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  • Writer's pictureTeam Pinto

Sell Smarter, Not Harder: 10 Forgotten Keys to a Successful Home Sale



You’ve decided to sell your home, found a fantastic Waterloo Region real estate agent, and are hard at work making repairs and updates to ensure your home stands out.

However, you’re probably aware that preparing to sell your home is a major undertaking. There’s a lot to do before listing your home for sale, from home improvement projects to having it staged.


Even with a to-do list, many people are prone to forgetting important tasks during the process. Fortunately, to assist you as you prepare to sell your home, we’ve compiled a list of the top things most home sellers overlook that could cost you the sale.


So, before you put your house on the market, keep these 10 things in mind and make sure not to overlook those that apply to your Waterloo Region home for sale.


Declutter and Organize Cabinet and Closets




You may have decluttered your home, organized your desk and other surfaces, and put your antiques and personal belongings away, but have you tackled your closets and cabinets?


Potential homebuyers are likely to look in your closets, kitchen drawers, and cabinets during a home tour, so you’ll want to highlight what your house has to offer in terms of storage.


Begin by decluttering your closets, cabinets, and drawers, ensuring that you only keep enough visible belongings in each to highlight the space’s potential. Consider it an extension of your home staging for your storage areas.


Actively Tackle Stains and Odors


Small stains, marks, and other flaws should be regarded as badges of honour for a home that has been well-loved. However, when it comes time to sell your home, these minor blemishes will stand out to potential buyers, so make sure to address them right away.


Begin by going outside and re-entering your home as if you were a potential buyer taking a look around for the first time. After that, walk through each room and make a list of any flaws you find. It’s possible that you’ll be surprised at how quickly your to-do list grows.


If you have pets, your home is likely to have an odor that you can no longer detect. Deep cleaning your home is a surefire way to get rid of these odors, but doing simple things like opening the windows for a few hours each day can also help (especially if there are any chemical smells lingering).


Plug-in room fresheners can also help to infuse a fresh scent throughout your home. However, don’t go overboard with artificial scents, as this may cause buyers to wonder what smell you’re trying to hide and may offend their nose to boot, especially if they are prone to allergies.


Check and Replace All the Lightbulbs


Small tasks, such as replacing a lightbulb when it burns out, are often overlooked when preparing a Waterloo Region home for sale.


Walk through each room and make sure every lightbulb is working to keep potential buyers from being distracted by these minor flaws. Don’t forget to double-check that all the exterior lights are turned on. Open houses or home tours may take place when the sun is setting or when it is already dark, so make your home shine both inside and out, depending on the time of year.


Inside and outside your home, make sure all of your light bulbs have the same color temperature too, for a uniform look. To greet potential Waterloo Region homebuyers, a soft-white daylight LED bulb can create a bright but welcoming environment.


Sweat the Small Stuff




Consider each room’s unique characteristics as you prepare to sell your home, so you can maximize the potential of each space.


Greenery should be used throughout your home.


Nothing brings a room to life fast like a little greenery. In a living room, a larger potted plant - like a rubber plant - can make a big difference, but even small houseplants around the house, such as on a desk or near a bedroom window, can make a big difference.


Mirrors can brighten even the smallest spaces.


You may notice that a particular space feels a little cramped as you prepare to sell your home. Consider hanging a mirror to brighten the space. Mirrors can make small spaces appear larger by creating the illusion of depth, and they can also work wonders in darker spaces by reflecting light into areas that don’t get a lot of natural light.


Rugs can add personality to a room that is otherwise uninteresting.


Hard surface flooring is often preferred over wall to wall carpeting by the majority of buyer these days, but it can look cold and clinical. Using rugs to stage your space is a simple way to add character to your home. Keep in mind, however, that rugs should be used to complement a space rather than serve as the focal point.


If you have an odd space in your home that you’ve never quite figured out what to do with, a rug could add some personality while leaving the space and its potential to the buyers’ imaginations.


Upgrade Your Outdoor Space


One of the most effective ways to make a good first impression on potential buyers is to improve your home's curb appeal. You should not, however, overlook your other outdoor areas, such as your front porch or entrance, back entrance, side yard, or backyard.


You want to make the outdoor spaces around the house more appealing to potential buyers, so they can imagine themselves living as much outside as inside. Simple touches like potted plants at your front door or fresh 'beauty bark' around the base of your hedges and trees can make a big difference. Consider building a DIY fire pit or staging your deck with outdoor dining furniture if you don’t already have a designated outdoor entertaining space.


