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selling your home

5-easy-fixes-to-make-your-home-buyer

 

A home buyer can be picky so when it comes to selling your home you always want to have your best foot forward and if it is a tough market you really cannot afford to be anything less than showcase perfect!

One of the secrets in catching the eye of potential buyers is to highlight the features of a home that are important to them. Showing buyers that you have what they need, will help sell your home fast and get the best price.

But of course, not every home is perfect. You might not have the best location, neighborhood, space and other factors that are important in choosing a home. But those imperfections, especially the ones you have control over, should not hinder you from having a great showing.

 

We listed 5 tips that will make your home appeal to a home buyer:

 

 

#1 Style according to location advantages:

There is little you can do about your property’s location. Instead of masking location disadvantages with adjectives in your listing, you can factor the location to your marketing plan. Is your address in a hip, urban location? You might want to stage your house in a way that it will appear attractive to young professionals. If your home is located near a high school, designing your home in a way that it will reflect the style that would appeal to a growing family is important. In short, visualize the needs and characteristics of a buyer and set up the property accordingly.

#2 Fix and repair before the showing

Before your first showing, make sure that everything is in working condition. Do you have leaking faucets or clogged pipes? Fix anything and everything that is broken because those become a major turn off. Prospective buyers wouldn’t want to figure out those repair needs on their own and they will just look at the listing down the road instead. If you are working with a realtor, ask them if they have a list of preferred professionals that they could recommend to fix those repairs around the home, or you can check out a recommendation website like Angie’s List

 

#3 Make scents!

First of all, if there’s unpleasant odor in the property, get to the root of the problem and fix it! No one wants to live in a smelly house. Secondly, don’t overdo it with air fresheners. Most people like the look and freshness of lemons, so a bowl of lemons pierced with a fork will do the trick. Lightly scented candles are good as well; scents like fresh linen or clean laundry are usually safe bets.  For cooler months, try baked cookies or even just a bowl of water with cinnamon and sugar in the oven at a low temperature

 

#4 Sufficient lighting for every room

 

Buyers find bright rooms really attractive. Draw back the curtains, open the shades, and make use of artificial lighting if you need to.

A tried-and-tested technique to achieve the most balanced room lighting is to place three lighting sources in a triangular configuration. For example: a floor lamp, table lamp and ceiling light fixture are three sources of light in a room. Another tip is to replace dated lighting fixtures; an inexpensive and quick upgrade that can have significant impact on the look of a property. Remember when you are preparing for an open house have all of your lights turned on – the house will look and feel bigger and brighter!

 

#5 Declutter

When home buyers tour your house, you don’t want them to focus on the clutter. If you have personal belongings on display, like family pictures or collection, or just anything that will distract potential buyers, tuck these away. Think of it as a ‘pre-pack’, you will want to have those items with you at your next home, won’t you? A second benefit to a properly decluttered space is that is makes the place look larger. Bigger is always better for buyers. A bigger space encourages them to imagine how they will add their own personal touch to the property and without your personal belongings; they can start to mentally move in with their things.

 

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to prepping your home for the resale market.  But we hope these 5 steps help you get it ready and sold!

 

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“We are selling our home and our agents wants to book our photos.  Should we have them done before or after we decorate for Christmas? Our house looks so beautiful with the tree up and the stocking hung on the mantle. We love it and we think others will too!”

 

Christmas is right around the corner and it is such a wonderful time of year!  Decorating is one of our favourite parts of the season, too – it’s festive and fun! But when it comes to selling your home, holiday decor presents more negatives than positives….and there are definitely buyers out there looking for their new home during the Christmas season, so you don’t want to turn them off!

 

We love the welcoming exterior – it’s seasonal but not over done.  But be sure not to leave it up too long….

What are the negatives of  seasonal decorating (for any holiday) while selling your home:

 

1. Distracting.

Yes, Christmas and other holiday decor is beautiful but it can really distract buyers from seeing the beauty and features of your home as they will be focused on the tree, wreath, lights, stockings and more…..and not the windows, layout …

2. Clutter.

Although we never really view or consider holiday decor pieces to be clutter when they are out on display they do take up room and can make a space look and feel cluttered and over stuffed.  Think about how much smaller a room looks with a 7 – 8 ft tree in it – it takes up space!

