We notice that so much preparation happens about a week or two before going on the market. Doing some work in advance makes sure some of the hard to do items are done and allows you to focus on the final prep and staging leading up to the photoshoot.

1. Decluttering

Decluttering is exhausting. It takes way more time than we expect.

You NEED to get a head start on decluttering. Start by anything out of season. If it’s summer and you’re planning to list in the fall, pack away everything that has to do with Spring and most of Winter. (Keep the winter essentials accessible, but hopefully you’re moving before Winter takes full effect).

You like books? Pack up to half of them. Organize your bookshelf to make it visually appealing (6 Organizing Hacks).

2. Repairs

It might be a small repair you’ve now been considering for months. Maybe it only needs a few inexpensive parts and a few hours of labour. That doesn’t mean that the right person for the job can show up at a moment’s notice. Get ahead of it. Make the calls. Schedule the work and have it done early on in the process.

How The New West Guys can help: We know some great tradespeople and handymen. Sign up to list your home with us and we’ll help cover the cost!

3. Cleaning

Your home is going to need a deep clean just before going on the market. When you’re one or two months away, there are still important cleaning tasks you should take on.

Start with areas you clean less frequently (or never). Get the high up or hard to reach places. Dirty light fixtures and ceiling fans can really send the wrong message. Remove the fixture and give it a good clean. Now is the time, because that type of task is going WAY down the priority list when you’re just a few weeks from going on the market.

4. High ROI touch ups and improvements

Matt’s favourite is baseboards and all trim. Give them a fresh coat of white paint. It will make everything look fresh, cover up knicks and scratches and help every colour in the room pop.

Jeremy likes deep cleaning and neutral paint colours. The little things can add up when it comes to impressing potential buyers.

5. Maintenance

Drain maintenance. Make it a task one weekend to go from one drain (sinks, tubs, showers) to the next and give them a chemical-free maintenance treatment (https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/5-drain-cleaners-you-can-make-at-home). We promise that as simple as this task seems, you won’t have time for it when you’re a few weeks away from listing.

Furnace servicing & duct cleaning. You might be the type who doesn’t have your ducts cleaned as often as they should. Get them cleaned now. Tape the receipt to the furnace. When an inspector sees that your furnace was recently serviced and the ducts cleaned they will assume it’s a regular occurance.

Hot water tank? If it’s more than 7 years old your best ROI is to replace it. An old hot water tank scares buyers. A new hot water tank gives a buyer loads of confidence. Confidence is worth thousands, so spend the money and replace the tank. If your home appeals to high end buyers then you should seriously consider going tankless.

Smoke detectors – If strata property, the replacement and maintenance may be covered. If not, contact your strata agent to coordinate a group purchase. Detectors have really improved and should be changed every 10 years. If yours looks a pale shade of yellow, it’s probably time to change it out.

Re-caulk and seal bathroom tiles and tub/shower. Ideally, you run the fan and dry out the bathroom for a day or two before sealing it.

Carpet stretching – if it’s still in good shape. Flattening out the wrinkles on a stretched carpet could make them look new again.

What it really boils down to is that it’s time to start taking on the tasks that most of us put off. A little time invested on maintenance and touch ups will have you ready to really make your home shine when it goes on the market a month or two down the road.