Posts Tagged ‘Tips For Home Sellers’

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Why Wait for Spring to List Your Home? 9 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamYou might think that putting your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home on the market at this time of year is a bad idea. But there are actually many good reasons to list your home during the holiday season.

  1. People shopping for a new home during the winter months tend to be more serious about a home purchase than those looking at other times of the year. They may be in a situation where moving is not an option since January often marks the start of a new job. Buyers are not only more likely to make an offer, but also more likely to meet your list price, especially as people are apt to be in a good mood at this time of year!
  2. Generally, fewer houses are listed at this time of year. This means less competition for your home now than later in the spring when more homes will come on the market.
  3. Many businesses reduce their hours during the holiday season, meaning employees may have time during the work week, not just evenings and weekends, to shop for a new home.
  4. Some buyers may find themselves in a financial situation where it is advantageous for tax or incentive reasons to make their deal before the end of the year.
  5. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time cleaning, decluttering and decorating your home for the holidays. Why not take advantage of this natural staging when your home is looking its best?
  6. Your home being on the market does not have to interfere with your holiday plans. You always have the option to specify when showings may or may not occur.
  7. Selling now does not necessarily mean you’d have to move now. It is possible to negotiate a later date for buyers to take possession, or to allow you to remain in your home for a longer period of time.
  8. But, if you sell and move to a temporary residence now, with the intention of buying later in the spring, you can do so with money in the bank and without the pressure of having to write an offer that is conditional upon the sale of your current home.
  9. Mortgage rates remain at record lows so there are still many buyers for whom your house just might be the perfect home.

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell at any time of the year, I’m here to help. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

4 Tips to Sell Your Home in Any Market |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAre we in a “buyer’s market” yet in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton region? Well, sort of. Buyers won’t find super bargain prices this fall, but they will find many more homes on the market and this means greater choice for them. Not such good news if you’re looking to sell your home right now.

As a seller, what are the things that will get your property sold, even against lots of competition?

1. Get your home noticed in today’s world.

List with a REALTOR® who knows the local market and will get your property “out there”. These days it isn’t enough to hammer a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn and post the occasional ad in the local newspaper. In my office, for example, we work hard to ensure that my online presence will get your home seen. You’ll find your listing on my website, on Realtor.ca and MLS, on a virtual tour website and blogs, on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Kijiji, and many others.

2. Set a realistic asking price.

Take the advice of your realtor in pricing your property appropriately. Remember that realtors do property evaluations all the time and are very aware of what is selling and for how much. We want to help you get as much for your property as possible. Think about those last two words. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to find a buyer who will see as much value in your property as you do, and unfortunately, a property is only worth as much as a buyer is willing to pay for it. Overpricing is probably the single biggest reason homes languish on the market, and this leads to a dismal spiral that goes like this: House priced too high ► potential buyers pass it by ► house sits on the market for far too long ► price is reduced (sometimes several times) ► potential buyers think there is more wrong with the house than a price that’s too high ► disappointed sellers eventually sell for a lower price than they would have received if the house had been priced right to begin with.

3. Make your home shine and stand out from the competition.

Look at your home through the objective eyes of a prospective buyer who wants to move right into a home that is clean and well-maintained. Then get busy, clean your home thoroughly, and attend to all the little repairs and fix-ups your house needs. Now is not the time to undertake major and expensive renovations that you won’t get to enjoy, but it is certainly the time to replace burnt-out light bulbs, repair broken windows, fix drippy faucets and squeaky hinges, touch up chipped paint, tidy up the yard, etc. etc. etc.!

I have written extensively in the past about the sorts of repairs, upgrades, staging and curb appeal that will sell your home without breaking the bank. Take a look especially at the starred* articles below.
Boost the Value of Your Home With Strategic Updates
Let There Be Light: Enhance Your Home’s Look and Boost Its Resale Value With These Home Lighting Tips
Selling Your House in Spring: Tips That Will Boost Your Home’s Appeal
Selling Your House in the Fall
*Leaner, Cleaner – and Sold!
Drive-by Delight or Disaster?
Use Good “Sense” to Sell Your Home!
*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!

4. Accommodate all viewings from prospective buyers.

Having a constant parade of visitors through your home is stressful if you and your family are still living there. Keeping the place pristine for the lookers while packing for your move and maintaining as normal a family routine as possible is a hard juggling act. But buyers won’t make offers if they can’t get in to see the place so set as few conditions on showings as you can. Be readily available when an offer comes in.

There are many things you can’t control when selling your home, such as its location on a busy corner, or the size of the lot, or its floor plan, or the weather! But if your home is clean and well-maintained, priced right, advertised wherever it can be, and shown to all people who express an interest in it, it will sell.