The most beautiful Christmas trees aren’t necessarily the largest trees!  Consider a smaller tree – you still have a stunning Christmas tree to decorate but it visually (and physically) takes up less room.

 
3. Dating.

Holiday decor can really date your online photos and make your home look like it has been sitting on the market a lot longer than it has.  Let’s say you have your photography done in early Dec with all of your decorating done.  By mid January these photos will already look dated and it will send the message to buyers (and their agent) that your home has been sitting even though it has only been 30-40 days.

4. Personal.

When you decorate for Christmas or really any holiday, it can be a very personalized touch to the space especially if you have family heirlooms, religious items and handmade ornaments and other crafts made by your children or grandchildren.  It personalizes the space and that can make buyers feel uncomfortable (or like they are just visiting) as they are trying to picture their lives and building memories of their own in this house.

So definitely have your photos take BEFORE you decorate.

When it comes to seasonal decorating before showings and open houses – really try to eliminate or at least limit the decor – for the same reasons listed above. But if you must decorate for Christmas while your home is on the resale market – here’s what we suggest.

We love the simplicity of this room’s Christmas decor.  It celebrates the season, it has a consistent colour scheme and style and it doesn’t over power the room.

 
1.  Do NOT decorate BEFORE your photos.

2. Do keep it simple and tasteful with a consistent theme (for example: mixed metallics or traditional green, white and red; or country or modern).  This year keep it simple by only bringing out some decor – the house shouldn’t look like Christmas town!

3. Do NOT keep the decorations up too long or too late. Or decorate too early either. Aim to have the decor packed up by Jan 4 (approx)

4. Do NOT hang up or display really personal decor such as family photos, religious items, handmade ornaments and crafts by children or grandchildren

5. Do keep it welcoming and inviting with a small vignette by the front entry and then some decor in main living areas (try to limit to a room to two, for example the family room as the main Christmas decorating space and maybe a few items in the dining room and/or formal living room – stay consistent with that theme)

Celebrate the season without going totally over board. Remember in your new home (the next one), you can decorate as early as you want and keep it up as long as you like and you can go all out!

Remember, when it comes to selling your home you really don’t want to drag out the process so follow the steps to get it sold quickly and next Christmas you can really make up for the lack of decor!

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“Our home is on the resale market, the kids love Halloween and they love to decorate the house.  Should we decorate for Halloween while the house is up for sale or not?”

 

It’s fun to celebrate the holidays with decor and kids love it too but you need to keep in mind that holiday decor can be distracting for buyers.

 

We definitely recommend staying away from religious decor as it could offend or turn-off some buyers and you never know who is coming to look at your home.

 

We also recommend you don’t go ‘over the top’ when it comes to decor for the holidays.  Decor can add a lot of clutter into a space making it feel and look cramped which isn’t a positive for buyers.  Plus really over the top decor can be a huge distraction – buyers want and need to see the true features of the home like the room sizes, natural light, beautiful kitchens, bathrooms and floors .

 

 

If you MUST decorate for the holidays, consider this:

1.  Do NOT decorate for the holidays before photos.  This will date your photos and they won’t show off the actual features of your home.

 

2. Do keep it simple and tasteful.  For Halloween, put up some simple pieces on the exterior.  Nothing scary or gory – if you are in a family friendly area this will work for the buying clientele.

THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A ‘DON’T’ FOR HALLOWEEN DECOR (WHEN SELLING) – IT IS PRETTY GORY AND BLOODY AND SCARY.

 

3. Do NOT decorate too early and keep up the decor for a long time.  Think about decorating for the holidays just before and removing everything a day or two after the holiday – don’t decorate weeks early and keep it up for months.

 

4. Do decorate for the season.  So having some fall decor like pumpkins or fall wreath is neutral and welcoming but remember to keep it simple.

 

Remember once you are settled in your new home you can go all out for holiday decor so maybe this year just collect lots of great ideas!

