Preparing Your Home For Sale (Reprint)

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My apologies for the typos and grammatical errors in the previous version of Preparing Your Home for Sale. The article was actually posted in error before it had been completed so below you’ll find the finished version, minus the annoying mistakes – enjoy!


Spring is in the air and ‘tis the season for home listings to flood the local real estate market. If you’re considering listing your own home, you’re probably also considering what you may have to do to prepare your home for sale. After all, you’ll want to make sure all of your home’s best features are highlighted so as to be both memorable and impressive to perspective homebuyers.

Where to begin with your preparations? Here are three tips to get you started:

1) If you’ve ever watched any of the real estate shows on HGTV, you’ll already know to remove clutter and any personal items that may distract buyers from picturing themselves living in the home. Also, keep in mind that today’s homebuyers are busy and will appreciate any major repairs having been taken care of before the ‘For Sale’ sign goes on the lawn.

2) By the same token, be sure to complete any improvements that are already in progress before listing your property. Buyers will have a hard time picturing what you are in the process of doing and may worry that the work won’t be completed by the time the sale takes place.

3) Consider hiring a professional home inspector. An inspection in advance of putting your home on the market will ensure that any serious deficiencies are taken care of or at the very least, won’t come as a surprise to you or your buyer.

In addition, CMHC provides a terrific tool called the Homeowner’s Inspection Checklist for home owners preparing their house for sale.

This practical, easy-to-follow guide for homeowners will help you identify common house problems and deal with them. In it, you will find illustrated how-to tips offering effective solutions for every room of your house. Some of the topics addressed in this handy checklist are Checking Your Home’s Curb Appeal, Will Your Roof Pass Inspection?, Examining Your Walls and Let’s Go Indoors – assessing your kitchen, bathroom, basement and garage.

Once you have taken care of any problems and repairs you are ready to add those final touches that will create that ‘show-home’ feel:

  • Open all drapes, blinds, etc. and turn on lights to make the house bright.
  • Be mindful of cooking and pet odors
  • Fresh flowers have a big impact, making your home feel fresh and elegant
  • Set your thermostat at a comfortable level
  • If possible, be prepared to remove pets from the house when potential buyers come for a viewing
  • If it’s winter, consider leaving pictures out of your home in the summer
  • Leave copies of your utility bill out for buyers to assess the overall cost of owing your home
  • There’s nothing more welcoming then the scent of freshly baked bread. Buy frozen, unbaked rolls and pop them in the oven before the viewings. Your home will smell wonderfully inviting and you’ll have a snack to come home to. Just be sure to turn off the oven before you leave!

Lastly, don’t forget to talk to your Realtor before you embark on your preparations – Realtors are a wealth of knowledge in this area and will be able to help you see your home through the eyes of your buyer.


As the company’s first employee, Jennifer has been a Licensed Mortgage Associate since 2004, but her current role is not focused on mortgages. She is the resident blog writer and…

Learn more about Jennifer Rochford