If you’ve ever sold a house before, you know the process is much more complicated than it sounds on paper. The longer you’ve lived in your home, the more challenging it becomes. It’s not just the precious memories and feelings of attachment that make it hard to pack up and leave.
Over the years, it’s surprising how many items and belongings you collect. Every single thing in your house requires a decision. Do you keep it, throw it away, or give it to someone else? And the real estate market can change rapidly. Some of the rules that worked five years ago no longer apply. Where do you even begin?
As real estate agents, we deal with these complications and conflicting emotions every day. Luckily, there are proven guidelines to help make your transaction as smooth and seamless as possible. Let’s take a look at the essential steps of preparing your home just in time for the busy spring market.
Set Up an Initial Consultation
The first thing we do is provide an initial consultation to determine your desired outcomes. We’ll talk about your reasons for selling your home and what kind of timeline we are working within. You’ll also create a wishlist of what you want in your new home that fits your budget.
The last thing you want is to be in a situation where you have sold your house but cannot afford your next move. At the end of your consultation, we will clearly understand what you want and need. For example:
- Are you relying on the sale to move up to a different home or neighbourhood?
- Approximately how much is your home worth in the current market?
- What features do you want your new house to have?
- Is there enough room in your budget to move forward with your plan?
Discussing these topics in advance and getting honest feedback allows you to set reasonable expectations and make informed decisions.
What’s new in the Toronto real estate market in the last year? The posts below will bring you up to speed:
- New Laws in Real Estate: A Lawyer Weighs In
- Real Estate Resolutions for 2023
- What to Look Out For When Buying Pre-Construction
Customizing Your Plan of Action
Once you decide to proceed with the sale, it’s time to create an achievable plan and determine your timeline. The steps to a successful sale come down to preparation, presentation, pricing, marketing, and negotiations. The overall strategy may be similar for each listing. Still, each home has its unique character, and some customization is essential to get the best results.
Every homeowner is also different. You might want to be involved in the entire process from start to finish. Or you may want to take a hands-off approach and let us take care of the details on your behalf. Either way works, as long as you get the results you are looking for.
Strategic updates to prepare your home for maximum impact in the market are a vital part of our strategy. How much time and money should you invest? It will depend on how motivated you are to sell your home quickly. It also depends on the house itself. If it is new or you have recently performed updates and renovations, there might be less work than you think.
Performing the Updates
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start making things happen. Depending on the market and the desirability of your neighbourhood, you don’t necessarily have to perform every task on the list. However, the steps below will give you an idea of where to start and keep you on track.
Depersonalize and de-clutter.
Now is the time to adopt a “minimalist mindset.” Remove all personal and family photos, diplomas, religious items, toys, and knick-knacks from tables and countertops. Pare down the essentials and consider selling or donating items you no longer need. Keep small appliances off kitchen counters, and be sure toiletries are not visible in the bathrooms.
Remove furniture pieces that won’t be used with the staging design. Take art prints and picture frames off the walls unless we can incorporate into the design plan. What should you do with all of your remaining belongings in the meantime? You may decide to rent a storage unit until you’ve accepted an offer.
Complete repairs in the home as needed.
Many improvements could help increase the appeal of your home without costing too much. A few examples are updating kitchen countertops, replacing bathroom mirrors, upgrading flooring from carpet to hardwood, and installing pot lights. Your real estate agent can help you determine the best improvements to provide the maximum return on your investment within the timeframe you’ve set.
Fresh paint throughout your home, ideally in one neutral tone.
Grey walls are out. Off-white, white, and taupe tones in matte finish tend to get better results in the current market.
Update light fixtures.
Ensure all lightbulbs are working and in the same colour. Replace outdated light fixtures with contemporary styles to fit the aesthetic of the home. Think of light fixtures as jewellery. When wearing a beautiful gown, a lovely necklace or earrings can complement the look perfectly!
Make arrangements for your pets.
Visible signs of pets can reduce the perceived value of your home. A buyer may believe there is more wear and tear. Or worse, they may become too fearful of your pet to notice how perfect your home is for them. Your best action plan is to have a trusted friend or family member look after your furry companion during the selling process.
Deep clean your home throughout.
Shine the interior and exterior windows, doors, and light fixtures. Wipe down doors, baseboards, and doorknobs. And don’t forget to look up! Are there any cobwebs tucked away in the corner of the ceilings? They must go!
Increase Your curb appeal.
Take a look at the landscaping in the front and backyards. Potential buyers will really be paying attention to your yard as the warmer weather arrives. Are they tidy, clear of debris, with a well-maintained lawn and garden? And how about your exterior doors? Take a quick look to see if they should be replaced or refreshed with new paint. Some seasonal spring decor might be just what you need to provide the final finishing touches!
Once your home is cleaned and in the best possible condition, we will arrange a staging consultation with our design team. The stager will make recommendations for minor improvements that would have the most significant impact. For example, we may decide to remove some of your existing furniture unless we can use it in the design. Remember that space sells, not stuff.
Everyone has a distinct sense of style, but staging allows us to make your home appeal to the masses. We want a buyer to envision themselves in the home without being distracted by your personal belongings or photos. Staging often results in selling faster and for more money when prepared according to our process. Why does this matter?
A buyer who walks through and thinks, “I must have this house,” means the battle is nearly won. When the staging is complete, we bring in our professional photographers to take beautiful photos and videos for our online and offline marketing.
The greater the perceived value of your home, the more successful your sale will be. Here are even more decor and design ideas for you to try:
- Luxury Design Trends for 2023
- Simple Ways To Elevate Your Home Decor
- How To Build The Perfect Gallery Wall
Your home is staged and beautiful, and ready for the market! Now, an effective marketing strategy will help all that time and effort pay off. We will work to position your home in a way that gains as much exposure as possible. Listing on the MLS® and multiple real estate boards is only the beginning.
We will also feature your home on the landing page of our website and create custom brochures. Assertive social media marketing and other advertising venues help us attract attention from buyers all over the world. Somewhere out there, someone is looking for a property and price point just like yours!
You can help by being as flexible as possible when buyers want to visit your home. Keep the lights on to make your house feel ‘ready and welcoming.’ Soft music playing in the background (like smooth jazz, for example) – can create an ambiance that sets your home far above competing listings!
We leave no stone unturned to help you maximize the value of your home in any market. Do you have questions about our process or are you ready to get started? Reach out today at [email protected] or call 647-293-3785 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.