Happy Spring Everyone!
The real estate atmosphere here in the Kawartha Lakes has been quite active. Sunshine motivates those thinking about selling to list, and of course, the same sun prompts potential buyers out on a nice day to start looking. Bungalows appear to be the driving force behind the current market here in Lindsay. John and I have been extremely busy and it shows no sign of slowing down, which is just wonderful if you’re one of our clients! I thought, while all this is fresh in my mind and the market continues to heat up, I would pass along a few little “home preparation for listing” suggestions. This might help those of you considering selling and even if you’re not you may just want to freshen up the look of your home a bit.
The early bird... photo by Beth Girdler
Make your home smell wonderful! Open windows, flowers, beeswax candles or fresh desserts can make the world of difference in making someone feel at home in your home.
Freshly washed laundry is a calming and happy scent and the cost to you is one scoop of laundry detergent.
Open the windows, turn over the mattresses (be sure to remove teenagers or sleeping spouses first), wash the bed linens, and get everyone to make their beds with military precision. Not only does it look clean and inviting, but it smells amazing.
However, and I apologize, but the negative aspect of smell must be addressed… If you have an unpleasant odour, do NOT try to mask it. It is better to find the source and rectify the situation. Air fresheners and sprays only make people wonder what the spray is attempting to cover and worse still, you may send potential buyers with environmental sensitivities right back out the door.
Vases of fresh flowers make the world of difference to the mood and aesthetic of the home at a very minimal investment. It’s springtime! Don’t be afraid to take an unused ceramic jug and fill it with flowers. Something really visually delightful is to take big old mason jar, fill it ¼ with river stones to anchor it, fill it to ¾ with water, tie a simple 1-2 inch bright or complementary coloured ribbon around the neck, and fill it with flowers of big colourful blooms! Clear off table surfaces and put a spray of flowers in each room that needs just a little dash of brightness. You can pick flowers right from your garden, farmer’s market or grab an armful of flowers at your local green grocer for often less than $10 for a big bunch! If the flowers are not gifts and just for me, I grab about 6 bunches marked down to half price and VOILA… I’ve filled 3-5 rooms with flowery delight for about $30!
How’s the curb appeal? An inexpensive option with a wonderful rate of return and a proven way to bring potential buyers through your doors is giving that front door a fresh coat of paint in a marvellous impact colour! Antique and heritage paint colours of blue, red, black and yellow are great ways of making your house make that very important statement to all potential buyers “Welcome Home! Come on in!”
Two hours of painting, one quart of outdoor paint, a sense of satisfaction at a job well done and guess what? More showings on your house will result!
Paint. Paint is your best friend and ally as you prepare your home for sale. Paint is a fun and cost effective way to give your home a makeover. Try and find a current popular colour that is on the neutral side. Colour can be added to a room by painting an accent wall or simply finding accessories, pillows, frames and vases using a theme complementary or contrasting theme. Dark taupe walls can be accented with black picture frames, pillows and vases for impact! Throw some big happy fresh flowers in that black vase and you’ve done it right!
Music. This is a wonderful way of creating mood in your home for FREE! Relaxing, quiet music in the background. Think spa. Instrumental only, nothing dramatic, light, mood music, there are many channels on cable TV now that play everything from uninterrupted Baroque to light Jazz to bird songs… You should be able to hear it the music… but just barely. Music can be an intoxicating trigger to the senses and you want the senses of your visitors fully engaged, and ready to listen when that sixth sense tells them “I want to buy this house!”
Over-Staging. Don’t. Do NOT make your home void of a familial feel. Over-staging a home to the point of making it feel institutional or sterile is, in my opinion, a big mistake. The balance between staged and over-staged to the point where a baby’s room shows no sign of being a baby’s room. No photos, or framed hand-prints, or even a single floppy bunny perched on the dresser. Not a single tastefully framed family photo in sight. No, your walls shouldn’t be plastered floor to ceiling with 11 x 14 framed photos from every year of school from K – PhD for each of your 6 children and yourselves... but your home SHOULD feel warm and welcoming as much as it should be fresh, clean, easy to move through and easy to picture their family within its walls. Less than five family photos tastefully framed in a living room, and one or two in the bedrooms tell your home-buying visitors that a family lives here and have been happy here. This family is not desperate to move but simply have good taste and are ready for a bigger home or smaller home or re-location. The word "Family" in foot high black script across a living room wall rings hollow without any sign that a family exists within it's walls. Removing all signs and feel of a family home can be as big a red flag to a buyer as a cracked wall. We don’t want negative thoughts coming into any buyer’s mind; “Why does this family want to leave this home? What is wrong with it?” “Why is this home so staged?” “Are they flipping?” “Why the staging overkill to sell what is otherwise a lovely home?” What we all want to hear as home sellers is: “What a great home! I can just see the five of us curling up for movie night in this living room. I like how they have the furniture arranged! I would never have thought of putting peonies in a mason jar but what a great idea! Not only do they look pretty but smell lovely!” And most importantly: “Sweetheart, I want to buy this house...”
It’s not genius, it’s not rocket science. Make your home clean, uncluttered and welcoming. Make it pretty. Embrace the things you love most about your home. Why did you fall in love with it? Was it that lovely bay window in the living room? Clear everything away from it, pull the drapes back and let the sunshine in! Have you installed gleaming hardwood floors? Roll up the area rugs and store the extra pieces of furniture so your house hunting guests can be impressed by your hard work!
You can also read a few of my previous home staging blogs which you may find helpful, amusing or just a good little read. This was featured on Century 21 Canada’s Corporate blog site and was very popular: Tips On Creating Your Own Unique Saleable Environment and this one… a bit on the funny side, but you’ll have fun reading it: It's Raining Cats and Dogs, Pet Ownership and Selling Your Home I hope you enjoy them!
We have some great home staging ideas to help you show off your home’s best qualities in some inexpensive and wonderful ways. I love having the chance to help our clients find cost effective ways to get their homes ready for their big event…The day the sign goes up on your lawn. Show potential buyers why they should buy YOUR home!
<<< This is me! I painted the front door of my grey blue stucco bungalow this awesome heritage blue and... bam! It sold on the first day! True story!
If you or anyone you know has considered listing their home and would be interested in receiving a few of my cost vs. return effective home-staging ideas, please feel free to give them my name or give us a call. We’re happy to get together for a coffee and discuss the potential in your beautiful home!