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selling-your-home-9-tips-to-increase

If you are considering selling your home in the near future – start prepping now! Don’t leave it to the last minute….to get your home in tip top shape that buyers are looking for – is a lot of work! It really is best to get a head start so that there isn’t as much to do closer to the time when you want to list your property.

It can be confusing to know where to spend you money, time and energy but here are the top tips to increase to value of your home

1 – Fix ALL repairs.

Not sure what’s wrong with your home? Perhaps hire a home inspector to inspect your home and take a look at his report.  Leaky pipes, the roof, electrical panels etc…are the types of repairs that scare of buyers.  But be sure to take acre of cosmetic repairs too like cracked tiles.

2 – Add a fresh coat of paint.

It’s worth it.  The cost of pain is minimal and it makes every space look clean and bright.  Stick to neutrals and a white trim

3 – Replace carpet.

If you have old wall to wall carpet remove it.  Carpet is a big turn off for a lot of buyers as it get dusty and an old carpet doesn’t usually show well.  Opt for hardwood or laminate (perfect for a family home).  This improvement is what most buyers are looking for and it improves the quality of the air and it’s low maintenance

4 – Low maintenance landscaping.

Add some plants and perhaps some shrubs/trees.  It improves the curb appeal and again, it is something that the buyer won’t have to do.  If you want top dollar for your home, you need to do the work! Plus pull out that patio furniture (make sure to clean it) and set the scene –

5 – Enhance those kitchens and bathrooms.

You don’t need a total overhaul necessarily but pay attention to updating the bathroom.  Make sure it’s clean, has white fixtures like tuns, toilets and sinks and chrome or brushed nickel accents.  A simple and neutral bathroom always presents better than a dated one.  for the kitchen, small updates like a new back splash in a neutral tile, updated hardware and lighting – make a huge differences.  If you have older appliances that you can’t afford to replace make sure they are in good working condition and clean

6 – Other upgrades.

Lighting is huge – look for simple chrome or brushed nickel finishes.  And make sure you are using maximum wattage so the home looks bright! If you can upgrade your cabinets- do it, remember light and neutral, you want mass appeal.

7 – Don’t forget the exterior.

Does your front door need a fresh coat of paint? How about those lights and mailbox, have they seen better days? Do you have an address plate? Does your grip set (door handle and key slot) work smoothly? – Don’t let real estate agents get frustrated by trying to enter your home for showings, not a good first impression!

8 – Let there be light!

Are there dark rooms in your home? Consider hiring an electrician to add some overhead lighting in darker rooms. In older homes, we don’t often see overhead lighting in family rooms, secondary bedrooms and living rooms – so stand out from the crowd.

9 – Stage your home.

Even if you are still living in the space with your furniture and accessories, hire a stager for a consultation.  They can help you will ideas to be present your home, and they can give you some great tips to appeal to buyers. A home staging team can help you in the beginning too – buy selecting the right paint colours, lighting, hardware and other updates to improve the look and value of your home.  they are a great resource for knowing what’s trending in the eyes of the buyer.

You want your home to look it’s best especially when it is up for sale.  Start the process of prepping your home for the real sale market in advance to save your self some time, energy and stick to a budget.

 

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Decor Trends and Home Staging are really important when putting your home on the real estate market. A big part of staging your home is making it look current.  In the final steps of prepping your home for the real estate market you want to make it pretty, buyer ready and photo ready.  One way to do that is knowing what decor trends are out there and bring them into your home.  Since 95% of buyers are online first trying to find the home of the dreams…you need to make your photos stand out and attract those buyers!

1.  Outdoor spaces –

Assuming the weather is working in your favour – stage your outside.  Staging is about creating the vision of what life in the home would look like and including the outdoor living areas is critical! This staging trend is probably one of the most essential and we see so many sellers not have their outdoor areas staged. Remember a photo is worth a thousand words. 

Clean up the outside – rake, cut the grass, plant some colourful flowers, set up the patio and prepare it as though you have guests arriving any minute!

