Getting ready to sell? Before showing your home to prospective buyers, you’ll need to put some effort into sprucing it up. Here are 5 areas to focus on to get your home looking it’s best!


Let’s face it…most of us have too much “stuff”. Clearing your home of clutter is the single most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale. Removing all those superfluous things will eliminate distractions, create space and allow for the features of the home to really shine through.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can hide everything in the closets. Storage capacity is a critical feature for many buyers. Closets and cabinets should also be kept neat, tidy and uncrowded…they’ll appear larger!

De-cluttering before your home goes on the market will give you a head start on the packing and moving process later. Now is the time to discard, give away, or put in storage anything you don’t readily need.

De-personalize, Don’t Sterilize

You want to edit and neutralize the decor so that it appeals to the masses. But, go too far, and you’ll be left with something cold and bland, instead of warm and inviting.

Start by removing personal photos (but not necessarily all). Remove diplomas, certificates, mementos, religious artifacts, and dated, quirky or distasteful decor items. These can be a distraction. You want buyers to focus on what the home has to offer, not on who lives there and what their interests are.

Paint colours should generally be kept neutral, but do use tasteful art and accessories to add colour and interest to any room.

It’s important to depersonalize while still maintaining some character and interest. Doing so will leave a positive and memorable impression on prospective buyers. To help you strike the right balance, enlist the expertise of a professional home stager. A professional can judge when it might be appropriate to break some “staging rules” to make your home stand out from the crowd.

Repairs and Improvements

This is generally not the time to take on large scale, costly renovations. Instead, tackle the quick fixes that will have a significant impact without breaking the bank. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can give you the biggest bang for your buck. Simply painting cabinets, adding new hardware and a backsplash is often enough to freshen up a dated kitchen and/or bathroom. This is also the time to address that leaky faucet, running toilet, discoloured or peeling caulking, squeaky or sticky doors, damaged or stained walls and floors, damaged screens, and dated lighting and plumbing fixtures. Don’t forget to replace all burnt out light bulbs with the highest wattage the fixtures can safely accept.

Clean! Clean! Clean!

Your home should be spotless and cleaner than it’s ever been before. That means tackling some of those often neglected or infrequently cleaned areas such as windows (inside and out); wiping down doors, walls and switch plates; dusting ceiling fans, light fixtures and baseboards; removing cob webs dangling from the ceilings or walls; bleaching stained grout; having carpets professionally cleaned; and, addressing any odours from smoke, pets, mould or cooking. A home that is clean and appears well maintained puts buyers at ease. It frees them to take in all the wonderful features the home has to offer without being preoccupied with what problems may be lurking.

Decorate & Accessorize

Once you’ve decluttered, repaired and cleaned, it’s time to fluff your home to give it a warm and welcoming feel that will help buyers connect emotionally. The first step is re-arranging and possibly removing some furniture to optimize flow and spaciousness, and highlight the best features of each room. Rooms should be well lit with overhead lighting, wall lighting, as well as table and floor lamps where appropriate. Accessorize with tasteful and contemporary art, cushions, throws, vases, bowls, lamps, fresh bedding and linens. Finish it off with plants and flower arrangements to add a punch of colour and life to any room.


Voila! Your home is ready for it’s debut, ready for that special buyer to make an emotional connection, ready for that outstanding offer…and the “SOLD” sign to follow!