Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare to sell my home?

First, get psychologically prepared. Detach yourself emotionally from your home and start viewing it as a commodity you want to sell. This is difficult for most sellers whose identities are often reflected in their homes. However, it's important to be completely candid with yourself about how your home should look when it goes on the market. Property appearance and condition play a bigger role in the home sale process today than a decade ago. Today's home buyers are usually savvy, choosy and short of time. They'll pay a premium for homes they can move right into - i.e. move-in-ready. The probable selling price for your home will depend on various factors, including: how many buyers are looking for homes like yours, how many other homes like yours are currently on the market, and the condition of your home relative to your competition. You can't control the supply and demand factors affecting the market, but you can control how your home looks when it hits the market.

What is a home pre-inspection?

A home pre-inspection is an examination of the structure and systems: heating and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical, roof, attic, insulation, walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, foundation, and basement. If the inspector finds problems, it doesn't mean you can't sell your house, but you can be certain a buyer's inspector will find them too. Finding problems before you list your property can avoid accusations of misrepresentation, low offers, and even lawsuits. A home pre-inspection can also help sellers comply with new, tougher disclosure laws. Fix It 2 Sell It's home pre-inspections let you know in advance what problems can be found, and will help you decide on the best course of action when selling your home and in setting an asking price.

What's Curb appeal and how do I create it?

"Curb appeal" is the common real estate term for everything prospective buyers can see from the street that might make them want to turn in and take a look. Improving curb appeal is critical to generating traffic. While it does take time, it needn't be expensive, provided you keep two key words in mind: neat and neutral. Neatness sells. New paint, an immaculate lawn, picture-perfect shrubbery, a newly sealed driveway, potted plants at the front door - put them all together, and drive-by shoppers will probably want to see the rest of the house. Should I make any major home improvements? Certain home improvements that are useful to almost everyone have been proven to add value and/or speed the sale of houses. These include adding central air conditioning to the heating system, replacing an old furnace with a new high-efficiency model, building a deck or patio, basement finishing, some kitchen remodelling (updating colours on cabinets, countertops, appliances, panels, etc.), and new floor and/or wall coverings, especially in bathrooms. Improvements that return less than what they cost are generally items that appeal to personal tastes, like adding fireplaces, wet bars, and swimming pools, or converting the garage into an extra room.

What should I do to make the house show better?

First, make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember that people may look behind your doors - closet and crawlspace doors as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter; have that garage sale and haul away the leftovers. After you've cleaned, try to correct any cosmetic flaws you've noticed. Have rooms painted that need it, re-grout tile walls and floors, remove or replace any worn-out carpets. Replace dated faucets, light fixtures, and the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets. Finally, as with the outside of your house, try to make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their home. Clear as much from your walls, shelves, and countertops as you can. Give your prospective buyers plenty of room to dream.

What should I expect from an open house?

Another critical part of the marketing process, the open house offers prospective buyers the chance to view houses in a low-pressure, "browsing" atmosphere. With that in mind, you shouldn't expect it to generate a sale, at least not directly. What you should look for is traffic, and calls for private showings in the days following an open house. Open houses are always valuable, even if very few people show up. Such a situation can indicate that the price is too high; it may also lead you to look for ways to improve curb appeal. Do you recommend staging my home before putting it on the market? As part of their thorough consultation with you, your real estate agent will recommend certain repairs, fixes and renovations that would make your home more saleable, as well as common-sense prep such as de-cluttering and cleaning. Certain homes can benefit from professional staging. Staging need not be an expensive ordeal - Fix It 2 Sell It recommends Grassroots Design ( for your low cost and effective staging.

Should seller repair defects before selling?

After years of living in a home, it's easy to fall into a habit of overlooking home maintenance chores. If there's no urgency, many homeowners procrastinate. Often problems don't get fixed until a major disaster occurs, like a roof leak in the middle of a storm. Deferred home maintenance can become a problem when you decide to sell. Most buyers want to buy homes they can move right into without having to make a lot of repairs. Sellers need to decide before they put their home on the market whether to fix deferred repairs or leave the work for a future buyer to do. Usually sellers who have the time, money and inclination will do better on the sale of their home if they fix problems before they list their home for sale. A home that is in move-in condition is one that appeals to a broad audience of prospective home buyers. First-time home buyers, and buyers with busy lifestyles, often won't consider buying a home that needs a lot of work because they haven't the time or experience to deal with the problems.