Select your province*
*In British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec, the services are provided to private sellers through a "for-sale-by-owner" model. In Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba, the services to homeowners are provided by ComFree Commonsense Network, a brokerage duly registered in each of those three provinces under the applicable real estate legislations. Learn more.

Preparing your property for sale

At this stage, you need to prepare your home to attract potential buyers. Remember; you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

Stop trying to sell your property: make it buyable

Properly preparing your property for potential buyers can make the difference between a quick sale at a good price and a difficult sale with price reductions.

Once again, be objective. Buyers go by what they see, so look at your property through a buyer’s eyes. Understand its strengths and weaknesses. A clean, orderly house inspires confidence and sells more easily. If needed, invite a few of your friends over, take them through your home and ask them to make comments on the condition of your property.

Understand, too, that many potential buyers take a look at your property from the outside, without even contacting you. It’s your home’s "curb appeal" that attracts visitors first.

Here is a list of things to consider to ensure that your house makes a "buy me" impression.


A well-maintained yard

  • Mow the lawn.
  • Trim the bushes.
  • Weed the flower beds.
  • Remove anything cluttering up the yard.
  • Clean the pool, garden furniture, BBQ, garbage can, etc.

A clean parking spot

  • Get rid of oil stains.
  • Move unused vehicles that are in the way.

As needed

  • Replace missing shingles on the roof.
  • Make sure that the front door is welcoming. You may even want to repaint it.
  • Repair broken windows and screens.
  • Paint window and door frames and anywhere else paint is flaking.
  • Remove political or other symbols, such as flags.

The interior

  • Clean the house thoroughly, particularly the kitchen, the bathrooms, the windows and the blinds.
  • Get rid of any useless items cluttering up storage space.
  • Give the walls a fresh coat of paint. A coat of white matte makes rooms look larger and brighter, and eliminates smoke and pet odours.
  • Deep clean the carpets and replace them if needed.
  • Light the rooms to enhance their appearance.
  • Make sure that everything is in working order in the house (toilets, doorbell, heating, air exchanger, etc.).
  • Don’t forget: the smell of cigarettes can turn even other smokers off.

Making sure the property and any amenities are in good shape doesn’t increase the value, but it does consolidate it. After all, a buyer expects a working water heater and a watertight roof.

A building inspector can help you determine the repairs that need to be done. An inspection will assess the quality of construction of your property, and in addition to demonstrating your transparency, it will reinforce the buyer’s feeling of confidence.

The inspection provides a useful information on the condition of your property and include:

  • A detailed evaluation of the mechanical and structural condition of the building;
  • A list of renovations needed;
  • A reasonable assessment of upcoming renovations;
  • An estimate for major repairs.

Contact an inspector who is a member of a professional order. He or she will have professional insurance against errors and omissions. Be present for the inspection and ask questions.

To choose a building inspector

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