Archive for the ‘Home Staging’ Category

Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home’s Look and Boost Its Resale Value with These Home Lighting Tips

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home's Look and Boost Its Resale Value with These Home Lighting Tips | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you’re selling your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region, it’s important to ensure that you make it look appealing to buyers. Increasing your home’s appeal will make buyers more likely to put down an offer – and can even boost the final selling price. Even something as simple as lighting can increase your home’s resale value. Take advantage of these lighting tips to make your home sale quick and profitable.

Outdoor Lighting: It’s All About Curb Appeal

Use outdoor lighting to enhance your home’s appearance and create an alluring atmosphere. Adding lighting to landscaped areas creates interesting contrasts of light and shadow that will catch your buyers’ eyes. You can add emphasis to landscaping by using uplighting for trees and shrubbery. Adding mood lighting to a patio area makes it appear more welcoming. Lighting dark areas of your property is also a good security measure, and it may prevent someone from slipping or falling. Individual solar lights can be installed along a walkway for safety and to improve the appearance of the property.

Entryway Lighting: First Impressions Count

The first impression anyone has of your home is when they walk through the front door. One of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home and add to its appeal is by making simple cosmetic changes to the interior. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to give your home a fresh, new look. A chandelier in a large foyer makes a dramatic impression. It can be simple or elaborate, depending on your decor. An entryway table with a decorative lamp and soft lighting is also a nice touch.

Kitchen Lighting: Practicality is Key

Kitchens usually have plenty of overhead lighting, but not enough light for specific tasks like cutting or washing food. Direct lighting in specific areas makes it easier to see when preparing food, which makes your kitchen more functional. Fluorescent lighting is easy to install underneath kitchen cabinets, giving your kitchen the practical lighting it needs.

Ceiling Fans: Lighting With Style

Ceiling fans with installed light fixtures can be placed in any room and are easy to install. The vast array of styles makes it easy to find ceiling fans that complement your home’s decor. Not only do they provide more light, but they also increase the airflow through your home.

Lighting Living Spaces: Use Full Spectrum Bulbs for a Richer Environment

The living room or family room is where families spend a lot of their leisure time. Overhead lighting is a good choice for entertaining, but if you want an atmosphere that’s more relaxing, you can use lamps containing full spectrum bulbs. Full spectrum light bulbs are bulbs that mimic the appearance of natural light. Dimmer switches in the living areas are perfect for times when a lot of light isn’t necessary. When selling your home, show it off to its advantage by taking advantage of natural light, especially if you have a nice view.

Lighting for Dark Areas: Soft Lights Add Nuance

If you don’t already have them, install dimmer switches in your bedrooms to achieve a comforting, relaxing appearance. Use soft lighting in bedside lamps. Softer lights can make dark areas of your home feel more cozy and inviting. You can buy decorative night lights to add atmosphere to a darkened hallway.

The proper lighting has the ability to transform any living space and make it more appealing. With the right lighting in every room, you can make your home more appealing to buyers – and you might even sell it for a higher price.

I am always available to answer questions you may have about enhancing the resale value of your home.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Selling Your House in Spring- Tips That Will Boost Your Home's Appeal | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you’ve decided on moving to another section of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region in the springtime, you’ve first got to sell your old home. While selling your home can be difficult, whether it’s Stony Plain real estate or not, it can be made easier with some helpful tips. Selling a home in the springtime is definitely different from selling it at any other time of the year. In the spring, there are certain factors that you can work to your advantage. Here are some of the best tips to boost the appeal of your home.

Make Sure Your Yard Is Immaculate

Selling in the springtime means that you have a lot of people who will be looking at your yard because of the better weather. Spruce Grove real estate agents believe that you have to de-clutter your yard and make it extremely presentable to all the people filing in during an open house. If you can, you’ll want to start preparing in the winter by sprucing it up one season early. Focusing on the yard involves the basics, such as making sure the lawn is cut and looking nice, the fence is painted, and the area is free of debris.

