7 Necessary Steps to Make Your life Easier
By Piotr Golinski
The decision to sell your home is often difficult, tedious, and time consuming. These factors can lead to stressful decisions and unforeseen circumstances ultimately preventing you from having a good selling experience. In order to avoid stress and surprises down the road, I’ve put together a short guide with seven steps to help get you ready to sell your home and what you should expect along the way.
1. Call In An Expert
If you’re like me you like to do things yourself and don’t often back down to a challenge. However, there’s a reason jobs like realtor, home stager, lawyer, and mortgage agent exist and that’s because they have experience, broader knowledge and can offer the best advice to you especially in tricky or legal situations. Not using these experts to your fullest advantage is equivalent to self diagnosing a health problem on WebMD; it’s not accurate and you can’t see the bigger picture.
While this seems like a low priority task in the grand scheme of things, it’s important to get this done sooner rather than later while you still have the time and headspace. Decision fatigue is real and you don’t want to make a poor decision later on because you were up all night deciding what to declutter. Getting this done early is also important so as not to waste time, space, money, and energy moving things from one place to another and then later end up realizing you don’t need them after all. If possible, get your closet down to about 40% with only the essentials and special pieces. Check out my previous blog post titled “Closet Clean-Out” for more tips and info. Finally and most importantly, if the home currently appears to be busting out at the seams with every space filled to its maximum, then the buyer will not be confident that their own things will fit.
3. Paint (If Necessary)
Wall colours completely change a space because they affect the way that light bounces off of them. Generally white paint is the best option because it reflects more light making a space feel larger and brighter. It’s neutrality also allows for all types of decor and staging to shine through (more on this to follow), and finally if a buyer knows they plan to paint different colours, they’ll be happy to find out that you’ve primed the walls for them (colours always look better when painted over white). This also applies to walls that are already white as they could be dirty and scuffed after being lived in; a fresh coat will make a world of difference in providing these cases a much needed pick-me-up
4. Make Repairs
Roof repair, how water heater repair/replacement, water damage, pipe repair/replacement, septic system, heating/air conditioning, mould removal, termite damage are the most common household problems discovered during home inspections. Ensure that these things are repaired, replaced or scheduled to be done by a professional because it’s a much harder sell when there are major problems such as these that also become safety issues. To go along with this, make sure you are open and honest to all parties regarding any issues that you are aware of and how you plan to address them whether it’s paying to fix them or adjusting the list price to compensate for the work and labour. If something has already been repaired, make mention of that too as it can become a key selling feature such as a roof that’s been replaced recently. This means it’s one less thing that buyers won’t have to deal with for a while. Finally, being open and communicative helps to grow a sense of trust between all parties that can ultimately make or break a deal from closing.
5. Ask Your Realtor About Home Staging
While there are some benefits of showing an empty home (ie. makes spaces seem larger, easier to remember the floorplan, cleaning is easier for showings, no costs) Home staging is proven to attract more buyers and sell faster; it’s why catalogues and magazines show their products in use as well as singularly and on their own. You want to help the potential buyer imagine how an awkward seeming wall actually provides the perfect reading nook and the potential of what the house could be. Like mentioned before, the key is to provide some context as to how the space functions while keeping the mood neutral enough so that the buyer has a chance to imagine how their own things and lifestyle fits into the structure as well as the neighbourhood. When you work with ASP, we bundle the staging and photography in our fees so that we can take care of those for you. Other realtors may leave this cost for the sellers to absorb, but it can get quite pricey and the cost can run from 3000 to 6000 dollars plus a monthly fee after that point. Make sure before you choose a realtor, ask about whether or not they will include staging in their fees.
6. Take Professional Photos
As mentioned in the previous blog post, professional photos are integral to stepping up with your best foot forward. Shooting photos during the best part of the day where the sun shines through the windows and setting up shots to highlight unique features create selling points that grab interest and prompt the casual home browser to have their realtor book showing so that they can see it for themselves. At Ashley Smith Properties, we consider staging and photos so important that we include it in part of our fees to make sure that every home always looks its best and shows it’s worth to prove that it’s priced right.
7. List on MLS!
Get as many eyes on the listing as possible by having your realtor add the listing to MLS, social media, marketing flyers and email campaigns. It’s important to make sure it gets seen by those people or that person who is looking for something exactly like what your home is offering because they won’t know it exists without the proper exposure. This is an important detail we cover extensively as it gives you the peace of mind knowing the home is no longer in your hands and you can safely move on with your other plans. At ASP our average days on market sits at 5 days, compared to compared to the Toronto realtor average of 15 days on market.
Selling your home doesn’t need to be stressful and overwhelming. There are things you can do to make the experience more seamless and I hope this guide will help you to do that; most importantly is to ask for help though. Use resources that are available to you and the experiences of those people around you to make informed decisions about who to help you through this journey. We hope that if you are reading this, then you will consider the team at Ashley Smith Properties to be among those people; please reach out with any questions, comments, or feedback.
Best of luck!