In our experience the homes that sell fastest and most easily are always those that appear to have been well looked after. For this reason it is very important to take a long and critical look at your property and try to spruce it up as much as possible prior to inviting potential buyers to come and look.

In this check list we suggest a few of the most important parts of your home that really are critical and in which it is worth investing a little time and money into improving the appearance.

Front Door
Scrub it down, give it a good coat of new paint and be sure that it looks bright and welcoming
Make sure your doorbell is operating
Polish any door brass
Oil your door hinges and check for squeaks
Be sure your front door opens and closes properly

Exterior of House
Does your home look as if it was painted recently? If not, you may want to consider making this investment. Newly painted homes usually sell faster.
Clean out your gutters
Check that exterior lights are all operating
Replace any missing shingles
Remove moss from roof
Replace broken and damaged screens

Windows
Repaint window trims
Ensure that all windows operate freely
Replace any cracked windowpanes
Wash windows inside and out
Replace net curtains or remove them altogether

Driveway
Driveways are another important area that profoundly affect the first impression of potential buyers. If the outside of your property looks well cared for and maintained, then probably the inside of your home is in excellent shape too.
How does your driveway look? Has it recently been resurfaced and resealed or does it look as if it needs doing? You might want to consider making this investment. While you’re at it, patch any potholes too!

Patios and decks
Restain or paint wood
Double check that your fencing and rails look and are secure

Gardens
Take a long critical look and check to see if your outside areas appear in good condition. If not:
Mow your grass
Trim the lawn edges
Prune back dead branches of all trees and shrubs
Replace dead trees and shrubs
Prune back overgrown bushes

Entrance
Double check that your entry lights operate so that it always looks bright and inviting
Clean, vacuum, sweep and mop entry-way floors
Clean out your coat closet
Double check that lights in your coat closet are working

Living Room, Family Room and Bedrooms
Do they look as if they were recently painted? If not, this is another good area to invest in if you want to maximize your chances of a quick sale.
Repair any cracks in the ceiling and walls
Repair all leaks repaired and make sure that any watermarks are fully covered
Re-attach any wallpaper that may have come loose
Repaint or restain all woodwork
Wash and clean all drapes/curtains/blinds
Leave drapes and blinds open so that room appears bright and airy
Vacuum and clean your carpets if necessary to remove all stains
Refinish and rewax any wooden or other non-carpeted floors
Reposition your furniture create the maximum impression of space
Put away any hobbies and depersonalize the space as much as possible. Your potential buyers need to imagine themselves using these rooms and it is easier if they appear as uncluttered and unused as possible.

Bedrooms specifically…
Make the beds with clean, bright linen Put away all laundry De-clutter the floor space to make rooms look as large and airy as possible

Kitchen
Bleach your sink and make sure it is stain-free
Repair any dripping faucets and turn them off securely
Check that any large appliances that are to be included in sale are all in full working order
Wash down all walls and cabinets to remove grease and fingerprints and other stains
Clear off your countertops and clean and polish them thoroughly
Arrange all items in your pantry neatly and throw away any expired goods
Replace door handles and other pantry hardware that isn’t functioning properly
Defrost your refrigerator and arrange items neatly inside

Basement
Repair any cracks in the walls and ceilings
Remove all evidence of water penetration
Remove any signs of damp
Cover cold water pipes
Install a dehumidifier to remove all traces of condensation
Repair your sump pump if it isn’t working or install a new one
Ensure that there are absolutely no musty odors
Clear all your drains properly
Clean your furnace
Arrange all items neatly, stacking against the wall where necessary to clear the floor space
Remove all unwanted items and place in storage and give away or sell any items that you don’t plan to move with you
Sweep, vacuum clean and mop all floors
Double check that all light fixtures are fully operational and replace burned out bulbs
Check that the handrail is secure
Check that all carpeted stairway runners are secure

Dining Room
Repair every crack in ceilings and walls
Repair all water leaks repaired and ensure that all watermarks are fully covered
Re-secure any loose wallpaper
Repair any broken woodwork and restain or repaint where needed
Wash and polish all windows and ensure that drapes/curtains/blinds look fresh and clean
Open drapes and blinds to allow maximum daylight to enter
Refinish and rewax all uncarpeted floor surfaces
Vacuum, sweep and clean all carpets

Bathrooms
Thoroughly clean all bathrooms
Remove all stains from sinks, tubs, hand-basins, shower stalls, toilet bowls
Replace broken or loose toilet seats
Repair leaky faucets and turn them off tight
Remove all stains from tile grout
Replace caulk in all joints where needed and ensure it looks fresh and white
Replace any broken, damaged and missing tiles
Double check to be sure that all fixtures are operating correctly
Sweep, mop and thoroughly clean all floors
Wash shower curtain and replace if necessary
Put away all bathroom supplies
Polish vanity tops
Put out clean guest towels
Put out attractive and sweet smelling soaps
Ray Smiley and Homes for Sale in Ottawa will be pleased to give you other suggestions as to how to best prepare your home to make it attractive to potential buyers.

He will walk through your property with you and point out any items that might benefit from a little extra attention. At all times his aim will be to make sure that you get the best possible response from everyone who comes to view.

For more information about how award-winning real estate agent Ray Smiley can assist you in selling your Ottawa home, please contact Ray Smiley on:

Direct line: 613 818 1819613 818 1819

Office phone: 613 837 0000613 837 0000

Fax: 613 837 0005

Email: homes@raysmiley.com

Ray Smiley received the Platinum Re/Max Award for outstanding real estate sales results in the following years: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

So far in his career he has been placed five times in the top 3 for individual real estate agents for Remax home sales in Ottawa.

Ray was inaugurated into Remax’ Hall of Fame in 2009 and went on to gratefully receive the Remax Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.