 

2.White Kitchens

Huge ‘trend’ now for home owners is light, white, bright kitchens! In a recent Houzz survey an overwhelming amount of respondents desired a white kitchen in their home. When the kitchen comprises almost 30% of the buyer’s decision (according to NAR – National Association of Realtors) a little more expense in this main area makes a world of difference in price!

Can’t replace the entire kitchen or paint the cabinets? Look at updating the back splash (or adding one) in a light tone, update the kitchen lighting to make the kitchen light and bright, paint the walls in a lighter tone and/or update the hardware.

 

3. Birds On Display

The bird in the pillow is just a taste of what we will see more of in the future. Whereas last year’s trend was the white porcelain deer head on the wall and horses, this year’s trend is sweet, little birds. Right now, birds are hot for spring and every spring we tend to see animals and florals pop into all decor. 

If you home is going on the market in the spring – think about adding some ‘nods’ to spring like floral, birds or any botanical elements. Currently, the hot trend is peacock but any bird in spring is up to date

4. Metallic accents –

Framed mirrors, art or brass bar carts add warmth and sophistication in any room. Metal accents add an element of shine to any room and they add some sophistication too.  Right now warm metals are hot like gold, brass and copper.  So think about adding a few touches of those in decor pieces, frames of mirrors, lamp bases even occasional tables.

5. Pops of colour –

Colour can help you stand out from the crowd.  Even a neutral space could benefit from a floral arrangement in bright yellow or orange.  If your home decor style can handle it, try adding some colourful pillows to the sofa or bed and a throw blanket.  Colours like yellow, orange and bright green are perfect for spring but coral, aqua and purple can also make a big impact when used in small doses.

6.Dual Coffee Tables

Placing two coffee tables next to each other to scale a larger space is a much better staging solution than just one. This is also a great way to add surface space to a small room.  Look for side tables, benches even stools (as long as they are the right height, 16″ to 21″) to be used as a coffee table

 

7.  Clear Tables, Chairs, Lamps and More

Glass has always been an excellent staging tool because of it’s reflective nature and ability to create more light in what would probably be a dark corner. Glass is great because it gives the surface space without the bulk.  If you are selling a condo or a smaller space – try a glass dining table and pair any style of chair you like.  It makes the room look nice and big and you still are showing off how to live in the space. Glass furniture comes in a variety of styles too, and price points!  You can use the ‘buddy system’ too so if you have a glass dining table add some glass elsewhere maybe a side table or in a lamp….

 

8. The Navy Comeback

Navy blue is making a come back in a huge way!  Navy just stole our hearts originally via patterns like chevron, ikat (see below) and floral  but now it’s really making it’s presence known as a “new neutral” that pairs well with yellow, turquoise, coral, chartreuse, wheat …almost all of the spring 2015 hues   that add pop to a space. Navy is one of those versatile colors that can work with bright or earth tone accents (just open your latest Pottery Barn catalog to see it with earth tones). If your space has a lot of neutral beige, cream or sand tones add navy for a rich contrast and timeless combination.

Photo from EmilyClark.com

Just a few tips and tricks can make all the difference…

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top-10-home-buyer-turn-offs

Looking for the perfect home can be a lot like dating to find ‘the one’ to settle down with and build a full life together. And just like dating, buyers looking for the house that is ‘the one’ well they have turn-offs, too.

If you are selling your home, you will want to make sure your home doesn’t have any of these buyer turn offs.

1- Wacky paint colours

Some buyers can overlook strange decor choices and picture the house painted white or in tasteful neutrals, but many can’t. Furthermore, colour can have a strong effect on mood, both positively and negatively. Don’t take the chance.


 
2- Dirt

A house for sale should be as near to spotless as you can make it. Particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, grimy grout, stained counter tops, dishes in the sink and crunchy floors are definite turn-offs. Do at least a light cleaning before every showing and a more thorough clean each weekend before the open house.

 

3- Odd (or oppressive) smells

If you smoke, at least take it outside while the house is up for sale. In fact, any noticeable odours, whether pets, lingering cooking smells or even heavy perfume, can turn away a potential buyer. Use fabric refresher on upholstery and air fresheners or room scents where needed, but use a light hand.


