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.

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.

Landscaping or exterior paint?

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.

New paint or remove wallpaper?

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?

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.

Stage a nursery or stage an 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.

Removing family photos or removing trinkets/tchotchkes/knickknacks?

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?

Potential buyers want to see your home’s big deck energy. A whopping 86% of those surveyed in the spring said fixing a deck was more advisable than planting fresh sod. 

Putting out fresh flowers or fresh baked cookies?

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?

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?

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.


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