Real Estate Photo Credit: Barry Calhoun

Expert Advice: How to Prep Your Home for Resale

Realtor Todd Talbot shows us 5 simple ways you can make your home even more attractive to potential buyers.

Homes speak to us—through decor, furnishings, art, lighting, design and more. Have you ever wondered what your house is saying to potential buyers on the walkthrough?

Love It or List It Vancouver host and Realtor Todd Talbot knows all about these subtle messages, and according to him there are five main bases to cover if you want to make your home look its best for the resale process.


The Vancouver west side home of Measured Architecture principal Clinton Cuddington. (Photo: Martin Tessler.)

Two words: Curb appeal. “It takes about 15 seconds for people to make a snap decision about whether they like or dislike a house and that happens before they even walk through the door,” says Talbot. “It’s a first date and that first impression lasts.” What you can do? Make small repairs, add lighting, clean—powerwash if you can—get rid of signs of moisture, and incorporate something living in planters or in the garden. 

Kelly Deck renovation April feature Western Living 7
In this bedroom, a Robert Abbey Blink chandelier in a room decked out with a luxe tufted bench and silky cushions. (Photo: Barry Calhoun.)

Don’t forget the 5 senses. “Everyone focuses on the look, but people are evaluating with all senses; they just might not articulate it,” explains Talbot. “Smell, hearing, and even touch, are equally important. Not often do people ‘taste’ a house, but they should want to!”

This Vancouver condo designed by Ben Leavitt of Fox Design Studio used mirrors to amplify the natural light. (Photo: Tracey Ayton.)

Keep things bright. “Clean windows, open blinds, replace bulbs,” says the Realtor. “Nobody ever complained about a space being too light.” 

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Take cues from this Delta, B.C. kitchen: the palette is neutral in whites and woods. (Photo: Tracey Ayton. Designed by Laurie and Randy Phillips.)

Can’t beat a neutral palette. “It’s a bit cliche, but nothing replaces a clean neutral paint colour,” admits the Love It or List It Vancouver star. “It’s bright and inviting and inoffensive. There is nothing people comment on more than ‘ugly’ colour.” 

This Chinatown condo is packed with art and objects tied entirely to what the homeowner loves. (Photo: Tracey Ayton.)

Don’t de-personalize too much. “There was a past school of thought that you needed to take out most—if not all—personal touches of photos, kids’ art, etc., but I think a home needs a bit of soul and that comes from the people who live there,” says Talbot. “Keeping a sense of family in a family home is an asset.” 


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