4- Unkempt exterior

Curb appeal makes a very strong impression on a potential buyer, and so does lack of it. Make sure the landscaping is trimmed and the lawn mowed; plant a few annuals or cover your flowerbeds with a neat layer of mulch, staying away from the bright red colour and opting for the natural coloured mulch. If the front porch needs painting, paint it. Also, keep the outside of your home as tidy as the interior: remove kids’ toys from the backyard, and keep the porch steps swept.

5- Too many pets

It’s hard to believe that not everybody loves Fluffy, Fifi, and Rover as much as you do, but they don’t. A dog that comes barking fiercely to the door as soon as you ring the bell, or worse, a whole pack of them, is unnerving. One cat sleeping quietly in a chair might be fine; a noisy (and possibly smelly) menagerie isn’t. Try to find temporary homes for your friends, at least while the house is being shown. And if you have carpets, get them professionally cleaned to get rid of the ‘pet smells’

 

6 Wrong-headed renovations

This is on a slightly different scale than the other points mentioned here, but should be considered at the time of renovation if possible. A toilet off the kitchen; an open-concept reno that creates a vast, empty space; or an oddly configured hallway or room is viewed by a buyer as money they’ll have to spend to put things right. Try to modify your alterations to make them more universal, or better still, avoid wacky renovations in the first place.

7- Dark and dingy interiors

You can’t do much about the building two feet beyond your side windows, but you can do a lot to brighten the inside of your house. White or light walls and woodwork is a classic brightener; if you can afford to add windows, they’re a good investment in a dark house. Adding more lighting, whether by wiring overhead lights or just installing more
lamps, works too. At the very least, keep your windows clean, to let in as much natural light as possible.

8- Horrid basements

Again, this may or may not be under your control, but a dank, dingy basement, especially if the ceiling is very low, can be off-putting. If you have the option, painting the cement floor or installing low-cost carpeting can help cheer it up a little. Also, clear out all the junk, right to the walls, so that buyers can see how much space there is — even if
it’s only for their own junk.

9 -Dirty appliances

Even if the house is generally clean, don’t discount the possibility that people will be looking inside the appliances (they are part of the home). Keep your fridge clear of old take-out containers and aging leftovers, wipe down spills– and use the self-clean mode on your oven.

10- Swimming pool

It’s perhaps unfair to include a pool as a buyer turn-off, since for some people it’s a major attraction. But financially, pools rarely make back the money spent on them and can sometimes even lower a home’s value. Almost certainly, a pool will cut down the number of potential buyers interested in the house. But if you do have one, make it look it’s best !

You know what they say…you only have one chance to make a first impression,

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Experts say that staged homes sell faster and for higher prices than those that are not, and paint color is a low-cost but effective way of showcasing your home. The following home staging tips and ideas will help in guiding your paint color choices.

 Neutralize

The colors potential buyers see when they enter your home should be neutral so that the buyers will not be distracted by someone else’s style. They should see the walls of your home as a blank canvas on which to project their own preferences and style. But “neutral” doesn’t necessarily mean white. Using subtle color can actually enhance the buyer’s experience, so repaint walls that have strong colors with rich neutral hues.

Some suggestions:

Benjamin Moore ‘Barley 199’, Benjamin Moore ‘Stone House 1039’ and Benjamin Moore ‘Providence Olive HC-98’

Update and Refresh

If your wallpaper has a distracting design or is outdated, remove it and add a fresh coat of paint for a more current, updated look. A low-sheen product will help reduce the imperfections on walls and ceilings. You can also use color to highlight the architectural details and features of your home.

 

Some suggestions:

Benjamin Moore ‘Carrington beige HC-93’ , Benjamin Moore ‘Shaker Beige HC-45’ and Benjamin Moore ‘Nantucket Gray HC-111’

Maximize Your Space

Light, clean, organized spaces appear larger. So clean and declutter, and give your walls a fresh coat of paint in a light neutral color to bring the room to life and make it seem more expansive. One home staging idea that can help expand your space visually: paint the moldings the same color as the wall, which gives an illusion of higher walls.

