If you’re getting ready to sell your home, there are a lot of things to think about. Before you rush ahead to the listing price and placing it on the market, you’ll want to cover off things like property repairs, cosmetic improvements and in some cases major renovations. Taking the time to take care of these things in advance will help you maximize your financial return and increase the chance of it selling faster.

Sometimes you can feel like the list is way too big, so it’s important to prioritize your time and financial resources on projects that will maximize the value of your property, and avoid “over-improvements” that will do little or nothing to improve your home’s value.

Here’s a few general guidelines to help you prioritize:

  • Keep in mind that homebuyers and real estate investors seek the least expensive property in the best neighborhood they can afford. Repairs and improvements should be made so the property shows well and is consistent with the neighborhood’s standards and preferences.
  • If you have an older property, you may wish to get a professional home inspection before putting your home on the market.This will help you identify and address any major repairs that may be required.
  • Unless you are prepared to significantly compromise on price, some home repairs are essential.These include repairs to broken mechanical and heating systems, siding and gutters, broken appliances, major fixtures and structural deficiencies such as leaky roof.
  • Cosmetic improvements, including fresh paint and landscaping, are quick and affordable ways to help a home “show” better and often result in positive returns.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a checklist of things to make sure you handle.

Exterior Updates

  • Repair loose siding, damaged roof shingles, eaves, gutters and cracked windows for your home and garage.
  • Secure loose shutters and awnings.
  • Wash windows, gutters, mailboxes and doors.
  • Repair cracked pavement and walkways on your property.
  • Ensure lawns and gardens are attractive and well maintained.
  • Sweep the entryway, porch and sidewalks daily.

Interior Updates

  • Repaint walls in a neutral colour with broad consumer appeal.
  • Kitchen and bathroom renovations often result in a positive return on dollars invested.
  • Repair all broken appliances, fixtures, lighting and hardware, such as dripping faucets and showerheads, sticky doors, cracked tiles and broken appliances.
  • Steam clean carpets or replace if necessary.
  • Depersonalize your home so potential buyers can envision living in it. Remove personal photos, memorabilia and collections.
  • Keep in mind that cluttered rooms and storage areas give the impression that they are much smaller than their actual size. Remove clutter from all areas and if necessary, put furniture and personal items into off-site storage.
  • Clean every room thoroughly.
  • Remove all items that won’t be included in the sale of the home. This includes lighting fixtures or hardware.

Condo Documents

If you are selling a condominium, you will also need to prepare the detailed documentation relating to your unit and Strata Corporation in advance, as potential buyers and investors will request them in advance of writing an offer or before removing “subjects” on a Contract of Purchase and Sale. Your Realtor will look after obtaining these.

These include:

  • Title search
  • Registered strata plan
  • Financial statements of the strata corporation
  • Property disclosure statement
  • Building envelope or depreciation report
  • Strata and AGM minutes for the past two years
  • Other legal documentation required for your jurisdiction

If you want more ideas on preparing your home in Vancouver for sale, you can check out Key Steps to Preparing Your Property for Sale.

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