Get Rid of Junk Inside the Home

Parkland County real estate agents agree that less is more when it comes to showing your home in the spring. This means that it is in your best interest to get rid of junk inside your home. When people are walking through your house, whether it’s Edmonton real estate or not, the last thing they want to see is your junk. This can be everything from dirty clothes and unused pieces of furniture to older stuff that you’re just hoarding in a corner somewhere. It’s a good idea to clean out your bookshelves and closets, and send old stuff to storage.

Compare What Other Houses For Sale Are Doing

When selling your home, it’s a good idea to check out Parkland County acreages or Edmonton acreages, or other homes for sale in your municipality, just to get a feel for what the other homes are going for and what they’re including in their offers. For instance, if you see things that are popular in your neck of the woods, you might be inspired to make the same changes to your own home when selling it. Popular items in homes could be anything from hardwood floors to new light fixtures to upgraded appliances. If there’s something that people in your neighbourhood like, then you may want to consider including it in your home when you sell it.

These are the most effective tips for selling your home in the spring. Thanks to these tips, you’ll be attracting more people than ever to your open house events. Any time you’re selling a property, it is always important to give homebuyers precisely what they’re expecting.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for any home-related questions you have. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

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Selling Your House in the Fall

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Selling Your House in the Fall | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFall time is beautiful in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region.  Late summer flowers are in full bloom, the leaves are turning orange, yellow and red, and the air smells crisp and clean.  There’s nothing quite like the bright blue sky and brilliant Alberta sunshine in the fall.  But having your home on the market as the days get shorter and the nights cooler comes with a certain set of challenges.

  • Those beautiful leaves don’t stay on the trees and as they fall, they can make your yard look unkempt and messy.  Small quantities of leaves can often be dealt with by using a mulching lawnmower or a leaf blower.  But if you have mature trees on your property, the best way to keep your yard looking good during the autumn months is to flex your muscles and rake the leaves.  This does more than make your yard look tidy.  Removing mats and debris from the lawn’s surface helps the lawn to “breathe” and sets it up for the winter months.  You’ll also want to clean up plants that have finished their summer life cycle:  cut back dead foliage, prune the raspberry canes and so on.  If you have plants in pots, bring them up onto your porch to provide a little color and curb appeal.  Or use some of that garden produce to arrange an artistic grouping of squash, pumpkins, ears of corn and the like.
  • As the light fades and the sun sinks lower in the sky, you need to let in as much natural light as possible.  Uncover your windows as completely as you can.  Open the curtains as wide as possible.  Pull up the blinds as high as they’ll go.  Vacuum accumulated dust, leaves and tree fuzz from window screens, and wash windows inside and out so they sparkle.
  • Light up your house for showings.  Turn on every light and lamp in your home, especially for late afternoon and evening showings, or on gloomy days.  The more light, the larger and more welcoming rooms will seem.  Consider buying a few inexpensive lamps to add to tables or corners, especially in rooms that have only overhead light fixtures.
  • Cozy it up.   There’s a reason professional home stagers use strategically placed and brightly colored throws plus mountains of pillows when they decorate a home!  In the fall, add even more appeal and warmth by choosing items with interesting textures that invite touch:  a big fluffy blanket draped over the couch, roughly textured pillows in an armchair, etc.
  • Fill your home with the scents of autumn.  You probably already know that the smell of your home is a strong influence on buyer interest or distaste.  Start with a super-clean house but also use the warm and comforting smells of autumn to hook in those buyers!  The aroma of freshly baked spicy cookies or apple pie can’t be beat.  If you can’t arrange that before a showing, here is a good alternative.  Boil water with cinnamon, cloves and orange peel for about half an hour sometime during the day of a showing.

Want more tips for selling your home?  I’m happy to help.  Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Leaner, Cleaner — and Sold!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Leaner, Cleaner -- and Sold! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSome time ago I had a house listed in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region whose owners were enthusiastic antique collectors.  Every room in their home was filled with furniture, knick-knacks and treasures from multiple eras and design influences.  Nothing really matched, nor was there a unifying theme tying things together.  The overall effect was of too much miscellaneous stuff crammed into too little space.  This is exactly the impression a seller does not want to give a potential buyer! 

