Do These 5 Easy Updates Before Selling Your House

I often say that I will never move again.  When we moved from a small condo into our house there were so many boxes and it was July so it was SO HOT.  It seems like we unpacked for months.  After almost ten years we have a lot more stuff and looking around I can’t even being to think what moving might look like now.  Not to mention I love our neighborhood, our home and the updates we’ve made.

Sometimes, however, we find ourselves with a need to move on.  My dad, for example, is getting ready to make his second voyage across the ocean and is moving back to his native Poland from the United States, which means selling the home he has lived in for the past 18 years.  Even though it was completely renovated when it was purchased in the late 90’s, getting it ready for the market means making some small updates to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

If you’re getting ready to put your house on the market just like my dad, here are five things you can do to get it market ready!

  • First – tidy up!  Not only is moving a great opportunity to sort through your stuff and purge/donate items you no longer use or need, it’s a great way to make your home feel larger.   Clear off the kitchen counters, sort through those old books on the shelves, and clean up cluttered dressers, tables and nightstands.  Don’t forget to throw out any unused/outdated toiletries in the bathroom, too!  Don’t know where to start?  Marie Kondo, an organizing guru, has some great tips here.
  • Start to pack away personal items like photographs and mementoes.  Potential buyers want to imagine themselves in the space and it’s hard to do that when the walls are filled with pictures of your family/pets/favourite vacation spots.   Plus, with all those items packed away safely it’s one less thing to worry about for your move.
  • Replace old cabinets/knobs in the kitchen and bathroom.  A few years ago we updated the hardware on our kitchen cabinets and it made a huge difference.  The old handles were starting to rust – not to mention their design was outdated and didn’t fit our style.  It wasn’t an expensive update, it didn’t take a lot of time and we didn’t need any fancy tools.
  • Paint the walls a neutral colour.  While I love how my charcoal grey living room walls (Benjamin Moore Cinder) make the space feel cozy I can see how the dark shade might make potential buyers feel that it’s small and cramped room instead.  You can’t go wrong with a contemporary shade like Benjamin Moore Seapearl or Navajo White.  Not only does it create a blank slate for the next owner, chances are after a few years the walls need a fresh paint job anyway.
  • Don’t forget the outside!  Making a good first impression is important.  While you don’t have to spend a fortune on landscaping, start by cutting the grass, trimming any overgrown trees or hedges and getting rid of any trash.  If it’s growing season add some fresh flowers!

Getting ready to move? Leave me a comment below and let me know what changes you’re making.

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