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Despite how it’s portrayed on television, selling your home isn’t as easy as it seems. While Canada’s housing market continues to heat up across the board, there are still plenty of things you should consider to ensure your home is ready for the market:
Find Out What Your Home Is Worth
Determining what your home is worth will help you ensure you price it competitively and appropriately. Once you find out the value of your home, take 15% – 20% off the price. This will likely cause a steady flow of interested buyers looking for a bargain and you’ll likely end up making more than the actual value of the home due to bidding wars and competitive offers. While it requires some courage to see it through, this is the single most effective way to sell a home in today’s market so don’t rule it out as an option.
Declutter Your Home
When it comes to selling your home, less is always more! Clutter makes a space look smaller than it actually is so potential buyers may worry that there isn’t enough space for their own belongings. Make it a point to go through each room of your home to remove anything necessary that adds clutter to the space; whether it’s furniture, bins, a display of collectables etc. Buyers will explore all areas of your home when they walk through so it’s safer to assume that no place is safe to hide junk or clutter away from prying eyes. Keep flat surfaces empty/tidy, organize your closets and clean out your notorious junk drawer. Choosing to declutter before you sell can help you make some extra cash and downsize the amount of stuff you’ll be bringing into your next home.
The outside of your home is the very first thing potential buyers will see when they arrive so make sure you put in the work to entice them. As much as we’d all like to believe people don’t judge books by their covers, we all know that’s just not true and the same goes for your home. Make your home more inviting by planting colourful flowers out front, cleaning the windows, clearing the pathways, trimming the hedges and touching up any necessary paint spots. These simple cosmetic fixes can have a huge impact on the buyer’s first impression and when it comes to real estate, your first impression is your ONLY impression!
Repaint With Neutral Colours
Even though you may love your sunny yellow kitchen, buyers may see it as a burden; adding another task to the to-do list and another expense to the invoice. Painting your home in more neutral colours is an easy way to appeal to a broader range of buyers and help those walking through your home envision their own favourite colours on the walls without being distracted by yours.
Touch Up Your House With Minor Renovations
We’re not telling you to go replace the roof, but you should at least consider making some minor renovations that could have a major impact on potential buyers. Whether that’s updating the hardware in an otherwise outdated kitchen or swapping your old light fixtures for something more modern, there are plenty of simple fixes you can make that will improve your chance of selling quickly and won’t break the bank in the process.
Most real estate experts will always advise that you stage your home. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and rent a truck load of furniture, it just means you should pay attention to how your rooms are used so you can arrange the furniture to highlight the space’s best features. While decluttering and cleaning play a large part in staging, you’ll also want to focus on defining each space for potential buyers so they get a better sense of how they can use different rooms while also making the home feel more cozy and put together. If you have spare rooms that you’re using for other purposes, consider returning them to their original bedroom layout so the buyer can envision how they would personally use an extra room if they had one.
Depersonalize Your Home
Something that most sellers overlook when it comes to showcasing their home to buyers, is the highly personalized items scattered throughout their space. The more personal items you have in your home, the less likely new buyers will be able to picture themselves in that same space. Whether it’s memorabilia, collections, family photos or personal keepsakes, make it a point to cut back on anything too personal so buyers have an opportunity to envision the space as their own.
Change Your Lightbulbs And Fixtures
Make it a point to maximize the light in your home. Aside from the perfect location, good lighting ranks very high on the list of things people look for in a new home so don’t cut corners here. Increase the wattage of your lightbulbs, change your lampshades, update your fixtures, remove dated drapes and get the windows nice and clean so potential buyers get a bright and cheery vibe from your space as soon as they walk in.
Hire A REALTOR®
If you haven’t done so already, consider hiring a REALTOR® to help you prepare your space, market it to potential buyers and host an open house to show it off professionally. Having an experienced REALTOR® will also help you as you move through the process of buying/selling so you don’t have to tackle any of this process alone.
Clean Up Your Yard
Depending on the time of year you choose to sell your home, what you can accomplish in the backyard will vary. If you’re selling in the spring/summer: trim the trees, cut the grass, tidy up the gardens, stain the deck and clean off the patio furniture/BBQ so potential buyers can get a good sense of how beautiful the space can look when it’s maintained. If you’re selling in the fall: rake the leaves and clean out the gutters. If you’re selling in the winter: do your best to make the area look presentable by shoveling and icing the walkways. If you have a garage, don’t forget to put time into making that space tidy and consider painting the walls if things are looking a bit grim.
Get A Prelisting Home Inspection
It’s never fun to find out all the things that are wrong with your house while trying to negotiate the sale. Getting a prelisting home inspection will give you the upper hand because you’ll be aware of any issues in advance and all also have the option to fix them if you choose. At the very least, when the potential buyer brings up a problem, you won’t be caught off guard and unable to respond. You’ll be aware and prepared with a solution or suggestion.
Frequently Asked Questions When Selling Your Home
When it comes to selling your home, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. These are a few of the most common ones you may find yourself asking as you move through the selling process:
What Sells A Home Fast?
Truth be told, price is a huge factor in how fast a home sells. Beyond that though, a home that’s in excellent condition and “move-in ready” will often sell much faster than a home in need of major repairs.
How Much Should I Spend To Get My House Ready To Sell?
A word of caution that most major renovations have a low return on investment so don’t think you need to go reno-happy trying to improve your home in the hopes of making more money. Some smaller upgrades will definitely carry a higher ROI though so if you’re looking to make some minor fixes like touching up exterior paint or upgrading your lighting, that should help you add some extra value to your home without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, there’s no magic number in terms of what you should spend to get your house ready to sell. Make a list of potential improvements, cost them all out and then determine if the investment will be worth the potential ROI when it comes time to sell.
What Brings More Value To A Home?
There are lots of ways to add value to your home before you sell via renovation projects but there are certain aspects of your home that will add heaps of value and aren’t exactly things you can change. The home’s location, neighbourhood features, design style, curb appeal, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, storage space and the type of heat/air your home has will all be factors that will affect the overall value.
Does A Messy House Affect An Appraisal?
Generally speaking, a messy house with scattered clothes, toys or belongings does not affect an appraisal. Appraisers are professionals that have been trained to look past the clutter and assess the true value of the property. The exception would be if the amount of clutter affects the structural condition of the home.
Whether this is your first time selling your home, or you’ve been through this process before, these tips will help you stay organized and ensure you list your home as efficiently as possible. If you’re looking for some insight into the process or need the help of a professional to ensure everything goes smoothly, contact our team today and let’s start the conversation.