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Preparing your Home for the Vancouver Housing Market

66734-black-and-whitewashed-r-x1. Maximize Curb Appeal: Never underestimate the importance of the first impression and for a home, this starts at the curb.

Here is a quick checklist to consider:

✓ Cut and rake the lawn, trim shrubs, remove weeds from garden and pop in some colour
✓ Clean the walkways, patios, entranceway and driveway; ensure easy and safe access
✓ Wash the windows; outside and inside
✓ Wash the front door and replace the old door mat
✓ Paint any doors, windows, or sills that need to be freshened up
✓ Remove any dust and/or cobwebs from all lighting fixtures and from any access doors
✓ Clean all of the gutters and downspouts
✓ Ensure the garage is neat and tidy, and that the garage doors are working properly
✓ Ensure the fence is in good repair; paint if necessary
✓ Ensure all lighting is working effectively
✓ Ensure the doorbell works
✓ Ensure your house number is clearly visible from street
✓ Augment the main entry point (front door). For example, add a colourful and well-positioned planter

Now that the exterior of your home is ready, you need to carry that high-quality first impression through to the interior. Statistics show that Buyers make their decision within the first few seconds of walking through the door. Only after they have become engaged with the property, will their specific checklist come into play – for example, Buyers will need to determine if it has the required amount of bedrooms and bathrooms. However, as long as your home has that “intangible something” that connected with them in the first place, Buyers will always be willing to compromise on certain aspects and they will try to make it work.

2. De-clutter: You’ve already committed to moving, so it’s best to start the process now. Decide what you will be taking with you, giving away, recycling or throwing out. A handy way to deal with the extra items is to rent a storage locker or storage pod to house the items while you are in the process of selling.

3. Clean: The first rule of thumb: make sure your house looks and smells clean. This includes everything from the doors and walls to floors and carpets. Remember that many people are very sensitive to scents so be sure to use products that are not over-powering. Kitchens and bathrooms should always be sparkling!

4. De personalize: You’ve removed the clutter and made your home shine. Depersonalizing your home is the next important step toward creating the best appearance for potential Buyers. Remove all personal items; this includes family photographs and memorabilia. By depersonalizing your home, potential Buyers will be able to visualize the space as their own, not that of the current owners. Plus, you’ll be further ahead in preparations for the move to your next home.

5. Paint: A quick refresh of your interior often includes a fresh coat of paint. Painting does wonders in the way of a cheap and cheerful face-lift for your home. Sometimes one coat of the same paint colour will do the trick. Other times, the addition of a clean, natural shade is just right. In most rooms, any unusual or strong colours should be changed to a neutral shade. An exception may be in the powder room where you can be a bit more dramatic.

6. Room Function:Buyers need to be able to walk into and get a sense of each room, which means that each room should have a purpose. For example, if you are currently using an extra bedroom for storage, you are selling your home short of one bedroom, as Buyers are likely to forget such a room. It would be wise to change it back to its original function – a bedroom. This helps a Buyer to remember your home in the most positive light.

7. Furniture Placement: Rearranging and/or augmenting the furniture and accessory items can have a big impact on how Buyers may feel about a specific room, and even your home as a whole. Furniture should be placed to showcase the best architectural features of your home. Further, furniture placement should lend to the natural flow of the home, not obstructing natural walkways, windows or doors. There is a reason why “home staging” has become an ancillary business of home selling: It works!

8. Lighting: Ensure that the lighting is appropriate and ample enough for each area of the home. If the fixtures are outdated, replace them. Ensure that all fixtures have the appropriate bulbs and that they work. This is important for creating the ambiance that will help to sell your home.

9. Window Treatments: Sometimes under-valued in the resale factor of a home, window treatments play an important part in showcasing a room. Artfully placed and well-selected treatments will be an aid in creating the right ambiance for maximum showability. They may also may help to mitigate a not so delightful outlook.

10. Flooring: If flooring is particularly dated or needs to be replaced, your REALTOR® can help you make that assessment based on potential return on investment, resale value and time on market. At the very least, please ensure that all flooring is clean.

NOTE: Steps 1 and 2 of our selling process are often simultaneous, as we may be called in at the initial stages to help you ascertain where your sweat equity and hard earned dollars are best spent in order to get your home show-ready.

This is 3rd of 3 Blog posts in Step 2 of a 10 Part series. Go to Step 3: Choosing the Right REALTOR®

by Faith Wilson

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