If you have a property to sell this fall, let’s talk! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

No Permits or RPR? How to Sell Your Spruce Grove Home When Something’s Missing

Friday, October 10th, 2014

No Permits or RPR?  How to Sell Your Spruce Grove Home When Something’s Missing | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSelling your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton area or elsewhere is stressful enough, but what happens if you’re missing some critical documentation about the property?

“What documents should I have for my property?”

• If you own your home with or without a mortgage, you’ll have a Title Certificate showing this information. Service Alberta is the source for information about land titles in Alberta. Your REALTOR® will order your property title certificate as part of the process to list your property for sale.
• Most municipalities require building and development permits for a wide variety of activities on a piece of property. Please read my post entitled “Just Because You Own Your Spruce Grove House Doesn’t Mean You Can Do Whatever You Want!” for information about permits in the City of Spruce Grove.
• Another document you’ll need is a Real Property Report, or RPR, which is basically a survey of your property showing the property boundaries and the location of all the structures built upon it. Purchase Contracts in Alberta have a clause requiring a seller to provide a current Real Property Report showing the current state of improvements with evidence of compliance or non-compliance with municipal guidelines. Please read the City of Spruce Grove’s webpage on Compliance Requests.  Here you’ll find the procedure for applying for a new Real Property Report, followed by seeking compliance from the City.

“I’m planning to sell my home and I know I don’t have permits for my basement development, my garden shed or hot tub. Why would this be a problem?”

From a buyer’s perspective, missing permits might indicate something defective about the property. This could mean your property takes longer to sell and for a lower price. Even worse is that the City could force homeowners who are missing permits to tear out the development and start over with the proper permits in place. (This rarely happens, unless the situation is a clear public safety issue or an overt violation of city bylaws impacting properties beyond yours.)

If you know you’re missing permits, it might be in your best interest to contact the City and apply for new permits before you apply for a new Real Property Report. That way, you’re much more likely to receive full compliance from the City. Full compliance means that everything on your property meets current standards – and potential buyers may be more willing to offer the best price.

***HOWEVERThere may be times when applying for missing permits is not a good idea!*** Let’s say you own an older home in Spruce Grove. You had your basement professionally developed 25 years ago and you’re pretty sure no permits were issued. If you were to apply for permits now, the building inspectors might need to tear into your walls to see that the gas, electrical and plumbing installations were done correctly. If that isn’t bad enough, the work must conform to today’s building and safety codes, not those of 25 years ago, in order for it to pass inspection.

Applying for a new RPR and then getting a letter from the City indicating some issues of non-conformance to current standards do not necessarily mean a big problem. Most of the time those issues won’t require you to take any action unless you decide to upgrade. For example, it may be that your deck is too close to the property line. You will likely be allowed to live with this situation until or unless you (or subsequent owners) decide to rebuild or modify the deck. Any renovations will have to comply with current standards. (A more serious situation occurs when the letter states that deficiencies must be corrected within a certain time frame, meaning expense and inconvenience for you as the owner.) The real problem for sellers is that many buyers see non-conformance as a red flag.

“Okay, this isn’t looking good! Am I going to be unable to sell my property?”

Luckily, not having the proper permits or compliance doesn’t mean you won’t be able to sell your home; it just means greater cooperation may be needed among all parties involved in the sale, and your REALTOR® can help with that!

  • No permits?

Consider the situation. Would new permits be an easy fix, or would this mean greater disruption, hassle, time and expense than anyone cares to deal with? It might be best to admit the error to potential buyers and request that they accept an existing RPR with compliance (or non-compliance). In addition, you would offer to fund Title Insurance for the buyers. (Please see my blog article entitled “RPR or Title Insurance?”)  Be aware that it may be difficult to get some buyers to agree to this arrangement, and that may mean a longer wait to find buyers for your property. Your REALTOR® can advise you.

  • No up-to-date RPR?

Again, get advice from your REALTOR®. The best action may be to follow the procedures as per the City’s webpage on Compliance Requests: order and pay for a new RPR. Or, your REALTOR® may suggest other options, especially if you know your property will not conform to the standards. (For example, you could offer to supply an old survey of the property together with Title Insurance).

  • Received a letter from the City of Spruce Grove indicating some level of non-conformance?

• If the letter says things must be fixed, fix them!
• If the letter simply points out the issues but doesn’t require repairs, you might want to correct them anyway, if the problems are easy fixes, because your house is likely to be an easier sell, and at a better price.
• “Non-conforming” items on your property that aren’t easy fixes? One solution to the problem of lack of compliance that your REALTOR® might be able to provide is to “write around” an issue. For example, if a garden shed is too close to the edge of the property and it would be more trouble than it’s worth to move it (and the City has indicated the non-conformance can stay as is), a clause can be inserted into the Purchase Contract stating that the buyer agrees to accept the shed in its current location. Your REALTOR® may also recommend that you offer to fund Title Insurance for the buyer.