 

Some suggestions:

Benjamin Moore ‘Manchester Tan HC-81’, Benjamin Moore ‘Monroe Bisque HC-26’ or Benjamin Moore ‘Camouflage 2143-40’

The Grey Trend

Grey is a popular choice and like the beige family there are many choices.  Like all of the other tones – keep it light and bright.  If your property is furnished (so you are still living in the house – while you sell) this is a good choice only if your decor works with grey – otherwise keep it very neutral.  Some greys are warmer and others cooler so look at the other elements in the space to decide which route to go. Grey paint is a big draw for younger buyers – so it’s a good idea to discuss with your agent who they think the buyer would be.

Some suggestions:

Benjamin Moore ‘Revere Pewter’ HC-172, Benjamin Moore ‘Stonington Gray’ HC-170, Benjamin Moore ‘Gray Owl’ OC-52, Benjamin Moore ‘Silver Chain’ 1472, Benjamin Moore ‘Smoke Embers’ 1466 and Benjamin Moore ‘Nimbus’ 1465

Refresh Outside Spaces

First impressions are everything, so besides trimming your hedges and grass, be sure your front door and any fencing or mailbox posts are freshly painted. And because buyers love decks, porches, and patios, also make sure they’re freshly painted or stained.

 

Great suggestions for front door:

Benjamin Moore ‘Dinner Party AF-300’,  Benjamin Moore ‘Yorktowne Green HC-133’ and Benjamin Moore ‘Tate Olive HC-112’
 

A fresh coat of paint is beneficial for every home –

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First impressions matter the most when it comes to selling a house. In the real estate world, impressing prospect buyers is already half the battle. That’s why many seek professional home staging services to bring out the full potential of their home.

But not all people are convinced and we understand their hesitation. Some prefer to do it themselves instead of asking for professional help. Many home sellers ask us – why should I spend  money to sell my home, can’t the buyer do it themselves and make the changes they really want? The problem with that is most buyers can’t see potential and in this current real estate market most buyers don’t want to lift a finger!  So if you want your home sold and fast, you need to do the ‘grunt’ work for them. Remember when a professional stager comes to your home for a consultation it isn’t a personal attack, we are there to help you get your home sold and for as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time.

If you are in the process of selling your home and are having second thoughts about the benefits you can get out of professional home staging, here are a few reasons why you should consider it.

 

#1 The best short term investment a seller can make

In a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average cost of staging is between 1% and 3% of the asking price and this investment can yield on average 4-10% more of the final selling price.

Moreover, Homegain.com explained that sellers who invested $500 in home staging recovered over 343% of the total cost when they sold their home. That’s a pretty good investment.

 

 

#2 Staging help you sell faster

If you’ve done your research beforehand, you must know by now that the longer a house sits on the market, the more likely the price drops.

Based on controlled tests initiated by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA), wherein a number of identical homes were sold, professionally staged vs. not staged, the non-staged houses sold in 102 days, while the staged houses sold in 45 days.

Just imagine all the carrying costs you need to manage if your home stays longer on the market. By staging your home, all the inconvenience, stress, plus additional expenses such as mortgage and taxes, can be avoided

 

#3 Avoid a price reduction

A home that’s in “as in” condition are a tough sell, unless it has already been the victim of a substantial price reduction. Ensure that your property is in tip top shape before listing. Most traffic and interest will come up within the first two weeks so make it a point to maximize the potential of your home to make it to a buyer’s shortlist.

 

#4 Stand out among competition with professional MLS photos

Over 95% of buyers look at online listing before making an actual visit, so it is important to have professional MLS photos to convince them to see the place for themselves. As professional stagers, we know how important first impressions are and we employ various techniques to make the best impression possible. Colours to use, the right amount of decor pieces, furniture placement and more…so our ideas for your home might be completely different than yours but we are here to help you show case this home to buyers and make your home look like their dream home!

#5 Most sellers are having hard time viewing their home objectively

If you can’t view your home objectively, it’ll be hard to package it for the buyer’s eyes.  A professional home stager can help you with this. They know how to minimize the problem areas and maximize the potential of the best features. You decorated your home to suit your lifestyle and personal tastes but now that you have decided to move on, you need someone to come in and help you present your home in its best light and have it attract as many buyers as possible.  It can be very tough to be objective in your home as it holds so many wonderful memories, so again don’t take it personally when a home stager gives your ideas or stage your home in a way that you ‘never’ would.

