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If you are thinking of selling your home this fall or even next winter, it’s time to start the home prep! In a slightly cooler real estate market, how you present your home to potential buyers could mean a difference of 10’s of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. It’s not just about selling a house. It’s about squeezing every dollar you can out of your sale and knowing that no money was left behind. 

Early preparation is key to reducing stress and not letting the house sale take over your life. Home prep sounds simple enough, declutter, clean and you’re set. Not true! Today’s home buyers are expecting more. They want a showroom experience that will wow them online and in person. 

At Nested, we’ve mastered the art of selling homes in Toronto and have record breaking results to prove it. With 10+ years of Toronto real estate experience, we’ve tried and tested what works and what doesn’t.  If you want to sell your Toronto home this fall for the absolute most amount of money in the shortest possible time, follow our important home preparation tips:

Hire your realtor NOW!

For a fall or winter sale, you should be interviewing potential candidates now. If you wait until you are almost ready to list, you will miss out on valuable time and assistance.  When it comes to hiring the right realtor, ideally you should hire one with neighbourhood expertise to take advantage of their local knowledge. A good realtor is one who can offer important suggestions for prepping your house to sell, is knowledgeable in the timing of the sale and likely has very useful contacts that will come in handy during the pre-listing process. Selling a home is a partnership and the earlier you hire your realtor, the more guidance and handholding you will gain (that’s a good thing!).

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Tackle exterior painting projects before temperatures drop!

Enhancing your curb appeal is one of the best ways to boost your return. If done well, the money you invest here will almost 100% be returned to you, you will most likely double if not triple your investment here. The biggest mistake we see home sellers make is leave the exterior projects until last and often run out of time, either due to cold weather or timelines. If you plan to sell your house in late fall or winter,  get these projects done now. Once temperatures start dropping, some of these very important improvements, especially exterior painting won’t be possible. The formula is simple – fix anything that is looking tired or in need of a repair, such as siding, lights, front porch, overgrown gardens, then move on to finishing touches such painting and lighting. 

Evaluate what interior home improvements will net you more money!

This is when hiring the right realtor and hiring them early comes in handy! Your real estate agent needs to be well knowledgeable in home preparations and offer you valuable advice on upgrades or repairs that will translate into big returns on your investment. Minor updates such as painting, changing leaky faucets, broken lights, adjusting cabinet doors or handles are easy fixes that will have enormous impact on how your home will look and feel to potential buyers. There are always additional and impactful ways to add extra value to your home – defer to your realtor’s expertise for other bonus items. 

We often suggest starting these updates 2-6 months in advance, depending on what updates or fixes the house needs. During the warm weather months, booking trades can be challenging as wait times are longer, so allocate extra time to ensure you can easily execute these dollar producing and very important home improvement tasks.

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Start decluttering. It takes way longer than you think…

How can decluttering take so long? It pains us to say it, this will likely be the most time consuming task during your home preparation schedule. Basic decluttering means sorting and removing items in your home and keeping only what you can’t live without. Our suggestion is this – evaluate your selling timeline and decide on seasonal items that you may not need for several months. Rent a storage locker or hijack a family member’s garage and start piling boxes and storage bins in there straight away. Be ruthless and remove more than you think is needed. We’ve heard from many of our past clients that physically removing the items from their home as they decluttered, was an important step and they felt like they were really accomplishing and checking off the items on the packing list. Making space in your home is the ultimate goal.

The second stage of decluttering is assessing the furniture. First decide what furniture will be moving with you to your new home. If it doesn’t make the cut, have a garage sale, list your items on market place or donate them to a charity.  Remember, the goal is to make room in your house and save yourself from moving larger items you don’t want to keep long term. With this step complete, resist the temptation to buy more things! A well-decluttered home is the perfect canvas for professional staging. As we’ve said many times before, professional staging is an integral component in maximizing the sale price of a home, so declutter now and declutter well.

Organize exterior photos while your house looks great

Since you’ve done all this hard work sprucing up the curb appeal of your home, make sure you ask your realtor to organize a professional exterior photoshoot. This session should include both front exteriors as well as the backyard, since outdoor space is incredibly important to many home buyers. Why does this matter if your goal is to sell during the optimal early to mid-fall months? However, what if your ideal timeline gets pushed back due to unforeseen family circumstances or delays in buying a new home and now you are selling in February when everything is covered in snow? Document the beautiful exterior features of your home now to ensure potential buyers see everything.

Summer and early fall exterior photos are also great to use for coming soon campaigns as well as helping your home stand out online midst a winter sale, when most of the other homes will look gloomy and underwhelming.

Selling a home is a process, both physically and emotionally.  The earlier you can get organized with these tasks, the easier the listing efforts will be.

Are you thinking about selling in the near future? We’d be happy to help! Get in touch today by calling 416-909-1602 or email us directly at

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