Of course, these solutions require potential buyers to agree to a situation that may be less than ideal or optimal, but at least you won’t be stuck unable to sell your property.

Questions about RPRs, compliance, title insurance, or building permits? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

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.

Hands Off! When Buyers and Sellers Need to Leave It to the Pros

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Hands Off!  When Buyers and Sellers Need to Leave It to the Pros | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAn incident occurred recently involving one of my buyer clients, providing another good reason for buyers and sellers to be represented by REALTORS®. There are lessons here for all buyers and sellers of real estate in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere.

My client’s purchase of a home was nearly complete. All the documents had been signed, conditions removed, keys ready to hand over. My client was very happy with the home. It was in top-notch condition, being exceptionally clean and well-maintained, with a beautifully landscaped yard.

My client happened to be driving past the property when he spotted the current owner in the garden apparently digging up shrubs and handing them over to a friend. This is, of course, a no-no in real estate transactions. Once a deal has been done and a contract in place, anything attached to the property has to stay.

When I represent the sellers in a real estate transaction, I usually warn my clients who are selling their home to make sure they remove everything they want to keep that would normally be considered permanent attachments to the home before we even place the listing on the market. Once a home is on the market, potential buyers have every right to assume that what they see is what they will get. That means sellers can’t take away items such as wall-hung shelves, kitchen cabinetry, drapery rods, plumbing or light fixtures, or parts of the landscaping, nor can they swap out appliances with cheaper or older models, unless those things are specifically mentioned in the contract.

So, if you were the buyer in this situation, what would you do?

I urge people involved in something like this to contact their REALTOR® and have him or her confer with the other REALTOR® to resolve, and possibly defuse, the situation. Buying and selling real estate can be an emotional, nerve-wracking experience, and nothing constructive can come out of a direct confrontation between buyer and seller. Instead, the two agents can determine whether there has been a breach of the contract, and then establish the best way to settle the issue. That way, no one should feel hurt or ripped off, no one loses face or good will, and the end result is what we all want: a successful and positive conclusion for all parties.

Questions or comments about what a REALTOR® can do for you? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Three Home Automation Technologies That Will Increase the Resale Value of Your Edmonton Area House

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Three Home Automation Technologies That Will Increase the Resale Value of Your Edmonton Area House | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you’re in the process of listing your Spruce Grove real estate, Parkland County real estate, Stony Plain real estate or other Edmonton real estate for sale, it is important to make property improvements that buyers are looking for and that will increase resale value. There is nothing worse than making a home modification or a property upgrade that will not offer you any return on your investment in the form of a larger offer. Some of the more popular upgrades to consider when you want a return involve modern home automation. Here are three home automation technologies that will bring your home into the 21st century while attracting buyers.

Appeal to a Buyer’s Desire for Safety with a Home Automation Security System

Home buyers who are looking to buy highly valued Parkland County acreages or other Edmonton acreages want to know that they will be safe and secure on their property. When you are selling a property, it is all about appealing to the buyer’s emotions, and all buyers want comfort and safety. The first home automation system all sellers should consider installing in their home is a security system. With the right home automation monitoring equipment, including alarms and security cameras, you can give all buyers setting foot on the property a feeling of relief as you show them how you can control, arm, disarm and view the property from a remote device installed with the home automation app.

More Dramatic and Efficient Lighting Systems

Selling your home or your acreage is all about making that first impression. Not only does your property need curb appeal, it needs to appeal to the growing market of energy efficient buyers that exists today. Home automation lighting systems are becoming the new craze, and these systems will offer you a return in two very different ways. The dramatic lighting dimming effects that you can dress your home with will set a mood to capture attention, and the energy efficient qualities of the system will reinforce just how great the home automation technology is.

Decluttering The Property With Whole Home Entertainment

More and more households are ditching the wires and the clutter of electronics and remote controls that once lined cabinets and cluttered tabletops. Cables have become eyesores and speakers needed in every room have become an unnecessary expense. If you are targeting a tech-savvy buyer who wants a whole-home automation entertainment system that allows them to ditch the wires and all of those remotes, this is a technology to add to your home. The speakers will be hidden in your ceiling, screens will be cleverly mounted, and buyers will pay attention to your tech-savvy listing.

Every seller wants to set a sales record and get the best offer on their home. To make this happen, you need to choose to invest in upgrades and updates that will bring your dated property into the 21st century while still ensuring it has character.

If you need help deciding which updates are best, I am always willing to help answer any home-related questions that you might have.  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.

***We now have a monthly email newsletter!  Send an email to barry@barryt.ca with Subscribe in the subject line and we’ll happily add your name to our mailing list.***

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.

 

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
© Copyright 2011, Real Estate Websites by Redman Technologies Inc. | Privacy Policy | Sitemap
The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton
MLS® MLS REALTOR® Realtor
Trademarks used under license from CREA