March traditionally signals the slow transition from the winter season to the spring. Longer days, less wintery conditions and more comfortable temperatures are early signs that a warmer season is indeed on the way.
For sellers looking to capture the early spring market, the first stage in preparing a home for sale would be spring cleaning, which includes everything from decluttering your home’s interior space to landscaping the exterior.
Decluttering your home will not only get unnecessary (and space-stealing) items cleared out to facilitate cleaning, but it will also help to create a more bright and airy aesthetic. Cluttered spaces tend to look smaller, darker and unwelcoming, giving the impression of messiness and neglect. Sellers will want to ensure their property looks fresh, clean and well-maintained to give potential clients the added confidence of knowing this is a property that’s in good shape and reflects pride of ownership.
When it comes to decluttering, there can be some sentimental struggle that comes with removing or getting rid of certain items. Sellers should enlist some objective help when it comes to tackling this and keep in mind that things being removed don’t necessarily all need to be tossed - just stored elsewhere.
This process can take some time from start to finish, so it’s best to get a jump start on it, setting some room-by-room deadlines to ensure you stay on track.
Clean windows from an exterior viewpoint will give the sense of a well-kept home and add to the property’s exterior curb appeal and initial impression from potential buyers.
From the inside, clean windows will support a brighter space, and set the tone for a tidy and fresh feel within the interior walls.
If there are any smokers or vapers within the home, it’s especially important to give your interior windows the same tlc with cleaning that you would give the exterior, as smoke can leave a dull film or fog on the windows over time. Under those conditions, be sure to also have any interior window dressings deep-cleaned prior to showing the home, as fabrics in curtains, rugs and indoor furniture are notorious for trapping telltale signs of smoking.
Not surprisingly, your walls will see a lot of wear and tear over the years, and scratches, marks and scuffs will inevitably happen over time. Some light marks can be removed with specific cleaning agents or a DIY water and vinegar mix, but many deep-set scratches and stains will require a more intensive approach. In these cases, the best bet is to do some touch-ups with leftover paint or one that’s as close a match as possible to the original.
If the scope of stains and marks requires more than just a few light touch-ups, you may want to consider a full re-paint of the wall or area in question. If the paint colour itself is dark, outdated or more of a “statement” colour than you think potential buyers will be able to appreciate, this might be a good opportunity to select a more neutral and buyer-friendly hue, to ensure your property allows potential buyers to really envision the space as a blank canvas, with their own tastes in mind.
Much like window dressings and furniture, the carpet is one of the most absorbent elements of a home’s interior. Your carpet has seen it all, from pets tracking dirty paws, the scents of specific cuisines and any smoke exposure, that glass of red wine you never quite got out of the carpet… A deep-clean of your carpets is a must when it comes to preparing your property for sale. The home will smell better, look brighter and feel fresher with this task checked off the list - and you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner!
A clean grout in the kitchen and bathroom areas especially is one of those detail items that may seem like more work than it’s worth - but you’d be wrong. This task will reveal a cleaner space and give new life to the surrounding tiles and finishes.
Tip: Here’s a quick recipe for an easy and effective DIY grout-cleaning solution:
Mix together 1/2 cup of baking soda,
1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide
1 tsp dish soap
Apply mixture onto the grout and wait 5-10 minutes, scrub clean and rinse
As with the grout, a property’s baseboards may feel like an afterthought compared to some other more prominent areas of cleaning, but this is another “detail item” that will make a world of difference. The grooves and design of many baseboards make for perfect dusttraps, and you might be surprised to find just how much dust, hair and random every-debris has gathered there once you roll up your sleeves and get going. Once you see and feel the fresh effect of clean baseboards, you’ll never neglect them again.
Few areas of a home see more everyday-use than the kitchen area. This is easily one of the most high-traffic and heavy-use common areas in a property. De-greasing a kitchen will take time, some patience, and the right cleaning solutions. Be sure you’ve done some homework ahead of time and are utilizing the right cleaners for the right materials in the space, and when it’s all said and done, the positive impression of a sparkling-clean kitchen on potential buyers will make it all worth it.
Your home’s exterior is the first impression, so make sure it’s a good one! You don’t need to spend a fortune on professional landscaping in order to give your property curb appeal. All it takes is some good maintenance of the walkways and garden, upkeep of any foliage and outdoor debris, and if possible, a little strategic gardening to add some tasteful colour and life to the property.When it comes to gardening, remember to consider the impact of plant and tree locations from both outside and inside. You’ll want to avoid plants and trees that require extension maintenance or shed excessively from one season to the next, and you’ll want to position them so that they are not blocking the property’s windows and natural light.
For the latest real estate news as well as tips on buying, selling, preparing your home for sale and community info, check out our blog!
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When selling your home, it’s important to enlist the help of a professional real estate agent who can effectively help you to navigate the ins and outs of the selling process. This is where a seasoned agent, backed by an award-winning brokerage, like the team at Royal LePage Your Community Realty will make all the difference.
Looking ahead to the added time spent at home indoors this winter season might just inspire you to get creative and try your hand at some DIY home renovations. The home experts at Royal LePage Your Community Realty have compiled a list of popular winter home renovation projects that you can tackle this winter.