Prepping Your Home for the Market

Would you eat at a restaurant that didn’t have clean dishes? Or hire someone that showed up to a job interview in track pants. We didn’t think so.
We can’t stress enough how important a first impression is when selling your home. For someone to take a serious interest in your property, it needs to make a big impact as soon as they arrive. And you only have one shot!

We want your home to stand out from the rest, and that means carefully prepping it for the market so you can sell it as quickly as possible.

In our experience, a little bit of cash can go a long way. Generally, a fresh coat of paint, a carpet clean, and some new lighting fixtures offer the biggest payoffs. But, sometimes even the simplest act of rearranging your furniture or decluttering your basement can make a world of difference.

Start first by thinking like a buyer. What will ‘wow’ you when you walk in the door? Most people want to move into a home that doesn’t require a lot of work, so what can you update before you list in order to speed up the selling process?

We’ve made a checklist of suggestions that can upgrade your home.

Begin with curb appeal

Even if someone’s just driving by your house, they should want to come inside. Remember, it’s the first thing they’ll see.


Do you need to trim the lawn or de-weed the garden? Make sure the pathway is clear of snow, put away the dog toys or gardening tools, and plant some fresh and welcoming flowers near the entrance.

Bricks and mortars

If the exterior of your house is falling apart or looking dated, a fresh coat of paint may solve all of your problems. If that seems too costly, adding some flower boxes, upgrading the window shutters, or painting the front door will help. Or, if your front door is older than you, splurge on a raised panel, hardwood one to add a touch of class.

Scrub the Outside

This may seem daunting, but trust us, it’s not. Rent a powered pressure washer and clean the windows until they sparkle.

Look Up

Are the shingles on your roof aligned? When was the last time you repaired or updated the roof? Double check that and while you’re at it, make sure the eaves and chimney are working correctly.

Pretty up your Porch

Like a firm handshake, your porch can make a lasting first impression. If it’s welcoming, bright, and clean, you’re on the right path. Add a mat, some potted plants, and make sure it’s brightly lit at night.

As the saying goes, we all know that beauty is on the inside. And now that your potential buyers have made it past the surface, let’s sell them on your home’s personality.


Now’s the time to streamline the DVDs, magazines, and books that have been taking up shelf space since you moved in. Those clothes you haven’t worn in years? Donate them now. The more organized your space, the more attractive it will be.


This may seem obvious, but everyone has a different definition of clean. If this seems too overwhelming, we can definitely suggest some companies that can help you with this. No need to overdo it, but there’s nothing worse than a big carpet stain in the entrance-way and dusty bookshelves. This is definitely the cheapest way to help sell your home.

Scent Appeal

This is a big one, especially if you have animals. Keep things fresh by opening windows, and throw out any strong-smelling foods in the kitchen. Oh, and if you do have pets, be extra attentive with the vacuum and litterbox. Or consider sending them on a mini vacation while your home is being shown.

Update the Paint

Research shows that rich, mid-tone neutrals (think light grey or taupe) make your home more inviting and sophisticated. But, if all else fails, stick with white to open everything up. Plus, nothing rids odours like a fresh coat of paint.

Mirror Mirror

If you live in a small space, mirrors are your best friend. Strategically place them in entryways and and bathrooms to expand the room.

Don’t get personal

Buyers want to imagine themselves living in your space, and it’s almost impossible to do so when family photos and memorabilia are taking up every inch of your counter. Pack those things up first to ensure that your home is a blank canvas…and don’t forget to cleverly conceal the boxes in a storage space or garage.

Lighten Up

Nothing screams “out of date” like old lighting fixtures and heavy drapes. If they were installed in the 80s or aren’t part of a mid-century modern theme (you get the idea), replace them. Keep things simple, modern, and bright.

The Kitchen

This room may have the most impact when it comes to selling your house. And before we tell you to shell out $30,000 on a new kitchen, here are a few simple tips.

  • Make sure it’s spotless. Nothing is more unattractive than stains on your appliances and marks on your cupboards. Scrub, scrub, scrub.
  • De-clutter, again. Remove anything personal and clear all countertops.
  • Check that it works. If your appliances make unpleasant sounds or need repair, get this done ASAP.
  • Make minor renovations: Sometimes small changes like a new kitchen faucet or modern hardware for your cabinets make a dramatic impact.


This is a last resort. If something needs major work (like a bathroom), the minor investment may be worthwhile; otherwise, we don’t advise any major remodels.

While all of these suggestions are a great starting point, when the time comes to put your house on the market, we will come and prepare a customized plan based on your comfort level, availability, and market strategy.