As a home Seller, there’s a LOT you need to know. And do.
We’ve put together this guide to help get you through the home sales process and maximize your sales price.
(Don’t worry if you don’t have a 30-day lead-time…we often accomplish all of this in just a few days.)
Don’t feel like reading this guide? That’s OK – get in touch and we’d be happy to take you through everything you need to know about selling your home.
This is our plan not to forget anything!
Day 1 : Change bulbs and lamps.
It’s easy to forget all the light bulbs that have burned over the years, but you want your home to be as bright as possible. Lighting makes a huge difference to the perception of your property by potential buyers. If you have old lighting fixtures, take a look at IKEA to buy more modern ones.
Day 2: Prepare the paperwork!
Buyers and real estate agents will ask many questions, so check the papers now: the energy pass, electricity, water, gas bills, charges, details of renovations, guarantees, condominium regulations, minutes of the last condominium meetings, maintenance contracts… Everything is important.
Day 3: Look for boxes and tape.
A large part of the adventure you are about to embark on involves reducing congestion. An investment of less than €100 will provide you with simple packaging solutions and reduce your stress. If you have to move a lot of things out of your home, consider a furniture repository that will pick everything up at home and bring everything back to your new home!
Day 4: Make an additional set of keys.
For a few euros, this will simplify the work of your real estate agent and save you from opening the mailbox every time you go home.
Day 5: Attack the bathrooms.
Remove all toiletries (no one wants to know you are using Head & Shoulders). Invest in new white towels (and no, you shouldn’t use them), a soap dish, toothbrush holder, etc. If your toilet covers, shower curtains or bath mats are worn, replace them. Consider replacing the toilet paper holder and towel rails.
Day 6: arrange the kitchen.
The kitchen is one of the rooms that attracts buyers the most. So, if you hope to avoid fixing a room, it’s not that one. Remove your mixers, toasters, radios and others from the work surfaces: they should be as empty as possible. Clean all cabinets (and yes, empty and wash them). Don’t pile all your dishes and food in: let buyers know that your kitchen has enough storage space. Clean the inside of the refrigerator (and remove magnets, photos and post-it notes). Turn on your self-cleaning oven (probably for the first time). Store your alcohol and wine collection elsewhere (and dispose of empty bottles). Invest in a bouquet of flowers and a bowl filled with pretty fruits.
Day 7: we take care of the rooms.
Rooms must be welcoming, and this means more than just cleaning, de-cluttering and adding some accessories. If you don’t have one yet, invest in a neutral duvet cover and some new fancy pillows. Put the shelves away. Delete personal photos, knick-knacks and personal care products. Put the cupboards away. Consider carpeting if floors are cold. If you have placed a chest of drawers or cabinet that does not really fit the space, consider storing them off-site. If you have converted 2 of your 3 rooms into offices, convert at least one of them back into a bedroom.
Day 8: Attack the living room.
Clean the sofa and chairs. Invest in new cushions. A carpet brings unity to the whole. Hide the magazine rack and all the magazines he’s accumulated. Hide the wires of your TVs, HIFI channels and speakers.
Day 9: Make your dining room look like a place where you actually want to eat.
Remove the children’s homework and the pile of things that have accumulated on the dining room table. Clean the chest. If your chairs have had better days, think of chair covers. Invest in a tablecloth to hide an old table.
Day 10: Clear the basement, organize and clean it.
If your basement is like ours, it will take more than a day. Whether your basement is habitable or simply a storage area, you will need to invest time to make it look spacious and as clean as possible. And what a great way to get rid of all that stuff you never use. Request a free quote to help you get rid of.
Day 11: Attack everything you can’t see!
Cupboards and storage areas. Although I would be happy to tell you that you can pile up anything you don’t want elsewhere in your closets, the truth is that buyers will open your closets. They’ll look in your closets. And they judge you. The last thing you want is for buyers to think that there is not enough storage in your home, so they can take the time to put away everything you don’t need in the immediate future.
Day 12: Store, give or throw away ?
It is a pain (and expensive) to store all the things you don’t really need. Discover this blog that we wrote with tips on where to throw away, give away or sell all the items you have accumulated and that you no longer need.
Day 13 : The entry.
