Selling a House • Virtual TourUsing a Realtor


  1. KITCHEN: If needed, consider painting cabinets and/or upgrading handles/knobs for a modern look – maybe chrome. Ideally, kitchens should have a lot of work space (keep all countertops free of appliances), cabinets that are in good condition, newer appliances, quality flooring (wood, laminate, tile or stone), open concept to another room (dining/living), and a window over the sink. If you renovate, keep it in line with they style of kitchens in your subdivision.
  2. BATHROOM: Buyers are looking for larger modern bathrooms, with double sinks, big tub (bonus if jetted), larger shower with wall jets, and a separate room for the toilet. Consider adding a half bathroom, in a strategic location, if there is room.
  3. MASTER BEDROOM: The larger the better. Luxurious bathroom, walk-in or walk-through closet, and lots of space around the bed – (keep it clean and clear of extra furnature)
  4. FINISHINGS: Upgrade fixtures (lights and cabinet handles/knobs) for a modern look, i.e. chrome. Use natural materials: hardwood floors, ceramic tile, and granite.
  5. CURB APPEAL: A good first impression can add 5% to 10% to the value of the home. You want the buyer to want to go in. When they step inside, make another positive first impression, by making the entrance attractive. Keep it tidy and get rid of harsh odors.
  6. AMBIANCE: Lots of light and neutral colors (get rid of the vibrant blue, pink, red etc). Do what you can to make the home airy and spacious. Think open concept, vs. dark, with lots of small rooms.
  7. WINDOWS: It’s expensive and you may not get your investment back. If the windows are very old, it’s worth considering some kind of strategic, window upgrade.
  8. LANDSCAPING: Mature trees make a difference. If the neighborhood is new/naked, consider having a nice tree, or two, strategically planted in your yard, for privacy.
  9. STORAGE: Buyers want space for seasonal tools and toys: Garage, basement etc.
  10. BASEMENT: A dry, functional, finished basement will add value. A wet, moist or musty basement will detract from price. If it’s wet – look at the cost of repair and cleaning to create a theater room, rec room, extra bedroom or work/hobby space.


  1. POOL: Limits your buyer market – go with a hot tub; they are popular in the north. Put it in a private location – watch energy costs when you size it out.
  2. NO GARAGE: Buyers want a garage; and not a single small garage – think double SUV/pickup truck, size, garage.
  3. OLD APPLIANCES: For what it’s worth, if you’re appliances are old, think about upgrading before selling.
  4. COLOR: Neutral colors make a big difference. Bright or harsh colors, and multiple colored rooms, will definitely detract from price. Painting is a cost-effective way to get a higher price for your home (be sure to do a good/professional job)
  5. ROOF: Replacing a roof is expensive. An old roof will detract, somewhat, from the value of your home, but it’s expensive to replace so you may not get your money out of the sale. Minimally, fix the problem areas.
  6. LOCATION: What side of the street are you on? What side of the house faces south? Is your house facing north, or located on the side of the street where properties may have a lesser view, odd shape lot, or smaller lot. Does the house back onto trees/green space or your neighbours? All of these issues will make a difference in the value of your home.
  7. POOR MAINTENANCE: Interior upgrades may never be seen, if the outside is in poor shape – First impressions make a huge difference.
  8. HAZARDS: Old wiring, old paint, mold, asbestos, and humidity damage/issues will certainly impact the value of your home. See what you can do to remedy what you can.
  9. WORK REQUIRED:  The house will lose value if it is not ready to move in, set up and go. A repair list will obviously impact a buyer’s decision to buy. Buyers can be too busy to take on work projects. First-time buyers are budget-tight.


  1. A musty smell will kill a sale – deal with any basement issues, moisture issues etc.
  2. Big TVs can be too big, making that room look small.
  3. Clean driveway (first impressions make a huge difference).
  4. Clean fireplace.
  5. Clean furniture (professionally if needed).
  6. Clean and clear the kitchen counter – make it sparkle, roomy and uncluttered.
  7. Clean out medicine cabinet.
  8. Clean refrigerator inside and out – no magnets/drawings.
  9. Clean dust: fridge, water heater, breaker box, trim, fans, furnace, light fixtures etc.
  10. Clean the washer/dryer and area – sparkling.
  11. Clean the patio/BBQ area – make it look inviting and comfortable.
  12. Door and window seals to be working – no daylight shining through!
  13. Door fixtures: handles and locks should be shiny and working smoothly.
  14. Draw attention (decor) to the special features of your home.
  15. Empty as many closets as possible – Organize the rest.
  16. Fix paint and wall paper – If repainting – use neutral colors.
  17. Fix/touch up pet scratch-marks around doors and windows.
  18. Front entrance (first impression of home): small touches, clean and organized
  19. Get furnace inspected, if needed.
  20. Make garage as empty and/or organized as possible – make it look big as it can be.
  21. Get the home smelling clean – remove pet odors/smelly carpets etc.
  22. Keep all rooms as bright as possible – leave lights on.
  23. Make each room a showroom.
  24. Make rooms spacious – move/remove furniture.
  25. Make sure all building permits are completed, approved and/or closed out.
  26. Make sure the furniture is not blocking easy flow of traffic.
  27. Master bedroom to be large as possible and bright: remove extra furniture/big TVs
  28. Neat and tidy lawn!
  29. New, inviting doormat!
  30. Nicely arranged plants are attractive and warm.
  31. No leaky faucets!
  32. Paint facing boards, around roof/gutters, if worn/pealing.
  33. Plant flowers, if the season is right.
  34. Polish wood finishes.
  35. Professionally clean the house – floors to ceilings to windows.
  36. Remove all toys, inside and out.
  37. Remove clutter – Remove collectibles.
  38. Remove heavy curtains – use light material.
  39. Remove personal photos – Buyer should see themselves living there.
  40. Remove table-leafs to make dining room look larger.
  41. Repair major systems (heating/electrical/appliances).
  42. Repair the little things. Devil’s in the details.
  43. Replace bold colors with neutral colors.
  44. Replace cracked windows and ripped screens!
  45. Replace dim lights with brighter lights – open shades/curtains.
  46. Replace old shower curtains and caulking – Clean and uncluttered – sparkling!
  47. Safe stairs/railing, lots of light, and not slippery.
  48. Set the table so that it is inviting (vase of flowers etc.).
  49. Stage the home / give the added touch with tasteful items.
  50. Stop smoking inside the house!
  51. Store things you don’t need – Make it a show house – Well decorated/clean
  52. Take advantage of natural light!
  53. The smell of baking is inviting.
  54. Use bright-colored decor – pillows etc.
  55. Use mirrors to enlarge small areas: hallways, bathroom, bedrooms.
  56. Wash all dirty laundry – smells better.
  57. Work areas/hobby areas – clean these. Put away your tools of the trade.

Tips for Selling your home – Whitehorse Real Estate – AJ Malcolm – Dome Realty