Our Seller's Guide to an Easy Sale!

Selling your home? Stage it Like a Pro!

We all know how important first impressions are, and selling your home is no exception. Use these 7 simple staging tips to make your home memorable and create a great impression.

1. Closets and cupboards – Think people won’t peek? Think again! Storage is a main consideration for most home buyers, and they most certainly will be opening cupboards and closets for a look. Get your closets organized, and put out-of-season clothes away to create more room. Cupboards should be cleaned and organized.

2. Personal items and clutter – Remove personal photos, knickknacks, mementos, and any dated items to help “de-personalize” your home. This is as much for your security as it is for presentation. You can either get a jumpstart on your packing, or simply tuck things away for showings. De-clutter as much as possible; not everyone will see your knickknacks in the same light you do.

3. Remove valuables, prescription medications, collectibles and breakables – Put these items into storage or take them with you when you leave the house (where possible).

4. The nose knows – Research has shown that the smell of fresh-baked bread or chocolate-chip cookies are appealing and comforting to people. Garlic, onions or fish, not so much. Refrain from cooking meals that may leave offensive odors close to a showing. Bake something yummy, or use subtle air fresheners. Keep the fresheners light – remember that people have allergies.

5. Fix it – Make any small functional repairs you may have been putting off, like dripping taps, leaky faucets, sticky doors, etc.

6. Light it up – Ensure things are well-lit with as much natural light as possible, or strategically-placed lamps throughout the home. Adding mirrors can help with light play as well, and make rooms feel more open.

7. Furniture – Try rearranging your furniture slightly with interesting angles and pulling it out from walls a few inches. This will help create a more interesting space. Use plants in colorful planters or baskets to fill in empty spaces and add accents.

Following these 7 simple tips will help you put your home’s best foot forward, and create a great first impression every time for potential buyers.

Selling Your Home with Curb Appeal

Catch'em at the curb

'Curb appeal' isn't just catchy real estate jargon. It recognizes the fact that many buyers form their first, and often strongest, opinions before they even enter the home. Keep in mind, buying a home is first and foremost an emotional commitment, especially for first-time home buyers. You may have a long list of sound reasons your home is a good investment, but a buyer is usually reacting emotionally to what he or she is seeing. Knowing this, you can use a buyer's emotions to your advantage. First, it is important that you take a good, hard look at the first impression your property makes. Whatever you see, that's what they will see. If it's flaking paint and a messy yard, they may feel the home needs a lot of work. Here are some investments in your home's exterior that I've found through firsthand experience can pay huge dividends.

It should be no surprise that surveys indicate that painting the exterior of your home results in the greatest return on time and money invested when compared to other improvements done for preparing your property for sale. An investment of $ 800 - $1,800 can mean adding $2,800 - $3,800 to your asking price. And if you do a professional job yourself, your return may be even greater. Even if your home doesn't need the complete painting, it is a good idea to check the trim around windows and doorways for cracking or peeling, and do any necessary touch-up work.

Another important first impression is made by the landscape of your home. If you can improve the attractiveness of the grounds without spending a lot of money, you can add possibly 5 to 10 % to the value of your home. You should, at the very least, prune existing trees, shrubs and bushes, clean out dead plants from flower beds and replace them with colorful flowering plants.
Landscaping can become a high-maintenance headache if not done carefully, and it is for this reason you should choose hardy perennials that require minimal care. If you have a damaged lawn, you may need to take additional steps. The easiest step is to repair damaged sections with new sod. While seeding is less expensive, it won't produce grass quickly. A good patch job can make for a great quick fix.
Other lawn problems — dead areas due to lack of sunlight or a tree's root system - can be solved by planting ground cover or creating additional flower beds. Like a new paint job, a relatively inexpensive upgrade of existing landscaping can bring far greater returns than what you spend. But don't do anything that would be deemed excessive by neighborhood standards. The important factor is that you make your home more attractive, so that it doesn't stand out as an oddity.

The Driveway
Because it's big, dark, and usually takes up a significant portion of the landscape in front of your home, a driveway can affect a buyer's first impressions. If yours is in good condition, make sure you keep it swept and neatly edged where it meets the lawn. If yours is cracked, buckled or oil-stained, fix it. Patching concrete can be a problem because matching colour is difficult: tar and asphalt are relatively easy to match. Whatever you do, be careful that you don't create a bigger problem through quick-fix solutions - use high quality patching materials and sealers.

