Buyers, First Time Buyers, Luxury Homes, Sellers, Waterfront Property
Beamsville, Fonthill/Pelham, Fort Erie, Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne/Wainfleet, St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland
May 25, 2022
Follow My Home Selling Checklist: 12 Steps you should follow before you put up that for sale sign!
I know with today's real estate being a "sellers market" most homes are being listed without preparation by sellers. I have seen multiple homes go up for sale, go into competition and sell for $100,000 more than asking price without even decluttering. It can be tempting, to just list and resist the urge to do anything to your home but remember; you will be on the buying end at some point. Is it not important that you sell your house for the highest amount possible? After all you will need to purchase a home in the sellers market as well. How do you know you actually received top dollar for your home if you did absolutely nothing to it before you sold it? Would you try to sell a used car without cleaning it first? Would you pay top dollar for food at a restaurant if it came out looking wilted and dry?
As a professional realtor I feel it is extremely important that you follow all or at least a few of the below "12 Steps" before you put that "For Sale" sign on your front lawn. This is your home you should showcase it to its fullest.
1. Curb Appeal
Having an inviting curb appeal will entice the buyers to want to learn more about what is inside. This gives great first impressions and normally states that these people have pride in their home. You can do this by simply adding a few planters, garden is weeded and the grass is mowed and raked. Fresh coat of paint to garage & front door will do wonders.
I always tell all my clients less is more! When you decide to move it is a great time to get rid of things you don't use. I always suggest purchasing bins and stacking them in the garage or basement wherever there is space. Anything you are not going to keep donate to a charity, church ect.. Counters, cupboards, tables clear them as you want to look organized, and you want people to notice the home not your junk. This may seem overwhelming but eventually it will have to be done when the home is sold.
Take any personal pictures of yourself and your family down and put them away. Buyers tend to become distracted when personal pictures are showcased. We want them to visualize themselves living in your home and begin creating their own memories.
If your home consists of bright accent walls such as red, orange, purple or green, consider painting them a neutral colour. Not all buyers will love your decorating choices, this is the part of selling that you need to be prepared for. This is why it is important to not totally turn them away with the colours that you have chosen to paint on your walls. If a buyer cannot see beyond a paint colour their first impression will be to run and choose another home. We want them to feel relaxed when they enter your home.
5. Touch ups
The home might require no repainting at all, however; some walls may have visible scratches caused from furniture. There may be greasy hand marks on the walls, or chips on a few of the doors and baseboards. Make your home sparkle and touch up those areas. A little goes a long way..
6. Fix any loose ends
This is extremely important to! I become extremely irritated when sellers don't do this makes me feel they are being dishonest and have something to hide. This can cause many headaches for both the seller and buyer and sellers can actually be held accountable if they do not disclose issues to the buyer. If you are the seller it is your obligation to get your home in proper working order. You don't want to give buyers doubt about your home.
7. Add some colour
It is always nice to make your home feel bright and welcoming by adding a touch of colour through plants, flowers or even a large bowl of fresh fruit. Also, you can add a few colourful accent pillows on your sofa or in the bedrooms and in the bathroom change up your old towels with new ones and maybe a few candles. Natural elements will impress the buyers.
As we live in our homes we become accustomed to the smell of the lingering odours. This may be due to pets, smoking, cooking, mildew and more. Foul odours can be a deal breaker for many buyers. I am quick to let my clients know if you have a pet hide the dog bed, bowl, toys hide it all. Some people no matter what type of dog you may have even a hypo-allergenic, if a buyer see's any presence of a dog they will automatically smell a dog. Dog odours can be strong especially if there is a lot of carpet. So have your carpet professionally cleaned before hand, and use techniques to mask smells, such as candles, or plug in deodorizers. Remember to use light scents as well you don't want nothing to overpowering.
Clients always ask if I will attend every showing. Since Covid I actually have made myself available , as I felt it was my fiduciary duty and responsibility to be sure that the home was properly disinfected for my clients after each showing. As for their valuables, I always tell everyone if there is something of value please be sure to either take it with you or be sure to hide it somewhere that it would not be found easily. You cannot trust everyone who comes into your home.
Once you have done the above steps you will need to do a thorough cleaning of your home. When you finally decide to list your home keep it clean first impression is everything. It will be tired some and extremely frustrating at times but when you finally sell your home it will be well worth it.
11. Stage your home if needed
Some homes have little to no furniture and this is when a professional home stager should be considered to come in and evaluate the current conditions and determine what will help spice up the home to make it more attractable to buyers. This is usually paid by the seller but I have paid for home staging myself depending on my clients and their contracts.
12. Hire the right real estate agent
Hiring the right real estate agent is key. Real estate agents know their "fiduciary" responsibilities to their clients and are legally obligated to protect their best interests. They know the importance and legalities of confidentiality and privacy of their clients. Agents are experienced in comparative market analysis, they have access to current reputable data. They are also have superior negotiating skills, the trick here is to know who the experts are and when to hire them.
This crazy housing market will not last forever. However, the above steps will always be of benefit to any seller wanting top dollars for their home. Making changes may sometimes seem simple but you have to make changes that stick. You need to follow the "100 percent rule" which is go all out. One of the most inspiring mantras is, "99 percent is hard. 100 percent is easy". Going at life changes 100 percent is more efficient, rewarding and healthier. Let's do this together!