Getting this place sold needed the removal of large numbers of objects so as to showcase the space rather than the possessions in the space.  Items not removed were those essential for daily living that were both nice to look at and anonymous.  Many sellers learn the hard way that living in a home is very different from selling a house, and items cherished by the sellers may actually deter potential buyers from making an offer.

Ask yourself what you are selling.  If it’s the house and not the stuff in it, how can you show off the house to its best advantage?  You can do this by staging your home to make it look as spacious, clean, tidy and organized, fresh and up-to-date, attractive and functional as possible.  Did I mention spacious?!

Please read my other articles on home staging:  Home Staging Starts with De-cluttering”  and “Be Your Own Home Stager”  Let’s assume that you’ve already thrown away the trash, sold or given away unneeded or unwanted items, and packed up stuff you’re not currently using (e.g. winter equipment and clothing if it’s summer) but which you’ll be taking with you when you leave your current home.  What else needs to go before you put your home on the market? 

“Identity” items: 

  • All items with your name on them:  utility bills, diplomas, certificates and awards, sports jerseys, personal documents such as passports, medications, etc.
  • All family pictures
  • All collections:  spoons, ball caps, dolls, model cars, sports memorabilia, coins, cookbooks, DVDs, etc., as well as valuables such as jewelry.
  • All ethnic, cultural and religious items
  • All evidence of hunting:  guns, clothing, stuffed game, antlers, etc.
  • All work-related items, such as computer or office-related binders, books and manuals, cords, CDs, phone books, etc.
  •  Any items that might distract or offend potential buyers, such as smoking materials, pet paraphernalia, lewd artwork and the like

Stuff in general: 

  • Dated and dusty decorative items, such as old dried flower arrangements
  • All broken items, and things you’ve been “saving”
  • All excess furniture and accessories in every room.  Don’t forget outbuildings and outdoor spaces as well.  Keep just the essentials, and set up each room or space according to its intended purpose.  This may mean turning an office back into a bedroom while your home is on the market.
  • All extra items from porches, decks and entryways (such as loose pieces of carpet, boot racks and the like), and all items from stairwells and hallways.
  • Large appliances, like a freezer or extra fridge, that won’t be sold with the house
  • All items off window ledges, and open the window coverings
  • All old paint, chemicals and hazardous waste, as well as renovation and building materials that are not relevant to the house’s current upgrades

Tips for Specific areas

 

Shelves:

  • Remove everything.  Replace just a few display items, leaving lots of space between them:  some hardcover books with attractive covers, a couple of unusual knick-knacks, neutral photos such as landscapes, small plants

Closets:

  • Remove about 75% of closet contents, keeping just the items you absolutely have to have while your home is on the market!  Leave as much space between items on hangers as possible, and clear closet shelves and floors as much as possible.  Arrange everything neatly.

Other storage spaces:

  • Stockpiles of everything have to go from basement storage areas, garage, storage shed and the like.  Keep only the items you need to maintain yourself and the home while it is on the market.  For example, if it’s summer, you’ll need lawn mowing and gardening tools but not winter items like snow shovels and brushes.  Pack up the tools, hobby items, sports gear, etc.

Kids’ rooms:

  • Remove all but your children’s favorite toys, clothing they will be wearing on a day to day basis, and necessary equipment (e.g. changing table and related items for infants).
  • Remove all stickers and posters from walls and doors

Kitchen:

  • All items off the tops of cabinets and the fridge, including magnets, children’s artwork, calendars, etc.
  • Everything off kitchen counters except bare necessities, such as coffee pot, kettle and toaster.
  • Purge plastic container collection.
  • Pack up all extra cookware, dishes, utensils, specialty items you won’t be using while your home is on the market.
  • Reduce stored food items as much as possible so that cupboards and pantry appear as spacious as possible.
  • Knives off counters and stored under a cabinet (for safety).
  • Clean out all cabinets and drawers and replace only the essentials in a tidy and organized fashion.

Bathrooms:

  • Out with all old and half-used toiletries.
  • Bare minimum of personal care products, in attractive containers, if possible.  However, do NOT leave out in view things like razors, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, medications and the like.
  • Reduce quantity of cleaning products to just what needs to be used on a daily basis.
  • Clear out cabinets; put back only essential items.

