Before You Put Your Home on the Market

real-estate-staging-successAre you ready to sell your current home and move to new pastures? Great! The best tip I can give you is to look at your home through the eyes of potential purchasers.

Does your house look like their dream?

Buyers looking at homes are searching for their ‘perfect future.’ Emotion often plays a large part in the decision to buy, so taking the necessary steps to ensure your home ‘feels’ great – welcoming, clean and well taken care of – will allow them to begin creating visions of themselves in their new home.

With this in mind, here is a list of tips to help you “Dress Your Home For Success!” and help pave the way for a faster and more satisfactory sale.


‘Curb appeal’ is the effect a home has on someone as soon as they get close – the first impression – and it is VERY important. Simple neatness can make a world of difference. Help people fall in love with your home at first sight:

  • Keep any grass neatly trimmed, including around gardens and trees, and against the sidewalk.
  • Ensure garden edges are neat and eliminate weeds and any dead plants.
  • Plant a few annuals, if necessary, to fill in bare spots. (Winter? Add a festive door decoration or an urn with sprigs of evergreen. – see below.)
  • A pot/s with flowers or ornamental evergreens can add life and color to your front door area – highly recommended! This is a perfect finishing touch, and not very expensive.
  • Keep all walking areas swept and free of debris.
  • Clean all windows, inside and out.
  • Take an objective look at your garage and basement. Such areas should appear neat and orderly, with everything organized. PRO TIP: If you don’t have time to go through everything, try storing things in plastic bins with labels, which is a quick way to give the appearance of neatness, and will work anywhere in the house!
  • If there are kids’ toys in the yard, either keep them in the garage, in a shed, or stack them neatly in the corner. You’ll want your yard to look as spacious and tidy as possible.
  • A few dollars in paint can make a huge difference in how your house appears at first glance – freshen it up! If any doors or window frames need painting, do it now. Try a new colour on your front door.


  • Do a thorough cleaning; this includes places you may normally pass over – baseboards, pictures, mirrors; wiping out your washer, dryer, fridge, stove, and any other appliances – yes, people look!
  • Touch up paint where needed and do any minor repairs as necessary. Many purchasers will want to have a home inspection performed, so it is best to deal with any problem areas now, before they have a chance to adversely affect a sale. I’ve also noticed from working with buyers that people will remember what they consider to be faults, and even small unfinished or broken bits can completely change a buyer’s impression.
  • Organize your storage spaces. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Just rearrange everything in your fridge, closets, and cupboards to generally look neat and organized (see pro tip above if you’re short on time). Try using baskets and boxes to stack and store things neatly, and/or begin packing things and store them off-site or neatly in your garage or basement. You have to pack soon anyway, and a tidy environment will invoke a subconscious feeling that this home is well taken care of, and worth the price you are asking. !
  • Go for spacious and neutral. Declutter and clean all surfaces such as tables and counters. Your beloved collector’s items will not appeal to all potential purchasers and may detract from their ability to picture the home as theirs. In short, the closer your house or condo looks to a ‘model’ home, the easier it will be for buyers to fantasize about living there; to picture themselves and their own things in the home’s spaces.

Investing some time to prepare your home before you put it on the real estate market will be well worth the effort in financial return!

shauna-arthurs-real-estateNEXT: Show Time! What to Do for Open House Day and Showings

Ready to sell your house or condo in the Greater Toronto area? Put our top notch marketing to work – I look forward to hearing from you!

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