Are you thinking of listing your house in Calgary or Airdrie, and want to give your home the best shot at selling? Many people place their home on the market merely “as is” and just hope for a sale. Well, I have to tell you that hoping simply won’t do it. If you want the best possible price, in the least amount of time, you need to get proactive, hire a good real estate agent and make a few very simple and cost affective changes which won’t lean out your piggy bank, but make a huge impact on the likelihood of selling your home.
- Declutter, Declutter, Declutter - I know, you love your house, you think it’s cozy and your stuff is stylish and everyone else should feel the same when they walk in. Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. When a potential buyer walks into your home, they want to envision themselves in that space. They want to envision their lives in that home, their family, their photos, and their things. Give them the environment they need to be able to do that. In doing just that, you will need to take all your personal photos, your chuchkies and knickknacks off your walls, shelves and counter tops and store them away. The rule of thumb in simplifying your home is to have no more than 4 items on each surface.
- Curb Appeal – First impressions are crucial. Many potential buyers looking for a home will drive by your property, and will make an impression of the home’s maintenance, simply by glancing at your home’s exterior. So put your home’s best foot forward when listing your property, and make sure that your home looks cozy and inviting. The lawn should be mowed, windows cleaned, and a fresh pot of flowers or a stylish vase of shrubs at the entrance of you home will do the trick.
- Quick fixes – Small fixes are imperative as the cost is so minimal, however when omitted, stick out like a sore thumb and may send a wrong message to the potential buyers. Take a look at your bathrooms. Are your mats and shower curtains clean? Are any of your faucets leaking? Consider refinishing your bathtub if needed. Remedying these, will create an appealing bathroom. Make certain that your windows are clean and re-caulked, that the doorknobs and locks are in working order, and that any cracks or dents in walls are patched and painted. Take a look at your kitchen; it is one of the most important spaces in a home. If needed, consider re-facing your cabinets and your counter tops. Updating your counter tops to granite or quartz may be an excellent upgrade to the home.
- Fresh Paint – Nothing makes as much impact for the cost as a freshly painted home. You may be in love with the colour purple, but refrain yourself at the paint store and choose a more neutral colour as it appeals to a larger demographic.
- Off-load your storage – Do you have a garage and basement full of storage? Get rid of it! Rent out a locker for the duration of your listing and store your belongings. Having a clean garage and basement will allow the potential buyers to see what they are buying, without any concerns of hidden defects that may be lingering under it all.
- Get paperwork in order – Gather all your papers related to your home, as those will be asked for by the buyer’s agent as well as the lawyers who will handle the sales transaction. If you had built your garage or deck, make sure you have your builder permits and a current Real Property Report with a compliance certificate. If you have developed your basement, you will be required to provide your builders, plumbing and electrical permits with approvals. Ask your realtor if the paperwork you have is acceptable.
- Get a professional inspection
Chances are high that your buyer will want an inspection. So be proactive and get one before you list your home. Talk to your realtor to see which, if any, repairs you should do before you list your home. Your buyer will take comfort in knowing that an inspection has already been done. You’ll have receipts for work that you’ve already completed. You can then use your home inspection report as a marketing tool.
- Be Prepared for showings at any time – Keep your home spic and span on a daily basis, as a buyer may have just a few hours to view properties and may need to set-up an appointment when you are away from home and you want to be able to allow for that viewing and not miss out on a potential sale.
- Pop of colour – You want to add some interest to your home. After you have painted, decluttered and completed the quick fixes, now you want to add some POP. Invest in a few items for your home, all in the same colour. Red for example, exudes a great statement. Invest in some throw cushions, a few chunky vase, a blanket, and fresh flowers, a bowl of lemons or limes in the kitchen. These items will draw people in and create some interest in your home.
- Hire a good realtor – A good realtor will help you through the process. Choose a real estate agent that is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you. One who is dedicated to serving your needs before, during, and after the sale. Among many services that that agent can provide you, one very essential, is to help you determine your asking price.