#6  Only 10% of home buyers can visualize a house’s potential

This is why home staging is so important. It gives the buyers ideas how they can play with interior design. You need to bring out and show the potential of a house the best way you can.

#7 Peace of mind

Staging your home by yourself can be a tough job. It entails detailed planning, sorting out things, decluttering, trips to the home depot, finding contractors for paint jobs and repairs, etc. By entrusting the job to more capable hands, rest assured that you’ll get the best return on your investment.

 

Staging your home really is a must in any market.  Why? Because no matter the market conditions you want to stand out from the crowd, sell quickly and for top dollar! You can’t afford not to stage your home,

 

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When it comes to selling your home some upgrades are just not worth it in the end. We have been staging home for a while now and we love to meet with home sellers before they start any updates.  There are updates that are worth the expense – and some that aren’t. 

 

Your real estate agent can be a big help with understanding your competition and also the clientele moving into your area.  A home stager can help you with the presentation and the updates – we love to let home sellers in on what buyers are looking for and also the look that they are attracted to. If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, take a look at these tips for improving the appeal of your home to buyers. 

Some upgrades just aren’t worth it, but for some there are huge benefits for you, the seller.

 

1.  The kitchen. 

Buyers are willing to pay more or at least asking price if the home is ‘up to date’.  the kitchen is the heart of the home and sellers will get their money back if they spend it right in the kitchen.  Even if you cannot totally gut it and put in an entirely new kitchen, you should put in certain upgrades like a stone counter top, hardwood or porcelain tiles on the floor, stainless steel appliances, and islands attract buyers.  A home with a current kitchen will get a lot of attention from buyers!

 

2.  Hardwood floors. 

Especially on the main floor, and if you already have hardwood check on the condition they may need a sanding or screening with a new stain or seal.  And if they are in really poor shape, replace them with hardwood.  Hardwood is popular with everyone – it looks great, it works with any style of decor, it’s easy to clean and it also works for anyone with allergies. Hardwood too expensive? Check out the laminate alternatives at your local hardware store.  You might be surprised to see how amazing the new ‘hardwood’ laminate looks – plus it wears really well so it’s perfect for busy households and pets!

 

3.  Master ensuite. 

If you have an ensuite and not all homes do, especially if they are in older neighbourhoods, be sure to have it updated.  If you can’t afford a full renovation job – try updating the fixtures from brass to chrome,a new low flow toilet, a new paint colour, new towel and toilet paper bars, and rain shower heads in the shower are easy fixes. If you don’t have an ensuite but you have a large master bedroom, look into using some of the bedroom and turning that into an ensuite even if it is a bit smaller – buyers are looking for ensuites.

 

 

 

4.  Upgraded lighting. 

New lighting can completely transform a space and make it look more current. Pot lights, pendants in the kitchen and contemporary track lights can make any space look brighter and more chic. A chandelier in the eat-in kitchen and / or dining room can add an instant impact.

 

 

5.  Landscaping. 

Don’t forget your exterior – it’s the first thing buyers (and their realtor) will see.  Keep the gardens maintained, grass cut and trees/shrubs pruned. Remove the weeds and add some mulch to really make the flower beds look manicured. Flower pots and boxes at the front entry add some colour and a welcoming feeling.

 

6.  Finished basements. 

Aren’t just a must with families.  A lot of couples buying their first place want a finished basement for various reasons – office, workout space, man cave etc…Try and make the basement look as livable as possible.  Paint, carpet, windows and lighting make a huge difference.  Keep it light and bright down there.  Ceiling height in the basement is very important so be sure to have a space that is high enough.

 

 

7.  Bathrooms. 

Like kitchens, no one wants to pay top dollar for a home that needs major improvements and bathrooms are a hot spot in the home.  If you can’t afford a complete ‘do over’ in the bathroom, look at adding new lighting, paint, shower heads etc…in the other bathrooms too. 

