As a REALTOR®, I spend hours every day looking at listings online, as well as doing tours, showings and Open Houses. Over time, I’ve learned that how you present your home to the public has a strong correlation with the selling price you can expect to achieve.
An extreme example: I once held an Open House for a colleague, meeting him beforehand to familiarize myself with the home. As we walked in, he muttered, “leave your shoes on” — an understatement. The carpets had probably never been cleaned, spattered with dried liquids and a distinct pathway of dirt. Equally disconcerting was the garbage, posters of lingerie-clad women, and a “full” bedpan container on the nightstand. Needless to say, the suite didn’t show well, and sold below market value.
While the above suite’s deficiencies were obvious, maybe others aren’t. Here are some more relevant tips for getting your home ready for sale:
1. DECLUTTER. Remove knickknacks, and personal photographs from your tables and shelves, leaving only a select few accessories. Pare down the amount of clothing in your closets, and remove whatever you aren’t using day-to-day. Think spacious and minimalist. If you live in a condo and have a storage locker, use that instead of your in-suite flex space. If your storage is only in-suite, consider using matching large plastic storage bins on a baker’s rack for an organized look.
2. REMOVE, REARRANGE OR ADD FURNITURE. Condo Developers and Decorators are smart: they use furniture that is scaled down to fit small spaces. Remove furniture that is too big, or disturbs the flow of your room. A good REALTOR® should be able to walk through a home and make staging suggestions that can help a Seller maximize their home’s potential. Conversely, an unfurnished home can be at a disadvantage, too. Buyers are not always imaginative about how furniture fits into a home. Further, they may assume that the Seller has already bought and moved elsewhere, justifying a low-ball offer. Consider staging your home if it is empty. Faith Wilson Group has a boutique staging arm that our Sellers can take advantage of that has a range of price points that are very reasonable. This is offered for rent in availability. Always, we perform a walk through and make suggestions that can help a Seller maximize what they have.
3. CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. People are adverse to the dirt of other people. It gets in the way of falling in love with a home that someone else currently occupies. Clean up, make your bed, and put things away. I should also mention here, as an aside, to lock up your valuables. I don’t ever want to see a Seller’s high-end watch or IPad, sitting on the bedside table!
4. DO TOUCH-UPS, REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE: Repair the issues that you know your house has, before they are revealed during a home inspection. These glaring items can lead to a lower sale price, or the inconvenience of making last-minute repairs to remove subjects on the Contract of Purchase and Sale.
5. CONSIDER THE SMELL OF YOUR HOME. Odours are particularly noticeable when initially entering a home: spicy/oily cooking, smoking, pets, etc. Way back when, realtors were told to bake bread or cookies at Open Houses to create an inviting, cozy smell. Because most REALTORS® don’t have culinary training, I recommend burning candles, or using essential oil or wax diffusers. When all else fails, open a window!
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