Laundry area:

  • Clear off all shelves and leave only items you have to have.  Nothing on the floor!

Home exterior:

 

During this process, you’ll probably come to realize that:

  • Potential buyers will be looking everywhere in your home.
  • It will take time and energy to repair, clean, de-clutter, de-personalize and stage your home so it looks spotless, spacious and inviting.
  • You may have to rent space in a storage facility to store your belongings.
  • It’s going to be a little painful to have to camp in your own home for the period of time before your home is sold and you move out completely.

But I hope you’ll believe me when I tell you:

  • The focus will no longer be on the home you’ve created and your stuff, but the space, the flooring, upgrades, fresh paint, the yard, and all the other features that buyers are looking for.
  • By clearing out the clutter and packing up as much as possible before your home goes on the market, you will have much less to do when it comes time to move to your new home.
  • Your home WILL sell faster and it WILL earn you more money – in some cases, 1000s of dollars more.
  • You may even find that you can get along just fine without so much stuff!

Remember the phrase from the movie Field of Dreams “Build it and they will come”?  Stage your house so it becomes a Home of Dreams and the buyers will come!

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

 

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Selling Your Home When You Have Pets | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLife in our Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton-area homes just wouldn’t be the same without our four-legged companions.  But, even though 6 out of 10 Canadian homes have a dog or cat in residence, we have to pretend those family members never existed when it’s time to sell our homes!  In fact, having a pet in the home (or at least evidence of one) may even lower the price buyers are willing to pay for your home or make it harder to sell.

Why is this?  

Remember that buyers need to be able to visualize themselves as occupants of your home.  The physical presence of an animal along with its furnishings and equipment can start people thinking about all the negative effects of pets in the house (even if they are pet owners themselves):  animal hair, skin and bodily functions, damage to property from teeth and nails, germs!!  What’s more, encountering your pet unexpectedly could frighten potential buyers away from even viewing your home.

What can be done?

  • While it’s inconvenient for you and disruptive for your pet, the best solution during the time your home is on the market is to relocate your pet.  Lodge it with a friend or neighbor, or board it at a kennel.  If this isn’t possible, then you’ll need to always take your pet with you when you vacate your home for showings.  Leaving it in the garage or backyard might seem like a good compromise but not if you are after the best sale of your home.
  • You’ll also need to clear out all signs that an animal lives in your home.  This means packing up cat litter boxes and bags of litter or puppy training pads, pet toys and leashes, pet food, bowls and feeders, pet cages, carriers and bedding.  Remove any photos of your pet.
  • Mega-cleaning!  Special effort may be needed to remove pet stains from carpet and pet odors from the air.  Enzyme cleaners and lots of elbow grease and fresh air will help.  Consider hiring professional carpet cleaners, furnace duct cleaning companies and the like.  Don’t rely on air fresheners and deodorizers as these will only make people wonder what you are trying to cover up.

Your pet-proof and “pet-friendly” home (see my blog article “Your Pet-Friendly Home ) has both positive and negative aspects when it’s time to sell.  On the one hand, if your home is carpet-free, furnished with easy to clean materials, and so on, you may not have to do too much extra in the cleaning department.  On the other hand, if you have made any pet-accommodating modifications to your home, such as doggie doors, cat ramps (special stairs up the wall), window sill platforms, or outdoor dog and cat runs, you may have to reverse these.  You might think that special additions to your home to accommodate pets would be a selling feature for other pet owners, and this might be true in some cases.  But it’s always better to try to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers possible.  That means presenting your home in as neutral a fashion as you can.

It is possible to sell your home quickly and for a good price even with a pet in residence.  As with most things connected with real estate sales, it just takes a little work and preparation!

Please also visit my Pinterest board “Pets and Your Home”.

What else could sellers with pets do to entice buyers?  Let me know what you think!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Drive-by Delight or Disaster?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Drive-by Delight or Disaster? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen you drive up to your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area, do you feel proud of the way it looks?  Or is your home looking a little shop-worn and tired compared to other homes in your neighborhood? 
 

