How To Get Your Home Ready To Sell

Preparing your home for a quick and easy sale can feel overwhelming, but it does not have to be. This 10-step list will get you on the right path and have your home ready for showings in no time. The Hamre Team has been helping people in Ottawa sell their homes since 1980 so we have lots of experience with what works best. Although your home may be set up just the way you like it one of the key things to think about is that you are trying to appeal to the biggest possible audience in order to get the most possible buyers through the door. More excited potential buyers can equal more offers and more money in your pocket. Read through our 10-step list on how to get your home ready to sell in the Ottawa real estate market below.

Clean Thoroughly

Steam the carpets, mop or vacuum hard floors, clean windows, polish appliances and give the bathrooms a serious scrubbing. This may seem like a no-brainer to many. Obviously, you would want the cleanest possible house if you were a potential buyer. One thing to keep in mind is that your level of clean is different than someone else's level of clean. What you see as "clean" might be different than the standard of someone else. The best practice is to go above and beyond even the highest standards of cleaning.

When and How Often Should You Clean Your Home When It Is For Sale? 

The first time that you want to truly perform a deep clean is before the photographer comes to visit and take photos. There is nothing worse than seeing a mess, cobweb or dust in photos. Most buyers in 2024 will see the home online before they visit. If they see a dirty home online they will not want to see it in person and you could lose potential buyers. Make sure that your home is spotless before photos are taken.  You should additionally continue to clean regularly for the duration of the home being on the market. Obviously, life happens and you cannot clean fully every single day. But do make an effort to clean often and quickly tidy up any messes that might detract from the property.

Keeping the home clean and smelling nice could make a big difference in first impressions and the opinions of potential buyers. This is step 1 for a reason, make sure you stay on top of your home's cleanliness. 

Depersonalize and Declutter

Room by room, remove little items that clutter up space and make rooms look smaller. Remove family photos and personalized decor, you want buyers to picture themselves living in the home, and they can’t do that with your family pictures on the wall. This step can be especially difficult if you've lived in the home for a long time. Removing personal items can make the home feel less recognizable or like it is not your home anymore. Remember you are trying to appeal to the most possible buyers. More empty space will allow buyers to fill the home with their imaginations. They can envision their personal belongings in the home. When buyers start to think about where they would place their furniture or their belongings that's when you know they are becoming a serious buyer. De-personalizing and decluttering is a key step. The Hamre Team offers professional staging that can also help you to depersonalize and declutter. 

Rearrange Furniture as Needed

Remove furniture to make rooms seem bigger, and swap pieces in and out of different rooms to give each space an obvious purpose. This is the main idea of rearranging furniture. This very closely relates to the previous step. You want to create more open spaces and improve the overall look and feel of your home to buyers. You also want to make sure that every room has a very distinct purpose. Adding a desk and chair to a room or empty space can create an office area. Setting up a home gym in an unused space in the basement can also add value. The Hamre Team offers professional staging as part of our services. This consultation will use your current furniture to maximize the space. 

When we show our current listings to potential buyers, all of our homes look like model homes. Why? We know how to stage a house to sell. And that's one of the advantages that you get when you list your home for sale with the Hamre Real Estate Team. Listing with the Hamre Team means that your listing will be showcased in the best possible manner. We pay attention to detail in our videos, pictures and descriptions. We have our own staging crew. They are professionals - they know presentation, floor plan definition and how to create the “WOW” factor in all of our client’s homes. Let us set the stage to make sure that your home is the one that buyers will be talking about.

Don’t Forget The Outside

Curb appeal helps your home make its first impression, and your to-do list will vary seasonally. 


Once the snow melts be sure to get rid of dead leaves, branches, and weeds which may be showing through the snow, or on walkways you’ve cleared. When buyers pull up and see a well-kept yard, it means the home is well-kept on the inside as well. Clean out the gutters and make sure everything is in tip-top shape after the winter. 


If you have it, flaunt it. Ottawa Buyers love a good pool. Make sure they can see the pool and that it is in working order. Take the time to set up any patio furniture along the pool as well. This will let buyers picture themselves enjoying the space. Other tasks for summer include keeping the grass short, planting flowers, and cleaning up any weeds in the front walkway. 


Rake the leaves. This is probably the most key component to this season. You do not want a ton of leaves covering up the yard and making things look messy. you also might want to think about closing the pool to get ready for the winter. 


This season is all about shoveling. Keep the driveway and walkways shoveled and salted to make sure nothing is slippery or treacherous for buyers visiting your home. You may want to consider paying a professional to keep it clear in the winter. Have mats right on the inside of your door to stop salt and water from being tracked inside the house. 

Keeping the outside of your home looking pristine will add to the curb appeal and improve the chances of a quick and successful sale. Some other quick fixes to the exterior could be painting a front door or tidying up the front porch. This can vary from property to property but it never hurts to have a beautiful exterior to your home. 

Keep Storage Spaces Tidy:

Every buyer is looking for a home with plenty of storage, which means they’re going to be opening your closets, pantry, and garage doors. Make sure clothes are properly folded in closets and drawers. Organize the pantry as best you can. You may want to purge some items that you do not need to make storage areas less crowded. 

Highlight The Best Features

When highlighting the most attractive features of your home, it's essential to allow these elements to stand out and capture attention.

For instance, if your home has beautiful hardwood floors, consider removing any rugs that may be concealing their charm. Hardwood floors offer elegance and a sense of warmth to any space, making them a significant selling point. Similarly, if your kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, you should showcase them in their full glory. These appliances are highly sought after for their sleek, modern appearance and their ability to elevate the overall aesthetic of a kitchen. Avoid cluttering them with refrigerator magnets or other items that can detract from their appeal. By doing so, you allow these features to shine, enhancing the attractiveness and perceived value of your home.

The same applies to rooms in your home. Allow the rooms to flow and feel larger by positioning furniture in a way that accentuates the size and feel of a home. Our professional stagers will be there to help you with this process.

Secure Your Belongings

Lock away any valuables to avoid theft of expensive items or private information.

Have A Plan For Pets and Kids:

Your showings are much more likely to go smoothly if family pets or young family members aren’t around. Make plans for a babysitter or a place to bring your kids or pets. Plan to take the dog to the dog park or take your kids to visit their grandparents. Have a plan to make sure everyone is happily out of the way to ensure for easy showings for potential buyers. 

Set The Thermostat To A Comfortable Temperature

If tours will be happening when you’re at work and you usually turn the heat off, keep it on so that buyers will be comfortable during their tour. The same goes for the summer, if you have a nice, cool house, buyers will be inclined to stay longer and enjoy the home.

Any Questions?

Now that you have had the chance to read through our pre-listing tips. What questions do you have for us? Selling a home is not one size fits all. There are many factors to consider and we would be happy to help you with any questions that you may have. Fill out the form below and one of our team members will reach out to help you. 

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