Don’t Forget to Clean Your Gutters


Potential buyers are put off by clogged gutters, and they can lead to water damage to boot. If you don’t have time to clean your gutters while preparing your Waterloo Region home for sale, consider hiring a professional to clear and inspect your gutters so that this minor oversight doesn’t derail your efforts to sell your home quickly.


Baseboards and Crown Moulding Should Be Clean and Painted.


While it’s common to paint your home’s interior a neutral color to appeal to more buyers, many sellers overlook their baseboards and crown moulding when getting their home ready to sell.


While the crown moulding may only require minor cleaning and maintenance, your baseboards have most likely seen a lot more use, especially if you have children or pets. Clean your baseboards with simple dish soap and water to remove these unappealing blemishes. Consider refreshing them with a new coat of paint if they have seen years of wear and tear.


Don't Forget Windows and Mirrors Too!




Streaky, fingerprint-smudged windows and mirrors can significantly detract from your home’s overall appeal. Ensuring these are thoroughly clean not only enhances the natural light flowing into your rooms but also makes your home feel brighter, more inviting, and well-cared-for.


Clean windows can provide a clearer view of the outdoors, potentially showcasing your garden or the pleasant neighborhood, while spotless mirrors reflect light effectively, creating a sense of more space and openness in your interiors.


This simple task, often overlooked, can have a dramatic impact on the ambiance of your home, making it feel more welcoming and appealing to potential buyers. Remember, the clarity and cleanliness of windows and mirrors can subtly influence a buyer's perception of the entire home.


Focus on Your Floors


If you’re thinking about what repairs to make before selling your home, a new floor can be one of the best investments you can make. The floors are one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a new home, so make yours stand out.


If your carpet is approaching the 10-year mark, it is most likely looking worn and in need of recarpeting. Recarpeting your floors can make a big difference in making your home look new and inviting to potential buyers.


To appeal to the majority of homebuyers, you’ll want to use a neutral color, similar to what you did with your walls. If your carpet is only a few years old, however, having it professionally cleaned can help you breathe new life into it.


If you have hardwood floors, refinishing them will restore them to their former glory. This will entail sanding the floors to remove the old finish and stain, then refinishing with the desired color and sealing with one or two coats of sealer.


Get a Home Inspection Before You Sell


When you’re ready to sell your Waterloo Region home, the final—and arguably most important—step that many homesellers skip but should seriously consider is having a pre-sale home inspection performed. While not required, it is a proactive approach to determining the value of your home and addressing any repairs or issues before listing it for sale.


If you wait until the buyer conducts their own home inspection, you may face delays in the closing process as repairs are completed or as repair costs are negotiated with the buyer.


These factors may influence your asking price because buyers may request concessions to cover any repairs, so you’ll want to keep the number of factors that could cause the buyers to back out to a minimum. When it comes time to negotiate with potential buyers, getting a pre-listing home inspection will put you in a better position.


Make Every Detail Count with Team Pinto: Your Guide to a Successful Home Sale




When it comes to selling your home in the Waterloo Region, the little things can indeed make a big difference. Addressing those often-overlooked details can dramatically transform how potential buyers perceive and value your home. It's these nuances and subtle touches that can sway a buyer's decision, turning a casual viewing into a serious offer. At Team Pinto, we understand the power of these small details and how they contribute to the success of your home sale.


Our expertise in the local real estate market equips us with the insights and strategies necessary to prepare your home for a standout presence in the market. Whether it's offering advice on decluttering, staging, or making those minor yet crucial repairs, we're here to guide you through every step. Our goal is to ensure that your home not only attracts potential buyers but also leaves a lasting impression that commands the best possible offer.


Selling your home is more than just a transaction; it's a journey that requires careful planning, execution, and an understanding of the market dynamics. Choose Team Pinto as your partner in this journey. We're committed to providing you with personalized service, tailored to the unique characteristics of your home and the Waterloo Region market. Our approach is comprehensive, considering every aspect of your home, from curb appeal to the finer interior details, ensuring that your property is presented at its very best.


Contact Team Pinto today and take the first step towards a successful home sale. Let us help you navigate the complexities of the real estate market with confidence and expertise. With our guidance, you can rest assured that every detail of your home will be handled with care, maximizing your chances of a rewarding sale in the Waterloo Region.


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