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, it’s time to do something about the state of its curb appeal.  In today’s market your home is in competition with every other home for sale and it needs to stand out from the rest with a good first impression.

Maybe you’ve got a long list of face-lift and landscaping projects you’ve been putting off because you don’t want to spend 1000s of dollars.  Is it possible to do a few fairly simple and inexpensive things to make your home look attractive to would-be buyers so they will at least slow down for a second look? 

One of the most noticeable and least expensive fix-ups, especially if you do it yourself, is new paint.  If your home has paintable siding, consider freshening up the look with a new fashionable color.  It’s possible to be trendy while still coordinating with other homes in your neighborhood.  If your home has vinyl or metal siding, give it a good cleaning and paint all the trim with a color that complements the color of your roof.   

As with the interior of your home, clean and tidy goes a long way to impressing potential buyers and luckily doesn’t cost much.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Clean and shine everything.  Windows should sparkle, metal trim such as house numbers and door hardware should be tarnish-free, front porch should be clear of dirt and debris, driveway oil spots need to be banished, brickwork should be freshened, and so on.
  • Get rid of the clutter.  Kids’ bicycles tossed down next to the driveway, leftover building supplies at the side of the house, bundled up newspapers and bottles waiting to be recycled – all of this needs to go.
  • Manicure your yard.  Trim your lawn neatly, dig up any stray weeds, use an edging tool and string trimmer (“weed whacker”) for tidy borders.  Give your shrubs a haircut and tidy up the flowerbeds.  Consider some colorful flowering plants in pots or planters to add a few spots of brightness and cheer to the yard.  In the fall, rake up fallen leaves, and in the winter, keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow and ice.
  • Repair any visible shortcomings, such as broken light fixtures or windows, loose shingles, crooked downspouts, falling-down fences, driveway cracks, uneven sidewalk blocks, and the like. 

How welcoming is your front entryway?  Staging your front porch with a few accessories, just as you would your living room, is going to make homebuyers want to look inside.  Paint or replace your front door, or even just the door hardware, mailbox, light fixtures, etc., with something more modern (another fairly inexpensive change).  It may seem a little cliché but a welcome mat on the porch and a wreath or basket of flowers on the door really do click with many homebuyers.  If there is room on your porch, items such as a flower-filled planter or rocking chair can add a great deal of charm to an otherwise nondescript area.  Other things to consider:  attractive new railing, striped retractable awning, ivy-covered trellis, hanging floral baskets… 

While it may cost you a little money and time to improve the curb appeal of your home, it’s definitely worth it.  It’s been shown time and again that a home that looks well-maintained and cared for sells faster and for a higher price. 

For more ideas, take a look at my Curb Appeal Pinterest board

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!

Monday, November 19th, 2012

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamUse Good "Sense" to Sell Your Home!Your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home is now up for sale, and you’ve made it look as good as you possibly can.  You’ve moved out a ton of stuff so that the rooms look more spacious.  You’ve tidied up every storage space from the black hole of your teenage son’s closet to that great little cubbyhole under the stairs that has held all kinds of things you couldn’t bear to part with till now.  You’ve touched up all the paint chips, washed all the windows till they sparkle, and arranged the furniture just so.  Your house looks great. 

Your home’s appearance is very important in the home selling process.  But have you considered the other senses that prospective buyers will use when they visit your home? 

  • Smell.  It’s said that someone considering buying your home will make a decision, especially a negative one, in the first few seconds through the door.  And that negative choice could be because of a powerful reaction to the odors in your home.  You may love cooking with exotic flavors but last night’s garlic or fish or curry could massively turn off a prospective buyer.  Seek out and destroy other odors as well:  ashtrays (and other evidence of smoking in the home), laundry hampers, garbage cans and recycling bins, toilets, diaper pails, pet paraphernalia such as cat litter box, bird cage, dog bed, and so on.  Do NOT attempt to cover up the odors with artificial air freshener products!  Instead, clean your home thoroughly and allow fresh air in.  Fresh fragrant flowers help too.
  • Hearing.  Squeaky hinges, creaky floor boards, rattles and squeals in appliances, tree branches that rub against the building in the wind, all suggest minor maintenance issues and possibly a lack of care that should have been attended to before the home went on the market.  Even wind chimes can turn off some buyers.  Noise is a no-no!
  • Touch.  If a potential buyer runs her finger across a window sill or the top of a door and it comes away black, well… that’s not going to leave a very good impression.  Likewise with sticky counter tops and door handles, or crunchy floors.  Clean, especially spotless, immaculate, mother-in-law clean, not only sells houses faster but can even make up for some other minor deficiencies. 