Decks and Patios
These can be popular additions that add value to the property, especially with smaller homes, because they add leisure space. Be aware that any deck or patio should adhere to your home's architectural style and integrate well with your outdoor areas.

The Garage
If your garage has that rough, unfinished look, consider drywall and matching switch and outlet plates. At a minimum, make sure all switches and outlets work. And give everything a good cleaning.

Don't Neglect the Minor Details
It's often the little things that really stand out. Varnish or repaint your door if need be. Spruce up the entryway with new light fixtures, potted plants and other decorative touches. With the exception of adding a costly deck or patio, most of the steps I've touched on here can be achieved in relatively little time and with little money.

But the impression your home makes on prospective buyers will be sensational. Surprisingly, some of the larger, more expensive, items you might consider spending your money on will do little to enhance the marketability of your home. Aluminium siding, for example, is prized by some and despised by others. Hot tubs may or may not appeal to potential buyers. Be careful, because changes you may find appealing may end up limiting your home's appeal to others. Besides swimming pools, some other investments you probably won't see a return on are tennis/sport courts and automatic sprinkler systems. Unless they're for your own enjoyment, don't waste your money.

One major expense you may have to consider is a new roof. In this case don't think you can pass the cost along to a buyer. Everyone expects a good roof, and they will not pay extra for it. And more importantly, a roof in poor condition can kill a deal very quickly.

Our Seller's Checklist
What You Need To Do To Sell For Maximum Profits

Deciding to sell your house and purchase another home is a very exciting yet daunting task. There is tens of thousands of dollars on the line and the approach you take to this process will determine how successful you and ultimately how much money you will make/lose.

To ensure you are selling your current home as quickly as possible and for maximum profits be sure to complete everything on this checklist. And remember that all the time and money you invest in getting your home ready to sell will result in you making much more than that in profits on the day of closing.

Listed below is a simplified checklist of items you should do before putting your house up for sale. And it is part of a new and exciting approach to homeownership. 

Before you put your house up for sale it is imperative that you go through each and every room in your house and make sure that EVERYTHING is perfect. If it is broken, get it fixed. If it needs to be painted, paint it. Taking short cuts in this area will literally cost you tens of thousands of dollars of tax free profits. 

Go room to room and make a ‘To Do’ list of everything that needs to be repaired/replaced in your home
Purchase necessary materials to complete your ‘To Do’ List
Hire necessary professionals to complete the work if neccessary

Purchase White Paint and go room by room ‘touching up’ all imperfections on doors, door frames, trim, ceilings etc
Fix Damaged Drywall
Identify and repaint rooms that need it
Fix EVERYTHING that is broken
Replace all outdated and run down items in your home (flooring, light fixtures, faucets, etc)

Power Wash The Exterior Of Your Home
Power Wash Your Cement
Trim Trees and Bushes
Weed and Groom Your Gardens
Purchase and Plant mulch and flowers as needed
Replace Mailbox and House Numbers as needed
Edge Driveway and Sidewalks

Professional Clean Your Entire Home Including but not limited to Windows, Fixtures, Flooring

Houses that are organized and free of clutter show much better and look much more spacious and inviting than those that are filled with personal belongings. As such if you want to sell for maximum profit you must be committed to get your house organized!
The great part is that you are moving anyways so why not get a head start on throwing out some junk that has collected over the years and box up any items you don’t have an urgent need for and store them in your garage, under the house storage, or at a relative’s house.

Here are my 3 Rules for what should be either thrown away/given away or boxed up

1) If you haven’t used it, fixed it up, or played with it in the last 12 months you probably never will. So throw it out or pack it op!
2) If you haven’t used the item in the last 12 months and it costs less than $10 THROW IT OUT!
3) IF you can live without it until you move to your new house and it is taking up valuable space, pack it up and store it.

Getting Rid Of the Clutter
Go room by room and remove any and all excess items as per the instructions listed above? Reduce the number of family pictures in each room (and pack the rest up)
Reduce the number of nick nacks and trinkets in each room ? Remove unnecessary items in each room Organize Your Closets
Pack up all excess items in each closet in your house and move them to a storage spot
Install Closet organizers where necessary
Organize all remaining items so everything is in it’s place

Organize Your Cabinets
Pack up all excess items in your Kitchen/Bathroom/Utility Room Cabinets
Install Closet organizers where necessary
Organize all remaining items so everything is in it’s place

Organize Your Cabinets
Pack up all excess items in your Kitchen/Bathroom/Utility Room Cabinets
Check all these boxes and you are well on your way to an Easy Sale!
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