Preparing and staging your home. Every Calgary home owner / seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar on the market. Some people are successful at attaining top dollar and others aren’t. Well, it’s not luck that makes that happen. It’s careful planning and knowing how to professionally spruce up your home that will send home buyers scrambling for their checkbooks. Here are a few tips on how to prepare a house and turn it into an irresistible and marketable home.

Time Required to complete the below tasks: Seven to Ten Days

Disassociate Yourself With Your Home

  • Say to yourself, “This is not my home; it is a house …. a product to be sold much like a car at a dealership. Make the mental decision to “let go” of your emotions and focus on the fact that soon this house will no longer be your home
  • Picture yourself handing over the keys and an envelope containing appliance warranties to the new owners
  • Say good-bye to your home if you need to
  • Don’t look backwards …. look toward the future
  • De-Personalize

    Pack up those personal photos and family heirlooms. Buyers can’t see past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted while looking at your home. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls, and they can’t do that if your wedding photo is staring them in the face. You don’t want to make buyers ask, “I wonder what kind of people live in this home?” You want buyers to say, “I can see myself living here.”

    Take down diplomas or degrees.  Buyers always look at diplomas and degrees, and if you are in a career that earns a significant income buyers tend to use that as a crutch when making an offer “Oh well they can take less because he’s a doctor, lawyer” or whom ever. Other buyers may not like certain professions and will hold that against you.  It is actually really shocking some of the comments you hear from buyers.


    People collect an amazing amount of junk (myself included). Consider this: if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it.

    If you don’t need it, why not donate it or throw it away!

    • Remove books from bookcases (You can leave a few but keep it to a minimum)
    • Pack up all knickknacks
    • Clean everything off the kitchen counters.  You can leave items like a toaster or coffee maker out, but again keep it to a minimum
    • Put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored in a closet when not in use
    • Think of this process as a first step to the packing you will eventually need to do anyway

    Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets

    Buyers love to snoop and will open any closet or cabinet door. Think of the message it sends if an item falls out or they see something they are not supposed to! Now imagine what a buyer thinks if they see everything organized. It says you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.

    • Organize spice jars and items in your fridge
    • Neatly stack dishes
    • Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way
    • Hang shirt colors together, buttoned and facing the same direction
    • Line up shoes

    Rent a Storage Unit

    Almost every home shows better with less furniture. Remove pieces of furniture that block or hinder walkways and put them in storage. Remove extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger. Leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose and plenty of room to move around. You don’t want buyers scratching their heads saying, “What is this room used for again?”

    Remove/Replace Favorite Items

    If you want to take window coverings, built-in appliances or fixtures with you, remove them now. If the chandelier in the dining room once belonged to your great grandfather and you don’t want to sell it with the house, take it down. If a buyer never sees it, they won’t want it. Once you tell a buyer they can’t have an item, they will covet it, reduce their price, and it could blow your deal. Pack those items and replace them, if necessary.

    Make Minor Repairs

  • Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
  • Patch holes in walls
  • Fix leaky faucets
  • Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam
  • Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or     pink walls. Don’t give buyers any reason to remember your home as “the house with the pink          bathroom
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs.
  • If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, now is the time to do so!
  • Make the House Shine!

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out cobwebs
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks if needed
  • Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
  • Clean out the refrigerator and oven
  • Vacuum daily (within reason…if you are never home don’t worry about it)
  • Wax floors
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
  • Bleach dingy grout
  • Replace worn rugs
  • Hang up fresh towels (Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows)
  • Clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are a BIG NO-NO (This also accounts for food smells.  Don’t be cooking a big pot of crab for dinner and then show your house that evening.
  • Scrutinize & Be Critical

  • Go outside and open your front door. Stand there. Do you want to go inside? Does the house     welcome you?
  • Linger in the doorway of every single room and imagine how your house will look to a buyer
  • Examine carefully how furniture is arranged and move pieces around until it makes sense
  • Make sure window coverings hang level
  • Pull ideas for friends, family and your Realtor. We see hundreds if not thousand of homes every year and can give you some great tips.  Does it have impact and pizzazz?
  • Does it look like nobody lives in this house? You’re almost finished. Just kidding!!
  • Check Curb Appeal

    If a buyer won’t even get out of their realtors car because they don’t like the exterior of your home, you’ll never get them inside.

    • Keep the sidewalks cleared of snow or ice
    • Cut and fertilize the lawn
    • Paint faded window trim
    • Plant flowers or group flower pots together
    • Trim your shrubs and trees
    • Make sure visitors can clearly read your house number

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