Today’s buyers are looking for a home they can move into without having to do anything to erase traces of the previous owners.  Appealing to all the senses is a good strategy to ensure your home shows to its very best advantage, sells quickly and for the best price.   

For more tips and hints to make your home market-ready, check out some of my other blog articles:

Be Your Own Home Stager

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County?

Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering 

10 Things I Hate About Your House!

Comments or questions about this article or real estate in general?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.  

10 Things I Hate About Your House!

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

A guest blog article from one of my clients who refers to herself as Ms. Cranky Pants:

10 Things I Hate About Your House! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSo, Barry took me to see your house in the region of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, and Edmonton, and I just wanted to mention the things that made me go Ewww.

Odors

I know you think all those little room deodorizer thingies will hide the fact that you’re a smoker, but you can’t fool me.  I wish I didn’t know that you had fried fish with onions and garlic for dinner.  And seriously people, do you ever clean that stinky litter box?  Open a window, for crying out loud!

Dirt

Disgusting grime in the tub, sticky spots on the kitchen counter, dirty dishes in the sink, mystery stains on the carpet, something brown and nasty in the corners…  Yuck!  I’d hate to have the CSI folks go through here with their ultra-violet lights.  I’m not a clean freak but no way do I want to wallow in anybody else’s crud, thank you.  Soap and water and elbow grease are cheap – get busy!

Stuff everywhere

When I view homes, I try to imagine living in the rooms with all my belongings in place.  Kind of hard to do when your junk is clogging up the space, making the place feel smaller than it really is.  Plus, it’s a real turn-off to see personal things like your toothbrush, razor and soggy towels cluttering up the bathroom, for example.  You need to get rid of at least half the stuff in your house — and I don’t mean hide it in the closets or the garage because I’m looking in there!  Here’s a tip:  Visualize a nice hotel room before you move in and unpack – sparkly clean, neat and tidy, room to move around.  That’s what your home should look like for showings.

Damp basement and water stains

Oh boy, is this one a red flag.  If I can see the results of water leakage, I just know I’d be buying a boatload of trouble to take on this baby.  Maybe you’ve got a bad foundation, but it’s more likely that water from spring runoff or summer rains is getting in because 1) your landscaping and grading isn’t sloped adequately away from the house; 2) your eavestroughing needs some work, with rain gutters cleaned out and downspouts aimed well away from the house; 3) your underground drains are clogged; or 4) your sump pump, if you have one, isn’t working properly.

Evident lack of maintenance or upgrading, or unfinished or poorly done reno projects

Yeah, I know your house isn’t brand new so you don’t have all the latest fixtures and decorative doo-dads.  I don’t mind a house that’s used.  What I object to is a house that’s used up.  If you’ve lived in your house for longer than 10 years, then it’s time to fix it up.  That could mean repairing broken windows, tightening loose hinges, or replacing cabinet handles, switches and plug-ins, faucets and shower heads.  It might also mean fresh paint inside and outside (neutral colors, please!).  Maybe what’s needed is a new roof, new furnace and hot water heater, new flooring or new appliances.  It could even mean a professional renovation of kitchen and bathrooms.  Notice I said professional renovation.  Do it yourself only if you have the skills and tools to do it right.  Oh, and don’t wait till just before it’s time to sell to do those things.  Maintain and renovate on a yearly basis so you get to enjoy your investment.

Weird decorating

I counted 5 different wallpaper patterns and 4 different types of carpet and lino just on the main level, but the real clincher was the purple living room, black bedroom and the mustard yellow dining room with its psychedelic wall mural!  This may be what you like to live with, but I want my house to be a frame for my life, not a Halloween horror show.

