cat urine, so ensuring that your home is free of such distractions will serve you well in your efforts to successfully market your house.

Windows:  Check for cracks and gaps and ensure all cranks and screens are working properly.  The mere age of your windows may be a good indicator as to whether or not they require replacement.  Do your window coverings need repair?  If you have broken or bent blinds remove or replace them.

Colours:  “Repairs” can and typically do include painting of some sort.  A fresh coat of colour will help ensure your walls are free of scuffs and will allow buyers to see the beauty of your home.  If your colour palette resembles a rainbow, consider painting at the least the main areas in more neutral tones to ensure a broad range of buyers will see your home as a place they can envision themselves living.

Lighting:  Good lighting can help draw attention to the best features of your home.  Ensuring that all fixtures are current looking, in good repair and that you have adequately lit spaces helps buyers see all those things you love about your home.  People won’t buy what they can’t see.

Winter repair:  The winter months can wreak havoc on your property.  Take time to clean up the remnants left on your lawn during the cold months, remove any dead plants from your gardens and prune damaged trees and shrubs.  As the weather warms up, ensure your garage and front doors are in good condition and paint them if necessary.  Sweep and clear out your front and back porches. 

While investing in your home prior to selling might seem like a futile endeavor, be assured that money spent on repairs and clean-up increases the visual value of your property.  Spending a few dollars up front will go a long way to help your Realtor get the best price in the least amount of time when selling your home!

Join me in two weeks for the final step in prepping your home for sale:  Staging!



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