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Planning to list your home for sale this summer?

March-2013
Planning to list your home for sale this summer? It goes without saying that you plan to sell your home as quickly as possible and get the highest selling price. Stage for success with these helpful tips on styling and perhaps upgrading/renovating your home to sell.
 
1. Hire cleaners to clean your home. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the cheapest way to help your home rise above your competition and meet the buyers expectations. Don't skimp here - if you can't do it - then hire a pro!

2. People love pretty and handsome homes, especially from the outside. This is something that is well know, and for a very good reason. Drive-bys are the first thing people do when seeing a home for the first time. If it's ugly or scary, the buyers just keep driving. Make sure your home is will attract onlookers - check out these tips on staging the exterior: Ensure you have easy-to-read house numbers and an outdoor light for at night
  • Fresh greenery and Plant blooming flowers
  • Mow lawn, reseed or add fresh sod to tired or trampled areas
  • Wash all windows (especially the front).
  • Repaint / stain the porch floor and railings if needed
  • Power wash siding and walkways
3. Clear away all clutter / junk. All clutter must go, end of story. It may even require utilizing offsite storage but it is well worth the effort. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets results in more space in the mind of buyers. Clear everything unnecessary or unsightly. It isn't what you like but what the majority of buyers like. So, appeal to the most number of people -listen your stager. You can bring your personal style back into play when you move into your new home.

4. Think of adding a basket of fresh fruits on the kitchen counter or vases of cut flowers.

5. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch. Make it say "welcome home" with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and  one or two pieces of neat porch furniture— if you have space. Keep porch lights on in evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a great touch - many evening showings take place so it would be a good idea.

6. To maximize space use a pedestal sink - this works great.

7. Give all floors a thorough cleaning and steam clean carpets without exception. Also consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape and if you can get a reasonable price. If you can't or don't want to refinishing floors, the strategic placement of area rugs can do many things: warm up the look of the room, add a punch of colour and even make the room look larger.

8. Rearrange your furniture throughout your home. Symmetrical arrangements, in most cases,  work well In the living room. Invoke the feel of a conversation area. So, use pairs. That is pairs of sofas, chairs, lamps to create an inviting conversation area. You will find that buyers may even just sit down to relax and feel the space.

9. Think carefully about the seasons. Make sure your garden is beautiful in the summer. Show case your 30,000 dollar pool. Polish your stainless steel Weber BBQ. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the season in autumn and winter by using your fire place and perhaps placing an apple in a tray with a bit of water on it. It works well at our cottage for creating a cozy feeling like no other.

10. Create a master bedroom that is gender neutral. Appeal to all the sexes. Don't try - KEEP it free of personal items and clutter. Try clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket at the foot of the bed, neatly folded. And, do not forget about the closet. People want a spacious master bedroom closet organized! If it's summer, pull out all your winter cloths and box it! It will make your closet explode with space!

11. Activate those extra spare rooms! They need to be staged and included into the home too. Don't use them as storage and hope the buyers see through the stuff inside.  Each room ought to have a clearly defined purpose and stage that room to suit. Smaller room could be a baby room or an office. Another kids' room is a wise choice.

12. Clean up toys - do we even have to mention that? Many people have kids but they don't want to see toys around. Perhaps that is why they are moving because there is no space to put those toys. My personal living style is to use cubbies from IKEA and in each one have a woven basket. After our children play the toys are put away in the baskets. Great way to live and a great way to stage. This is a wise and affordable investment. When people are looking for their next dream home, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids' room!

13. The dining room is sometimes forgotten when staging your home to sell. Waiting for those special occasions, the dinning room can look bare and uninviting. So, styling it up with will  increase the appeal. Try not to overdo it! An oversize setting may look too formal. Style it with a series of smaller vessels lined up down the center of the table instead.

14. It is important that anything left out for potential buyers to see is pristine and immaculate.  That gorgeous white bathrobe from Holt and Renfrew hanging on the door can be a very nice accent. But, if it's smells or looks worn and downright dirty, it will really hurt the cleanliness in the eyes of the buyer. Look at every detail as a new buyer and think how they would feel. Fresh bars of soap, clean, towels spotless, emptied garbage, is the way to go.

15. Closet space - generally storage space - can easily spoil a sale.  Show off the space you have. Invest in some organizers for the closet if you can. If not, clear, clear, clear you closet. If you don't need the items within six months then box them and put them in storage - you will have to move them anyway, so do it now and make more money when selling your home. Have about 25% to 35% open space in each closet which will invoke the feeling of spaciousness.

16. Beware pet odors because pets do smell. Really, if you think your 80 lb dog doesn't smell you may pay for it with no offers! Get all rugs steam cleaned. If you area rugs, bring them into be water washed and soaked - that is what I do and it works wonders. Make sure you vacuum a lot. No paw prints on he hardwoods or laminates.  Ensure those half chewed plastic mice or doggie bones are hidden when showing your home to buyers.

17. Awkward areas should not be forgotten. If you have a room beneath the stairs (everyone does - unless you don't have stairs), or a nook / alcove anywhere, find a unique way to show it off. Try setting up a compact work station, a home command center with white board, or built-in shelving.

18. Stage the outdoors - this is a must. If your condo has a small size balcony, dress it up with the cute café table and chairs, a bright tablecloth and a tray of dishes or flowers. People will look at this and think "What a charming place to have breakfast!"

19. People also buy on lifestyle - so invoke the idea of the lifestyle that most buyers want in your area.  Generally, play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet suburb? Hang a hammock in your backyard or a quaint bench swing. Dress your porch up when selling your property.

20. Choose neutral colors that are warm. Don't experiment with that "fun"-looking colour you always thought was nifty. Rich midtone neutrals and earth tones can create a sophisticated backdrop that makes your home look pulled together. I always found that cc40 for walls and oc40 work well  for trims (Benjamin Moore colours). Roland Hack has 25 years experience in real estate and staging homes is a large part of what Roland helps his sellers accomplish. Roland is a very affordable low commission real estate agent who provides full service at a fraction of the cost. Roland's provides the highest levels of competent advice and comprehensive service and skill. View testimonials of recent clients of Roland at www.SaveWhenSelling.ca. Contact Roland at Office/Pager: 905-848-1313.