Remember that most buyers will have an emotional reaction within 15 seconds of their arrival, so what they see at the entrance is essential. Your driveway must be clean, uncluttered and welcoming. And no, you won’t really need to wear all your shoes and coats while your house or apartment is for sale, so be disciplined and clean up. If you don’t have a closet in the hallway, don’t stack 15 layers on a coat rack, which is just good to draw attention to your lack of closet.
Day 14: Get rid of all the things that make your property too personal.
Do you want your house or apartment to appeal to as many people as possible? This will only happen if buyers can imagine their own business in your home. Get rid of all family photos, collections and souvenirs from your trip to Asia. Walk around every room of your house thinking you are a buyer. If you see an object that helps people get to know you better, remove it.
Day 15: Hire a real estate agent.
If you haven’t already done so, today is the day. A real estate agent will probably need 2 weeks to plan and prepare the marketing. See our guide. An experienced real estate agent will also guide you through the process of preparing the house and staging, so you don’t have to do it alone.
Day 16 : paint touch-ups and painting.
A new coat of paint is one of the cheapest ways to cool your home. Bright colors can be a barrier for some buyers. To please as many people as possible, take the time to repaint a red room or blue bathroom (Tip: light colors will help small rooms look bigger). Do not forget the baseboards and ceilings.
Day 17 : Make a list
of all the little things you’ve postponed repairing, including the leaking faucet, holes in the walls…. If you don’t want to do it yourself, find a handyman to help you (we know some of them, we can help you).
Day 18: Clean the windows.
I know, you probably haven’t thought about cleaning your windows, but rain, snow and dust can really make your windows very dirty. Request a free quote by a handyman here.
Day 19 : The facade
is very important and has a great impact on people’s first impression of your home. Stand in your street and look at your property: what do you see? At a minimum, clean the front door. And if your front door has seen better days, consider investing in a new one. Invest in certain seasonal plants. Clean the garden. Many buyers will see your home at night, so make sure your exterior lighting enhances your home.
Day 20: The garden
What you can do in the garden will depend on the time of year you sell. If you sell in spring / summer: remove weeds, prune trees, cut grass and clean garden furniture and barbecue. If you sell in winter: do your best to make the garden presentable. If you have a garage: empty it and store it so that people can really see the space available.
Day 21 : Clean the carpets.
Unless your carpets are new, you may need to steam clean them (or have them cleaned). You will be surprised at the difference this makes.
Day 22 : Don’t forget the soils
You will need more than one Swiffer to clean in every corner. If your floors are scratched, there are some excellent products to make them almost brand new.
Day 23: Walls and doors.
If your walls and doors are scratched, buy magic erasers. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
Day 24: Final cleaning.
Now, you’re probably exhausted… Sorry! Although you can handle this final step yourself, we like to involve professionals who will clean all areas (baseboards, lamps, refrigerator, etc…) This step is so important that we take care of this step.
Day 25: Make plans for the dog or cat.
We love animals, but potential buyers will not appreciate barking, jumping and peeing. Find a solution to keep your pets out of the house: daycare? Grandma and Grandpa? Walks?
Day 26: Find good tips for children and children’s business.
No buyer comes to look at all your children’s toys, paint work or dirty diapers, so make it all disappear and find a solution to keep it all hidden. Be sure to check out our sales blog Tips for Parents for more tips.
Day 27: Make your house smell good.
If you are a dog owner, wash sofas, beds and surfaces where dogs sleep. Use air fresheners for everything. Think about the candles.
Day 28: Get the cadastral extract.
It is important to be sure of the boundaries of your property. (We take care of getting it for our customers).
Day 29: Photo session.
When your house or apartment is cleared of clutter, cleaned and ready, it is time for the photographer to bring his magic touch. Everything will be ready a few days before the start of marketing operations, and you may consider including a virtual tour, video or aerial shots with a drone. Be sure to tell your real estate agent when the light will be best, it will make a big difference in the pictures.
Day 30 : The final touch.
You have worked hard and now it is time to step back and admire your work. What does it look like? Do you see anything that could distract or change a buyer’s mind? Go through all the parts and make adjustments if necessary.
Now… Don’t touch anything else! Back up slowly… admire…. the trick is done!