Survey: What Should Your Sellers Do to Get Ready to List?

Your client calls you and says they’re ready to sell their home, but before they list, they want to make sure they get the best possible return on investment. They ask if there’s anything they can do to help prep their home—what do you say?

Maybe a fresh coat of paint? Renovate the kitchen? Declutter the basement?

While listing photos and videos are critical for generating interest in your listing, it’s the work beforehand that can truly make the difference. Your clients trust you to lend your knowledge and expertise as they embark on their home selling journey.

More from CREA Café:

The time and effort that goes into prepping a home is no joke, but we decided to have a little fun on social media to help aggregate some tips. Earlier this year, we asked our Instagram followers (mostly REALTORS® in Canada between the ages 25 to 54-years-old) what they would recommend sellers do before they’re ready to sell. Here’s what we learned.

Not following us on Instagram yet? Watch our latest Reel now!

Landscaping or exterior paint?

Family landscaping a yard

According to the poll went sent out in the spring, 65% of respondents said landscaping was more important. While both projects would enhance a homes’ curb appeal, landscape could give your clients a bigger bang for their buck. A beautifully manicured lawn, lush gardens and perfectly pruned trees will help catch a buyer’s eye.

Read more tips for cost-effective exterior renovations on Living Room.

New paint or remove wallpaper?

Couple applies a fresh coat of paint.

A fresh coat of paint came out on top with 68% of those surveyed saying new paint packed more of a punch.

Colours can influence our emotions or moods, so picking the right paint shade can help make your client’s home look more appealing. Lighter shades, for example, can help brighten up a room and make it feel larger. Bold colours can add a pop and showcase the owner’s personality, but neutral shades allow buyers to see the home as a blank slate.

New floor or new countertops?

It’s time to rip up the dingy, worn-out carpet because 63% of responders said new floors were the way to go.

Before your sellers go shopping, they may want to check under carpets or floating laminate to see if there are old hardwood floors—especially if their home is older than 1980. If not, there are plenty of different affordable flooring options that can help breathe new life into your client’s home.

Renovate the bathroom or renovate the kitchen?

Woman cooking in a kitchen.

These are two renovation projects known for adding value to a home, but 79% of those surveyed said they’d recommend renovating a kitchen.

People use their kitchens every day, so upgrades to that space can help improve your lifestyle. Read more tips for renovating a kitchen on Living Room.

Stage a nursery or stage an office?

A beautiful home office.

It’s probably no surprise with so many people still working from home that  78% of respondents preferred staging an office over a nursery.

More staging tips:

Removing family photos or removing trinkets/tchotchkes/knickknacks?

Family photos in a home.

Everyone knows decluttering is important when you’re getting ready to list a home, but 79% of those surveyed said removing family photos was more important than removing trinkets.

Sellers should remove all family photos from their home, so potential buyers can envision themselves living there.

Fix the deck or plant fresh sod?

Wood deck.

Potential buyers want to see your home’s big deck energy. A whopping 86% of those surveyed said fixing a deck was more advisable than planting fresh sod. We polled our followers in the spring, but if your client is getting ready to sell in the fall or winter, they can check out these cold weather landscaping tips from Living Room.

Putting out fresh flowers or fresh baked cookies?

A vase of flowers.

Fresh flowers can help brighten up a space, which is likely why 76% of respondents voted for florals over cookies. They can help add a pop of colour to listing photos and bring a light fragrance during open houses or showings.

Hire a cleaning service or hire a landscaper?

Cleaning service cleaning.

While curb appeal is important, a whopping 81% said it was better to hire a cleaning service. Your listing can’t shine if there’s dust on every surface!

Update window coverings or update light fixtures?

Beautiful light fixtures in a kitchen.

Let there be light—74% of respondents voted for updating light fixtures over updating window coverings. Light fixtures not only provide light, but they can also add character and style to a room, too. If there’s a certain chandelier or light fixture your clients want to take with them to their new home, they should remove it before listing so there’s no confusion with buyers.

As a REALTOR®, you’ll be able to determine the best plan of action for your clients. Did we miss one of your go-to tips for your clients? Let us know what you recommend sellers do before they list in the Comments below.

Sarah Doktor brings her experience as a small-town journalist and national online editor to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Sarah helps facilitate conversations between CREA and our members, boards, associations and the public via our online communities. She also helps coordinate the content presented to you here on the CREA Café. In her spare time, Sarah can be found at the gym, running on a trail or watching Netflix with her cat, Libby.

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