Lack of light

Hard to see if there are great features in this house because it’s like a cave in here.  I respect people trying to save money and energy, but up the wattage on the light bulbs so prospective buyers can actually see what you’re selling.  Open those drapes and blinds.  Trim the shrubbery from in front of the windows.  Clean those dirty, foggy windows.

Poor curb appeal and unattractive yard

I don’t know about you but I make a little effort when I show my face in public.  Same thing applies to houses.  Like it or not, first impressions count.  If your front door is askew and the paint’s peeling, if your driveway and sidewalks are cracked, plants overgrown, lawn brown and patchy, and there’s trash everywhere, this tells me you don’t care.  So why should I even bother to enter the front door if what I’ll see on the inside is more of the same?  Show a little pride, folks!

Pets on the loose

Hey, I love animals but your big snarly pooch scared the whatsits out of me.  I came to see your house, not get mauled by Cujo.

Price too high

Of course I’d like a bargain, but I’m willing to pay what’s fair for a decent house.  If your house needs a little work… well, I can forgive quite a lot if the price is right.  But there’s plenty I won’t pay for.  I don’t care that you spent $20,000 on a fancy new hot tub and deck, or that you owe too much on your mortgage to reduce the price to what’s reasonable, or that you have to have a certain amount so you can move into a bigger and more expensive house.  Price your house right based on factors such as its location, age, condition, size and what similar homes in your area have sold for, and I just might make you an offer.

Barry has some great articles in this blog on home staging and getting your house ready to sell.  Take a look at these:

Be Your Own Home Stager

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Parkland County? 

Home Staging Starts With De-cluttering

Barry can help you find a great house, or sell your current one.  Call or text him at 780-910-9669, email him at barry@barryt.ca, or contact him here

Be a Clean Freak — or Just Look Like One!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Be a Clean Freak -- or Just Look Like One! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam“Got a half hour to kill?  Use it to spruce up your house.”  So begins a useful article from the March 24, 2012 edition of the Edmonton Journal entitled “Take time for a quick home spruce-up”. 

Most of us want our homes in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere to look great, but often the chore of keeping them looking immaculate feels a little overwhelming.  This article suggests a number of quick touch-ups that will make your home look and feel a lot better, whether you are doing it for yourself or as part of staging your home for sale.

The author, Mary Beth Breckenridge, starts by suggesting a tour through every part of your home with notebook in hand and a critical eye.  Write down every single thing that isn’t quite right.  You won’t be fixing them during this walk-through but it will give you an idea of things, big and small, that should probably be attended to. 

Now, for a few fix-ups.  Breckenridge suggests not just polishing but actually touching up the woodwork of window and door frames, baseboards, etc. to cover up the scratches and dings of day-to-day wear.  Read the article for her product suggestions!  Chipped paint on walls can be given similar treatment.

Breckenridge recommends Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Scrubbing Bubbles spray to get rid of smudges around light switches, door knobs and so on. 

And then there are the places where dust likes to accumulate but which we often ignore when we do our weekly cleaning ritual:  light fixtures (don’t forget to dust the bulbs, and it’s probably time to take apart and wash the chandelier over the dining room table) and fans (including fan blades and bathroom exhaust fans), the tops of doors, the crevices between the carpet edge and baseboards (use the crevice tool on your vacuum for this one).  Think high and low, as in ceilings and baseboards.

You won’t be doing all of these things during one cleaning stint, but they make for a quick home brightener if tackled one by one, Breckenridge claims, and are not as time-consuming or onerous as one might think.   Read the full article for lots of good ideas to keep your home looking its best.

Got some great home maintenance tips to share?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

 

 

The Ick Factor

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

The Ick Factor | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThink your house in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area is clean?  Read “The Germiest Spots in Your Home” posted at 50plus.com and discover some surprising places you might not have thought were dirty, as well as some cleaning tips to banish the bad bugs.  Now excuse me while I go wash my hands!

Give me a call at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here for help in finding the perfect home or acreage, or selling your treasured property. 

Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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