 

 

8.  Paint. 

You will get your money’s worth and more with a new paint job. In a home that has smokers this is a MUST.  Stick to neutral tones throughout the home – you don’t know what the buyer’s personal style will be. A fresh coat of paint does wonders – it’s an instant facelift making the home looks cleaner, bigger and brighter!

 

 

9.  Basic repairs. 

Not really an upgrade but important.  Leaky faucets, cracked tiles, unfinished projects in the home should be fixed before buyers enter your home.  It sends the message that this home was and is cared for and loved.  It makes buyers feel reassured and confident.

 

 

 

It’s really best to tackle these ‘to-do’s’ before hitting the market.  buyers notice these details and if the little things are not dealt with now this could mean your house sits on the market and /or your price keeps dropping…

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stand-out-from-crowd-in-spring-selling

So Spring is almost here!  Youpeee!  So is the Spring Real Estate market! So are you thinking of selling your home?  Well, if you are one big factor you need to take into consideration is that there will be a lot of competition in the spring market. 

Why the spring? 

Well, the sun is out, the snow is gone (or at least on it’s way out), the grass maybe out and so might the flowers.  Generally our homes show much better too. 

 

So why do you need to stand out? 

Because there is so much out there, buyers have a huge selection and after a while the homes can all start to look the same.

So how can you stand out from the others? 

Try home staging.  Staging is a way to show your home in the best possible way.  Staging is best if it is done by a professional – they know what they are doing, they have experience, they work with Realtors and know what buyers are looking for but they are also an objective eye, they don’t take things personally.  you want someone who can highlight the features of your home, make it attractive for your target buyers and make it look incredible in photos, open houses and showings.

 

Realtors know that a properly staged home will sell faster and for more money.  Why is that?

Because any property that shows well will get a lot of showing requests, the more buyers through a home will likely results in quick offers and/or multiple offers.  when you are in a multiple offer situation, as a seller this means you will likely get above asking.

 

Some stats to consider:

“98% of the houses staged have sold over the asking price.”  HGTV’s Designed to Sell

 

“87% of people said that home presentation makes a difference in most sales.”  AOL Money and Finance Poll

 

“Homes that sold after four weeks on the market sold for 6% less than ones within the first four weeks!”  Survey by the National Association of Realtors

 

“Buyers willing to spend the money for an ‘ideal’ home, but not the time to renovate. The poll showed that 63 per cent of buyers preferred a higher priced home that does not require any renovations over a lower priced fixer-upper.”  Maritz Research Staging Polls

 

“Elements that create 72% of the first impression inside the home are within the control of the seller – well–trained staging consultants know how to show these to their best advantage.”  1999 Proctor & Gamble Survey

 

So what can you do to present your home in the best light?

– Start by decluttering the main areas like the bedrooms, kitchen, bathrooms, finished basement etc…Don’t worry about spaces like the garage.

 

– Give the entire home a top to bottom good cleaning think about getting a professional cleaning for the rugs

– Pay attention to the details like cracked tiles, leaky faucets, touch up paint and this is where an objective eye really helps, we get so used to living in our own space that we overlook all of the little creaks and cracks that a buyer would see.

– Remove the personalize items like family photos and collectibles, you’ll be taking those with you to your next place so think of it as pre-packing

– Updates, you don’t need piles of money to make your home look and feel current, small fixes like replacing old brass or plastic knobs and handles with chrome will really make any space feel more current.  Updating light fixtures and removing wallpaper boarders can make a huge difference.  Adding or updating a dated kitchen backsplash can also make a big difference!

 

 

– Think about getting a fresh paint job in the home.  On a tight budget? Paint the rooms that really need it

 

– Other add-ons, try adding some fresh colour with flowers, or a fruit bowl, or some throw pillows on sofas and beds.

– Make sure the home is well lit, pull back the drapes and let the light in and make sure the light bulbs are all working (replace the burn out ones).  If you have any dark corners in important rooms try adding a floor lamp.

 

 

Selling your home can be very stressful but if it is presented in the right way, you shouldn’t be on the market long….happy selling and happy spring staging!

 

 

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